Texas Faith: Did United Nations report on Catholic Church go too far?
Question by Rudolph Bush
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a stinging report Wednesday that first and foremost called on the Roman Catholic Church to remove all child abusers from its ranks and to open its archives to the committee for independent review of crimes and concealment.
The report went beyond that though to criticize the Church for its stance on abortion, homosexuality and contraception among other things.
The Vatican responded that certain elements of the report were “an attempt to interfere with Catholic Church teaching on the dignity of human person and in the exercise of religious freedom. ”
The Catholic Association issued a statement calling the report “a stunning and misguided attackon the Vatican. The responsible committee appears to have overlooked the last decade, in which the Church has taken serious measures to protect children.”
In simple terms, should the committee have limited its comment to the issue of child sexual abuse or was it right to raise broader questions about the church’s teachings on social issues? In a broader sense, what is illuminated by this conflict between a secular institution and a religious one? How should a person of faith respond when someone or something questions their sacred teachings?
AMY MARTIN, Director Emeritus of Earth Rhythms
Officials from the Catholic Church frequently release comments criticizing social behavior that is well beyond religious bounds. Dish it out but can’t take it?
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child did not take issue with the Trinity, or Nicean Creed, or belief in virgin births. It examined only when church policy impacts outside world in a negative way.
The charge by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is that a pattern of actions within the Catholic Church demeans and even threatens children. With Catholicism on the rise in Africa, it’s especially important not to repeat the past on that vast continent.
As any court would, they find relevant other instances that amplify such a pattern. When homosexuals are considered lesser persons deserving of fewer human rights than others, when women are forbidden to control their own fertility but men’s impotence drugs are fully funded by insurance, there is a deep, even institutionalized, pattern of diminishment of some humans over others that is worthy of wide discussion.