Prelate Speaks of Abuse Scandal at UN

GENEVA, Switzerland, MARCH 12, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See’s permanent observer at the Geneva offices of the United Nations said the Church is trying to «definitively resolve» the problem of sexual abuse of minors by priests and other Church leaders.

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«There are no excuses» for this behavior, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said Wednesday in an address to the 13th session of the Human Rights Council on the rights of children.

Echoing Benedict XVI, the prelate said the sexual abuse of minors is an «odious crime.»

Vatican Radio reported that Archbishop Tomasi pointed to the Pope’s «very clear condemnation of sexual violence against children and youth,» to which the Holy Father has added «the religious dimension, reminding that abuse is also a grave sin, which offends God and human dignity.»

The Holy See representative noted how abuse violates the physical and psychological integrity of minors, «with destructive consequences.»

«Protection from sexual aggression is high on the list of priorities for all ecclesiastical institutions, which struggle to put an end to this grave problem,» he affirmed.

The archbishop said the «Catholic community continues its efforts to resolve this problem definitively.»
 
«Those guilty of these crimes are immediately suspended from the exercise of their functions and treated according to the civil normative and canon law,» he explained.

The prelate also proposed that the prevention of these crimes is the truest priority, and prevention requires «education and promotion of the culture of respect for the human rights and dignity of every child, especially through the use of effective methods in contracting school personnel.»

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