When it’s the Vatican/Holy See?Founded 1929
When it’s NI/the occupied 6?Founded 192o
A UN Committee reported that the Vatican
• failed to acknowledge the huge scale of clerical sex abuse
• implemented policies that led to “the continuation of the abuse and the impunity of the perpetrators”
• adopted policies which allowed priests to sexually abuse up to 100,000 children – mainly boys – from 1981 to 2005
• refused to cooperate with judicial authorities and national commissions of inquiry.
• imposed a “code of silence” on children
• “discredited and humiliated” victims and their families
• discouraged them from pursuing complaint, as found by government commissions of inquiry in the US, Ireland and Canada.
• “systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims.”
Special Mention: the notorious “Magdalene Laundries”
even though sexual abuse was “endemic” in Catholic boys’ homes in Ireland
The Committee called on the Vatican to
1. “immediately remove” all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers.
2. provide compensation to victims
3. hold abusers and those who covered up their crimes accountable
4. fully investigate the scandal of the “Magdalene Laundries”
5. refer abusive nuns to the authorities for prosecution
6. pay full compensation to the victims.
Why call the Vatican to account now?
In 1990 the Holy See was one of the first states to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a legally binding convention promoting child rights, committing it to protecting and nurturing the most vulnerable in society.
Why did it sign up to that?
The Vatican was eager to contribute the church’s experience in caring for children in Catholic schools, hospitals, orphanages and refugee centres.
UN Committee: why do you continue to describe abuse as an offence against morals rather than a crime against children?.
UN Committee: Catholic religious orders “are bound by obedience to the Pope in accordance with (Canon law)” but that when the Vatican ratified the convention on the rights of the child in 1990, it “committed itself to implementing it not only on the territory of the Vatican City State but also through individuals and institutions under its authority.”
Comment: The Vatican tried to exploit its dual status as State and Religious Institution.
It’s a State or a Religious Institution when it suits it
Is that why has it got two names? The Holy See and the Vatican?
The Holy See exercises its sovereignty over the territory of Vatican City State
How did that confusion arise?
The Vatican City State was established in the 1929 Lateran Treaty
It was negotiated between Benito Mussolini and Pope Pius XI. Fascism was secured and the Papacy got a State. Britain and Ireland were not involved in any way. Neither was any other country
So why do the UK and Ireland recognise it as a state?
Because the Holy See insists embassies to it are separate from Embassies to Italy. It has cost the British and Irish taxpayers millions of euros, over the years, to maintain the charade of two separate and distinct embassies in Rome: one to Italy and the other to the Holy See
Diplomatic recognition, sought worldwide, brings diplomatic immunity from charges of human rights abuse
What about the UN recommendations and Northern Ireland?
Hundreds of victims have been left out of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry which is examining sexual, physical and emotional assaults suffered by children in homes here between 1922 and 1995.
Patrick Corrigan called on the Stormont leaders to establish a probe in the wake of the report.
“It ought to be unimaginable Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness would ignore UN recommendations – yet that appears to be what’s happening in Northern Ireland.”
Eamon McCann believes the Catholic Church was only too keen to work with the Protestant political leadership to take poor kids off the streets and put them in homes.
Because it kept them off the streets, away from the hands of Republican dissidents, and
…”here in divided Derry/Londonderry, what’s emerging isn’t only a story of shocking abuse. It’s the allegation of the Catholic Church taking children in a way which suited perfectly the interests of the pro-British, Protestant political elite which is so outrageous and tragic.”
Query: Are these two non-state States, waiting for their Apocalypse?