No Hiding Place For The Holy See



On January 16th 2014, Survivors Voice Europe will return to Geneva to attend the public review of the (alleged) Holy See as part of the 65th Session of the Committee for the Rights of the Child. Our evidence at the pre-sessional Working Group in June, resulted in the List of Issues raised by the UNCRC. The Holy See replied, refusing to comply with specific requests from the UNCRC and this is our response to their statement.

In order to ensure they can not get away with taking this evasive and contradictory position, we highlight the discrepancies in their reply and make a number of recommendations to the UN CRC.

In February 2013, we sent this submission the UN Committee of the Convention of the Rights of the Child. We were asking the UN to acknowledge and assist with the Vatican’s systematic denial of their responsibilities towards the survivors of clergy sexual abuse. Their refusal to comply with articles of the rights of the child, and their continuing abuse of minors and “historic” victims.

We made following submission to the CRC: Initial Deposition to the UN-1

In response, we were then invited to a pre-sessional meeting in Geneva in June, where we gave evidence to support our accusations, made a further presentation, and answered questions to the committee for three hours.
This was what we presented: CRC Introduction – Sue Cox

Subsequently the CRC made the following requests to the Holy See in July: Holy See List of Issues CRC

The Holy See’s vague and evasive response came right on the deadline of the 5th December: Written Replies by the Holy See to the List of Issues prepared by the Committee on the Rights of the Child

After reading that nonsense, and being invited to return to Geneva on January 16th to hear the Holy See explain their position, and offer reasons for their excuses, and evasive tactics, we have sent this response to their reply:
Response To The Holy Sees Submission

We have been in constant contact with the Committee, who have been extremely supportive, and have furnished them with further documentation, and submissions from Australia and the USA. We will attend the meeting for the whole day on January 16th and will talk to the press during that time.

We trust the UN CRC will not fail the thousands of abuse survivors who are seeing a glimmer of hope from their intervention. We will think of all our brave friends when we are there and let you all know what we experience.

Sue Cox & Ton Leerschool


  1. I doubt follow ups and comments will be able to pass through to us from NCR to keep us updated with all comments removed and further comments suspended indefinitely. They were an excellent corridor and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the church keeping the uninformed further uninformed..

    (Webmaster: read the article on National Catholic Reporter Today – “NCR suspends comments on website”)

  2. Thank you, Lynne, for bringing this to our attention.
    And that is also one of the reasons why we keep you all informed on this issue here.

    I can hardly say that we are unbiassed, but at least we can complete the story with our side. Unfortunately publications in the general media are still, in many countries, very much controlled by the PR office of the catholic church. People will see the lovely images of the “good” of the church and pope, but not how ugly that (alleged) holy institution looks from the inside.

    I wish you lots of knowledge, wisdom and insight.
    Ton Leerschool

  3. Pingback: Call for UN children’s rights committee to act in light of poor Catholic Church response | Switalskis Solicitors

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