A Vatican delegation spoke before a UN Committee on the Convention Against Torture at its offices in Geneva. It's a convention where the Vatican City State is represented primarily as a country, not a Church.
The Committee asked the Vatican delegation more information about its handling of sex abuse cases against minors.
As the Holy See's representative, Msgr. Silvano Tomasi said that the Vatican City State does not have jurisdiction over Catholics who reside outside its territory. He said, that rather, they fall under the national laws and authorities of their respective nations.
In addition to questions about how the Vatican is dealing with allegations of sexual abuse by clergy, the panel of experts asked the Vatican about its prisons cells. Benedict XVI's former butler, who was jailed and found guilty of releasing the former Pope's personal documents, complained about his prison cell being too small and without enough light.
The UN delegation also asked Msgr. Tomasi about the Vatican's opinion on abortions that are carried out in poor conditions, when the life of the mother is at risk.
Tuesday will mark the second meeting between the Holy See and the UN Commission. At that point, the Vatican representative is expected to respond to that set of questions.
The meeting is part of a regular session that is required of all member states that are part of the International Convention against Torture. The Vatican City State joined in 2002.
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