A United Nations human rights panel has posed a list of tough questions to the Vatican about child abuse by Catholic priests, a potential embarrassment for Pope Francis a few months into his papacy.
The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) asked for “detailed information on all cases of child abuse committed by members of the clergy, brothers or nuns” since the Holy See last reported to it some 15 years ago, and set Nov. 1 as a deadline for a reply.
The request was included in a “list of issues”, posted on the CRC’s website, to be taken up when the Vatican appears before it next January to report on the Church’s performance under the 1990 U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.
It will be the first time the Holy See has been publicly questioned by an international panel over the child abuse scandal which severely damaged the standing of the Roman Catholic Church in many countries around the world.
In several countries, including the United States and Ireland, the Church has been accused of simply moving suspect priests from one diocese to another, and of handling cases secretly.