Seduction, Slavery and Sex By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF July 14, 2010
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” series tops the best-seller lists. More than 150 years ago, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” helped lay the groundwork for the end of slavery. Let’s hope that these novels help build pressure on trafficking as a modern echo of slavery….Because trafficking gets ignored, it rarely is a top priority for law enforcement officials — so it seems to be growing. Various reports and studies, none of them particularly reliable, suggest that between 100,000 and 600,000 children may be involved in prostitution in the United States, with the numbers increasing. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/opinion/15kristof.html
Predatory Priests, Church Cover-Ups and the Belgian Abberation July 14, 2010
By Barbara Blaine and Rita Nakashima Brock
The clergy sex abuse and cover-up crisis continue not only across Europe but also across the globe. Nowhere, however, has the recent crisis been more acute than in Belgium. Over the span of just a few weeks, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, July 13, a bishop has resigned, police have conducted an unusual raid on three church facilities to collect evidence, and hundreds of men and women have stepped forward reporting the horrors they say they experienced as children at the hands of Belgian clerics.
A painfully familiar, almost formulaic pattern of criminal behavior has emerged in the many stories of sexual abuse by priests this past year. It’s the same appalling pattern Americans have seen in case after case in the U.S. And it suggests that, whether through quiet Vatican fiat or a stunningly homogenous and twisted clerical culture, Catholic officials over decades and across national boundaries have engaged in the same destructive (and self destructive) behaviors when it comes to predator priests.
UN panel says Vatican’s report on protecting children’s rights is almost 13 years overdue
FRANK JORDANS AP Press Writer July 15, 2010 GENEVA (AP) — The Vatican has failed to send the United Nations a report on child rights that is now almost 13 years overdue, the head of a U.N. panel has told The Associated Press. Like all countries that have signed the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Vatican is required to submit regular reports on its efforts to safeguard child rights. But the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, despite sending repeated reminders, has received no explanation from the Holy See for why it missed a 1997 deadline, according to the committee’s chairwoman Yanghee Lee. In the years since, the Vatican has come under intense scrutiny over its handling of child sex abuse allegations around the world and recently admitted that up to one in 20 priests may be implicated….While the Vatican delivered an initial report in 1995, the second, third and fourth reports are now overdue, according to Lee. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation-world/sns-ap-un-un-vatican,0,3457711.story
Vatican revises its rules on clerical sex abuse, but critics see few substantive changes
NICOLE WINFIELD AP Writer July 15, 2010 VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican revised its in-house rules to deal with clerical sex abuse cases Thursday, targeting priests who molest the mentally disabled as well as children and doubling the statute of limitations for such crimes. Abuse victims said the rules are little more than administrative housekeeping since they made few substantive changes to current practice, and what is needed are bold new rules to punish bishops who shield pedophiles….The new rules extend the statute of limitations for handling of priestly abuse cases from 10 years to 20 years after the victim’s 18th birthday, and the statute of limitations can be extended beyond that on a case-by-case basis. Such extensions have been routine for years but now the waivers are codified. But the new rules make no mention of the need for bishops to report clerical sex abuse to police, provide no canonical sanctions for bishops who cover up for abusers, and do not include any “zero tolerance” policy for pedophile priests as demanded by some victims.