Loading
At UN panel, Holy See urges civil prosecution for torture
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the U.N., who addressed the committee on the Convention against Torture May 5, 2014. Credit: UK in Holy See via Flickr (CC BY-SA  2.0).
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the U.N., who addressed the committee on the Convention against Torture May 5, 2014. Credit: UK in Holy See via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

.- All individuals who commit torture and abuse must face prosecution from legitimate government authorities, a Holy See delegation has told a U.N. committee on a global anti-torture convention.

“The Holy See wishes to reiterate that the persons who live in a particular country are under the jurisdiction of the legitimate authorities of that country and are thus subject to the domestic law and the consequences contained therein,” Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, head of the Holy See’s Permanent Observer mission to the United Nations in Geneva, said May 5.

“State authorities are obligated to protect, and when necessary, prosecute persons under their jurisdiction,” the archbishop said, adding that these authorities are responsible for justice regarding “crimes and abuses committed by persons under their jurisdiction.”

The archbishop addressed the U.N.’s Committee on the Convention Against Torture, a convention the Holy See signed in 2002.

Each of the 155 states which are parties to the convention are obliged to report to the U.N. committee every four years to discuss its implementation.

The archbishop said the Holy See’s principles and vision of the human person is “in harmony” with the ideals and practices of the anti-torture convention.

The Holy See rejects torture as “inadmissible and inhuman” and lauds the convention as “a worthy instrument for the defense against acts of torture,” he added.

The delegation’s appearance comes several months after a controversial February report from the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, which used a discussion of the children’s rights convention to claim that the Vatican had “systematically” adopted policies allowing priests to rape and molest children. The committee also used the report to condemn Catholic teaching on homosexuality, contraception, and abortion, while calling for changes in Catholic doctrine.

On May 2, Fr. Federico Lombardi, head of the Holy See press office, praised the principles of the anti-torture convention while also warning against NGO pressure groups with a “strong ideological character and orientation” that are attempting to influence both the U.N. committee and public opinion.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, a legal group representing the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has tried to depict the committee hearing as an effort to address sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Tomasi, addressing the U.N. committee, stressed the “essential distinctions” between the Holy See and the Vatican City State, over which the Holy See exercises sovereignty. The Holy See signed the convention “with the very clear and direct intention that this convention applied to Vatican City State,” the archbishop said.

The archbishop said there is “much confusion” over the Holy See’s jurisdiction. The Holy See has “no jurisdiction” over “every member of the Catholic Church,” he clarified.

The Holy See “globally encourages basic principles and authentic human rights” recognized in the convention, and implements the convention within the territory of Vatican City State, in harmony with the interpretative declaration the Holy See issued upon signing the convention.

Archbishop Tomasi noted that the Holy See’s media services reach a “truly international audience” that makes the Holy See “arguably one of the most effective moral voices in the world for human rights, including the position against torture and other cruel and inhuman punishments.”

“In this way, the moral voice of the Holy See, while promoting and defending all authentic human rights, reaches the members of the Catholic Church in an attempt to foster an interior conversion of hearts to love God and one’s neighbor. This love, in turn, should overflow into good practices at the local level in accordance with the laws of states.”

The Holy See delegation will respond to questions from the Committee on the Convention against Torture later on Tuesday, May 6. On May 23, the U.N. committee will publish its report on the Holy See and on seven other countries who are signatories to the convention. The states will each be able to issue a response.

The Holy See delegation to the committee hearing included Monsignor Christophe El-Kassis and Vincenzo Buonomo, both of the Secretariat of State, and Monsignor Richard Gyhra, secretary of the Holy See’s permanent observer mission.

Tags: Convention Against Torture


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Jul
22

Liturgical Calendar

July 22, 2014

Saint Mary Magdalene

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:24-43

Gospel
Date
07/20/14
07/19/14
07/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Mic 7: 14-15, 18-20

Saint of the Day

St. Mary Magdalene »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 12:38-42

Homily
Date
07/21/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: