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Victim: Responsibility can't be dodged

February 6th, 2014
04:53 PM ET

In an unprecedented report, a United Nations committee slammed the Vatican's handling of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and accused the church of protecting itself rather than the victims.

Becky spoke to Irish clerical abuse survivor Colm O'Gorman to garner his reaction.

"I do think today is an incredibly significant and important moment that has been a very long time coming, where the Catholic church has been held accountable in the one place, frankly, where it can't dodge accountability. Because up until now it's used its status as a sovereign state to avoid responsibility in civil jurisdictions and national jurisdictions where it's claimed either sovereign or diplomatic immunity, and now really it's hoisted by its own petard. It's a state party to a binding international treaty, and it's going to have to be accountable for its gross violations of the rights of tens of thousands of children worldwide."

O'Gorman says that because all congregations and diocese operate under the authority of the Vatican, they can no longer avoid taking responsibility for abuses. But while this is a great development, the exact mechanisms for enforcing culpability and investigating misconduct still need to be finalized.

"I think there is some sense that Pope Francis will adopt a very different approach but we need to see that. He's put in place a Commission, that's valuable. What's important is to find out who exactly will be on this Commission. To what extent is he prepared to open the Vatican up to scrutiny and accountability? What kind of transparency will we see?"

 

More: U.N. denounces Vatican over child abuse


Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Religion • Vatican
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