The Vatican stated that the United Nations will not file torture charges against the leading body of the Catholic Church after calling it before its Committee Against Torture.
While harshly criticize the Vatican for its handling of sexual abuse cases – which was earlier said to not be a topic the panel on torture would explore – he committee found the Vatican did not violate the U.N.’s Convention Against Torture at the conclusion of their investigation. The panel did state that the Vatican’s conduct did provide “credible allegations of violations of the [U.N.] Convention [against Torture],” according to The Guardian.
The panel rejected the Vatican’s claim that it is only a city-state and cannot effectively control the entire body of the Catholic Church — finding that the Holy See was responsible for the handling of hundreds of sexual abuse cases that has rocked the church.
The Vatican defrocked 848 priests and sanctioned over 2,500 more for their role in molesting children in the last decade.
The committee urged the church to do more to prevent clerical sexual abuse and “take effective measures” to make sure these acts no longer go unpunished.
According to an AFP report, the committee also did not find that the Catholic Church’s firm opposition to abortion constituted an act of torture. This was in contrast to a February report released by the U.N.’s Committee of the Rights of the Child that condemn the Catholic Church’s handling of the abuse and insinuated that the church’s stances on abortion and homosexuality have a negative effect on minors.