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By Deacon Keith Fournier

2/8/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The report became a springboard for the UN to attempt to compel the Catholic Church to abandon its unchangeable positions regarding the dignity of the lives of children in the womb and their fundamental right to be born, the truth concerning marriage as between one man and one woman, open to life and formative of family, and the primacy of parents in the upbringing of their own children

No honest, sincere analysis of the response of the Catholic Church to this matter, and the recent heightened actions of Pope Francis, can lead to any other conclusion but that the Catholic Church is responding with a vigorous and serious global response to this evil. More remains to be done. However, the report issued by the UN Convention went way beyond that subject.It intruded into the doctrine, teaching,discipline and rights of the Church.It insisted that the Church change its unchangeable teachings. It even scolded the Church on how she instructs children in Catholic schools and sought to impose a curriculum. It was an example of what is increasingly wrong with the agenda and behavior of the United Nations these days. 

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/8/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: UN, United Nations, Convention of the Rights of a Child, Right to Life, Marriage, human sexuality, Clergy sexual abuse, Vatican, Holy See, AntiCatholic, persecution of Catholic Church, Deacon Keith Fournier


NEW YORK CITY, NY (Catholic Online) - It is more than likely you have heard or read the same media reports which I have. After the United Nations issued its concluding observations from the Report issued by the Convention on the Rights of a Child, it seemed an opportune time for some who hate the Catholic Church to pile on. Many in the media were the first in line.

First, let's consider some history. Since the 1929 Lateran Pact, amended in 1984, between Italy and the Vatican, the Holy See has owned a small amount of sovereign territory in Rome. It has NO armed forces but can issue stamps. It also has permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly. It can participate, but it cannot vote.

Therefore, the Vatican voluntarily participates in treaties and deliberations. The Vatican engages in diplomatic relations, seeking to bring peace, preserve harmony, advance human dignity, serve the common good and simply be a good global participant and neighbor.

The relationship between the Holy See and the UN has been a mixed one over the years, on many differing occasions and for various reasons. It became particularly strained as the UN chose to become one of the main vehicles for the promotion of an agenda which included the choice of procured abortion, which always kills a child, being viewed as a human right under the deadly oxymoron called "reproductive rights".

The Catholic Church affirms without equivocation the fundamental Human Right to Life of every single human person from conception, throughout the entirety of life, up to and including a natural death. Therefore the first Right of a Child is the Right to Be Born. Any other Human Rights proceed from there.

The child in the womb is our innocent neighbor, to whom we owe an obligation in solidarity. Any convention which purports to hold the Rights of children in the forefront and fails to hear the cry of children in the first home of the whole human race, is internally contradictory and corrupted at the foundational level.

In addition, the increasingly aggressive social engineering agenda behind seeking to compel State provided artificial contraception and sterilization as population control has come front and center in global UN efforts. Of course, the Catholic Church opposes all such efforts; to the chagrin and outright anger of some other participants.

Finally, the radical agenda of some seeking to restructure the social order by imposing a legally equivalent status between homosexual/lesbian relations and true marriages has become the pet project of many in the leadership structure of the UN. Thus, the Catholic Church is being treated with increasing disdain and facing overt persecution.   

Yet, the Catholic Church still seeks to be a global citizen and promote the true common good. So she participates voluntarily in many treaties and deliberative bodies. One is the UN Convention of the Rights of a Child . That convention issued the report which generated the charged media response.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi,was the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva last month when discussions leading up to the issuance of the report were held. There is   no question that the Catholic Church abhors the evil and criminal behavior of some of her clergy and the horror of child sexual abuse.

No honest, sincere analysis of the response of the Catholic Church to this matter, and the recent heightened actions of Pope Francis, can lead to any other conclusion but that the Catholic Church is responding with a vigorous and serious global response to this evil. More remains to be done.

However, the report issued by the UN Convention went way beyond that subject.It intruded into the doctrine, teaching,discipline and rights of the Church.It insisted that the Church change its unchangeable teachings. It even scolded the Church on how she instructs children in Catholic schools and sought to impose a curriculum. It was an example of what is increasingly wrong with the agenda and behavior of the United Nations these days.   

