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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

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.

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"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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