July 16, 2010 Comments Off on Sex Slavery children, Church cover-ups, Vatican report and rules
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.
July 8, 2010 Comments Off on Vatican’s New Rules, Supreme court rejected petition, Bangladesh child abuse
Vatican’s New Rules Against Child Sex Abusers to Maintain Status Quo 7/7/10
The Vatican is expected to slightly enhance its rules for punishing clergy who sexually abuse children, but the new policies, likely to be announced within days, will still fall short of what victim advocates say is necessary to protect minors.
Moreover, the changes are seen as fairly minor concessions in a decades-long battle to push Rome to act forcefully against abusers.
In addition, the new policy, which has reportedly been signed by Pope Benedict XVI, still has no provision for dealing with bishops who cover up for molesting priests and it is unlikely to clarify whether or how bishops should report abusers to civil authorities.
The new rules, which Vatican observers say could go into effect within days, will gather norms that have been in place since 2001 to make it easier for the church to defrock or suspend priests accused of abuse. The policies were slightly modified in 2003, after another wave of sexual abuse revelations broke in the United States.
The Belgians Make Washington Look Bad July 7, 2010 Marci Hamilton – Professor, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ….The U.S. Solicitor General and the State Department, led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urged the Supreme Court to vacate a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that permitted a single victim to sue the Holy See for abuse by Fr. Andrew Ronan. The priest admitted repeatedly to victimizing children in Ireland, Chicago, and then Portland. Nevertheless, the legal strategy employed by our government was to grossly distort Oregon law so as to favor the Vatican.
But last week, the Supreme Court, with six Catholics on the bench, took the high road and rejected the Solicitor General’s and the State Department’s politicization of the case and denied the Holy See’s petition. As a result, John V. Doe will be permitted to pursue his case, first through discovery and then at trial. That is a testimony to the rule of law.
Bangladesh disabled children sexually abused – study
6 July 2010 Half of all the disabled children in Bangladesh are sexually abused, mostly by close relatives, according to a new study. Most of the offenders are male, the study says. Of the victims, 52% are girls and 48% boys, aged between seven and 18 years. Those with mental disabilities are at even greater risk, the study says. According to the 2001 census, Bangladesh has nearly 12m disabled people. The study was conducted jointly by the Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation (BPF) and Save the Children Sweden-Denmark.