The report became a springboard for the UN to attempt to compel the Catholic Church to abandon its unchangeable positions regarding the dignity of the lives of children in the womb and their fundamental right to be born, the truth concerning marriage as between one man and one woman, open to life and formative of family, and the primacy of parents in the upbringing of their own children.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi spoke to Vatican Radio and shared his response to the report on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Here are some excerpts:

Q. What is the reaction of the Holy See to these harsh criticisms by the UN contained in this report?

A. The report in the concluding recommendations that the committee of the Convention on the Right of the Child that were released today point out a rather negative approach to what the Holy See has been doing and has already achieved in the area of the protection of children. The first impression is that the report in some ways is not up to date, not taking into account some of the clear and precise explanations that were given to the committee in the in the encounter that the delegation of the Holy See had with the committee three or four weeks ago.

Second, I would say that there is a difficultly apparent in understanding the position of the Holy See that cannot certainly give up certain teachings that are part of their deep convictions and also an expression of freedom of religion and these are the values that in the tradition of the Catholic Church sustain the common good of society and therefore cannot be renounced, for example the committee asked for acceptance of abortion and this is a contradiction with the principle of life that the convention itself should support recommending that children be protected before and after birth.

If a child is eliminated or killed we can no longer talk about rights for this person, so there is a need to calmly and in detail analyzing the recommendations proposed by the committee and provide an accurate response to the committee itself, so that there will be no misunderstanding on where we stand and the reason why we take certain positions and I would add that the practical remedies for preventing cases of abuse of children in forms of laws or decisions of Episcopal Conferences of directives for the formation of seminarians constitute a package of measures that is very difficult, I think, to find other institutions or even other states that have done so much specifically for the protection of children.

So, my sense is that we have to continue to refine, to enact provisions that protect children in all their necessities so that they may grow and become productive adults in society and their dignity be constantly respected. And at the same time we have to keep in mind that even though there are so many millions, forty million cases of abuse a year regarding children and unfortunately some cases affect also Church personnel. We have to keep in mind that, we have to continue to combat this tragedy knowing that even a case of abuse of one child is a case too much.


Q. The United Nations had said that the Holy See had responded better than other countries regarding the safeguarding of children. What's changed now?

A. The Holy See presented its report as a state like in this 65th session of the activity of the committee. The reports of Germany, the Holy See, Congo, Portugal, Russian Federation and Yemen were examined. The Holy See presented the concrete measures taken both at the level of the State of Vatican City and of the Church at large, taking into account that priests are not employees of the Pope but they are responsible citizens of the countries where they work and therefore accountable to the judicial system of those countries.

The effort made was to give an objective picture of the remedies undertaken of the new steps that still are in the making like the commission announced by the Holy Father for the protection of minors and without any comparison with other states we simply say we recognize there has been a small percentage of Church personnel that have committed abuses and these are the steps taken to prevent that such abuses be made again.

Maybe not all the observations in the facts have been adequately taken into account in the conclusions, so that for example the principle that the Holy See is accountable directly for the Vatican City State but not for other countries where local jurisdiction in the state authorities a responsibility and should implement and punish whoever including priests may have abused children, so that's possibly an explanation but we need time to reflect carefully on the conclusions and recommendations of the committee and to prepare an adequate response, so that the objective may really be pursued.

The Holy See is a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and intends to be faithfully carrying out all the elements of this Convention for the protection of children and this is the way toward the future and I don't think that there will be fundamental changes in this task ahead.

Lest my readers think I am overreacting to this report by entitling this article The Anti-Catholic Agenda of the United Nations Revealed in the Report on the Convention on the Rights of a Child, I offer just ten examples from the report. There are more. Please note that the clear teaching of the Catholic Church is that all men and women have an equal dignity, including those who identify themselves as homosexual or lesbian, and condemns all violence against anyone, including those with same sex attraction.

These ten have as their target the teaching of the Catholic Church on the dignity of life, marriage, family, human sexuality, parental rights and many other matters concerning fundamental doctrine which is unchangeable. The worldview and anthropology inherent is always relevant and forward pointing forward. It is the Right and Duty of the Church to hold it, proclaim it and offer it to the world.  The UN has no Right to infringe on that Right.

This message of the Catholic Christian faith - its vision of the human person, the family and human society - can pave the path to a true future of freedom, human flourishing and aid in the building of a truly just and human social order. But some in the current leadership of the UN simply cannot stand the Christian worldview and abhor the teachings of the Catholic Church.

So, they intrude into another area involving another  fundamental human right, the Right to Religious Freedom. The position of some in the UN is that the deeply held religious views of the Catholic Church do not comport with their own social agenda and must be changed by outside imposition.

