The head of the International Centre for Child Protection at Rome’s Gregorian University said recommendations made in a UN report on the Church’s child protection record should be regarded by the Holy See as an 'incentive', reports The Tablet.
Fr Hans Zollner made his comments after the United Nations’ committee on children’s rights on February 5 published a report excoriating the Holy See for lack of compliance with parts of the international Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The UN committee questioned Holy See officials for nearly six hours at a public hearing in Geneva three weeks earlier about its adherence to the convention.
Fr Zollner told Vatican Radio after the publication of the UN’s report that it was high time for the Vatican to face a UN evaluation. 'I have the impression that the Holy See did itself no favours by not delivering the requested reports for 14 years,' he said.
The Holy See’s UN representatives 'have now had to face purgatory and take all the fury, disappointment and justified annoyance upon themselves,' Fr Zollner said.
His views were echoed by the Jesuit headteacher whose revelations of historic clerical abuse at his school triggered an avalanche of similar revelations in German-speaking countries in 2010.
Fr Klaus Mertes, headmaster of the prestigious Canisius College in Berlin, told the dailyKölner Stadtanzeiger that, although not all the UN’s accusations were correct, the Vatican must allow external investigations and make its child protection procedures more transparent.
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