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Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.

U.N. Report criticizes and praises Vatican on handling of child sex abuse

2014-05-23

The U.N. Committee against Torture released the conclusions following a hearing with a Vatican delegation, praising some aspects and criticizing others, in implementing the treaty against torture.

Although the committee's scope of responsibility is torture, the report centered almost exclusively on the handling of child sex abuse by priests. The report praised Benedict XVI for condemning all forms of torture, including the death penalty. 

It also had positive words for the Commission for the Protection of Minors, Pope Francis created, calling for greater transparency and accountability. The committee also commended the Pope's statement on the Vatican handling of the sex abuse crisis.

POPE FRANCIS
"We will not step back with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children.”

During the April hearing, the Vatican reported 3,420 "credible allegations of sexual abuse,” which resulted in 848 priests defrocked and 2,572 other punishments. However, in its conclusions, the U.N. Committee criticized the Vatican for not doing enough to report sex abuse cases to police.

Perhaps the harshest criticism was for the Vatican's monitoring of priests accused of abuse. The report cited instances of priests continuing to abuse children, after they "were transferred to other dioceses and institutions where they remained in contact with minors and others who are vulnerable.” It also called on the Vatican to fully and fairly compensate victims of abuse.

In a statement, the Holy See's Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations, denounced the assumption that sexual abuse by individuals was a form of torture, calling it misleading and "counter-productive.” They added that this assumption is not supported under the convention. 

The statement also questioned the notion that all priests are under the legal jurisdiction of the Vatican, saying the treaty against torture applies exclusively to the small Vatican City State. However, the Vatican said it would "give serious consideration” to the Committee's recommendations dealing with reporting abuse to police, transferring accused priests to avoid punishment, and compensating victims.


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