Here are just ten of the examples of the anti-Catholic agenda taken directly from the report:

1) The Committee is concerned about the Holy See's past statements and declarations on homosexuality which contribute to the social stigmatization of and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescents and children raised by same sex couples.

2) The Committee also urges the Holy See to make full use of its moral authority to condemn all forms of harassment, discrimination or violence against children based on their sexual orientation or the sexual orientation of their parents and to support efforts at international level for the decriminalization of homosexuality.

3) The Committee regrets that the Holy See continues to place emphasis on the promotion of complementarity and equality in dignity, two concepts which differ from equality in law and practice provided for in article 2 of the Convention and are often used to justify discriminatory legislation and policies.

4) The Committee also regrets that the Holy See did not provide precise information on the measures taken to promote equality between girls and boys and to remove gender stereotypes from Catholic schools textbooks as requested by the Committee in 1995.
 
5) The Committee urges the Holy See to adopt a rights-based approach to address discrimination between girls and boys and refrain from using terminology that could challenge equality between girls and boys. The Committee also urges the Holy See to take active measures to remove from Catholic schools textbooks all gender stereotyping which may limit the development of the talents and abilities of boys and girls and undermine their educational and life opportunities.

6) The Committee is concerned that the Holy See restrictively interprets children's right to express their views in all matters affecting them, as well as their rights to freedom of expression, association and religion

7) While welcoming the emphasis placed by the Holy See on children's right to live with their parents and to know their identity, the Committee is concerned about the continued practice of anonymous abandonment of babies organized by Catholic organizations in several countries through the use of the so-called "baby boxes".

8) While welcoming the information provided by the delegation of the Holy See that it will proceed with a revision of family-related provisions of Canon Law in the near future, the Committee is concerned that the Holy See and Church run institutions do not recognize the existence of diverse forms of families and often discriminate children on the basis of their family situation.

9) The Committee is seriously concerned about the negative consequences of the Holy See's position and practices of denying adolescents' access to contraception, as well as to sexual and reproductive health and information.

10) Ensure the right of adolescents to have access to adequate information essential for their health and development and for their ability to participate meaningfully in society. In this respect, the Holy See should ensure that sexual and reproductive health education and prevention of HIV/AIDS is part of the mandatory curriculum of Catholic schools and targeted at adolescent girls and boys, with special attention to preventing early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.


Among the many responses exposing the veiled agenda displayed by some of these intrusive directives issued by the UN was a statement from the Catholic Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio. I offer it as a conclusion to this article. I share his opinion.

It was entitled UN Overreaches, Tramples Religious Freedom and appeared on National Review Online. 

The United Nations issued a report today on its investigation into the unforgivable sex-abuse scandal that victimized children and undermined the many positive things the Catholic Church has stood for. It's a reminder that we all have an obligation to protect the most vulnerable among us, especially our children. This obligation exists not because we are Americans, Catholics, or of any other nationality or faith. It exists because we are humans.

Unfortunately, the U.N. also chose to use the opportunity to make political statements about Catholic doctrine on abortion, contraception, and marriage, issues at the core of the Church's teachings about human rights and the dignity of life. In doing so, the U.N. - with the seemingly limitless worldwide injustices it could be condemning or investigating - trampled on the religious-freedom principles outlined in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This is a U.N. that counts serial abusers and murderers of men, women, and children as members of its Commission on Human Rights. It has been unable to slow North Korea and Iran's march toward nuclear weapons. It has proven feckless in its ability to prevent atrocities in places like Syria. It has routinely given a platform for state sponsors of terrorism to successfully condemn Israel. Its own "peacekeepers" have committed crimes against women around the world.

The U.N. is in very real danger of becoming obsolete in the 21st century. I believe it can still play an important role in global affairs, but without reforms to ensure greater accountability and transparency, its ineffective leadership, ethical abuses, and misspending will remain rampant. It is critical that we are able to ensure that American taxpayer dollars sent to the U.N. are actually advancing our national interests.

The United States is still very much a country that stands at the vanguard of protecting religious freedom at home and abroad. The American people have been unequivocal in condemning the abuse of children by priests who violated the law and their vows by preying on kids. But the U.N. has overreached in its efforts to discredit the Catholic Church's core teachings, and I hope our ambassador to the U.N. will convey this message to her counterparts there.

---


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