VATICAN CITY — A U.N. human-rights committee denounced the Vatican on Wednesday for "systematically" adopting policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, and urged it to open its files on the pedophiles and the bishops who concealed their crimes.
In a report, the U.N. committee also severely criticized the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion, and said it should change its own canon law to ensure children's rights and their access to health care are guaranteed.
The U.N. blasted the "code of silence" that has long been used to keep victims quiet, saying the Holy See had "systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims." It called on the Holy See to provide compensation to victims and hold accountable not just the abusers but also those who covered up their crimes.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.