Sunday 1st March 2015

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Fr. Lombardi On The UN Committee’s Report . . . Is This An Inability, Or An Unwillingness, To Understand?

February 19, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the translation of the Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi’s February 7 note on the recommendations by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. ZENIT News Agency provided the text; all rights reserved.

+    +    +

After the large number of articles and comments that followed the publication of the recommendations of the audit of the Committee of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it seems useful to make a few comments and clarifications.
It is not appropriate to speak of confrontation “between the UN and the Vatican.” The United Nations is a reality that is very important to humanity today.
The Holy See has always provided strong moral support to the United Nations as a meeting place among all the nations, to foster peace in the world and the growth of the community of peoples in harmony, mutual respect, and mutual enrichment. Countless documents and addresses of the Holy See at [the UN’s] highest levels and the intense participation of the Holy See’s representatives in the activities of many UN bodies attest to this.
The highest authorities of the UN have ever been aware of the importance of the moral and religious support of the Holy See for the growth of the community of nations: so they invited Popes to visit the organization and direct their words to the General Assembly. In the footsteps of Paul VI, John Paul II (twice) and Benedict XVI have done so. In short, the United Nations, at the highest levels, appreciates and desires the support of the Holy See and positive dialogue with it. So does the Holy See, for the good of the human family. This is the perspective in which the present questions ought to be raised.
International conventions promoted by the United Nations are one of the ways in which the international community seeks to promote the dynamic of the search for peace and the promotion of the rights of the human person in specific fields. States are free to join. The Holy See/Vatican City State has adhered to those it considers most important in the light of its activities and its mission. (It should be noted that adherence to a convention entails a commitment to participation, reports, etc., which require staff and resources — for which reason the Holy See must choose [to adhere to] a limited number of conventions, commensurate with its possibilities for participation.)
Among these, in a timely manner, the Holy See joined — among the first in the world — the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in the light of the great work done in this field, in many different forms (educational, charitable, etc.) and for so long, by the Catholic community in the world, and in light of the Magisterium of the Church in this area, inspired by the behavior of Jesus described in the Gospels.
Naturally, the operations of the UN are vast and complex, and like any large organization — and precisely because of its international and as far as possible universal nature — embrace very different persons, positions, and voices. It is therefore no wonder that in the vast world of the UN different visions shall encounter and even collide with each other. Therefore, in order that the overall result be positive, a great willingness to be open to dialogue is needed, along with attentive respect for essential rules and procedures, and in preparing activities.
For the verification of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, there is a committee based in Geneva, which holds two sessions a year, and which receives the reports of the different party states, studies them, and discusses them with the delegations sent by them, and formulates recommendations for better implementation of the provisions of the convention. The recommendations made   by the committee are often quite sparse and of relative weight.
It is not by chance, that there is rarely heard a worldwide echo of the recommendations in the international press, even in the case of countries where problems of human rights and [problems regarding] children are known to be grave.
In the case of reports submitted to the committee by the Holy See in recent months on the implementation of the convention and the additional protocols: Ample written responses were given to the questions subsequently formulated by the committee, after which followed a day for the hearing of a special delegation of the Holy See in Geneva on January 16.
Now there has come, on February 5, the publication of the committee’s concluding observations and recommendations. This [publication] has aroused extensive reaction and response.
What is there to observe in this regard?
First, the Holy See’s adherence to the convention was motivated by a historical commitment of the universal Church and the Holy See for the sake of the children. Anyone who does not realize what this [commitment] represents for the sake of the children in the world today, is simply unfamiliar with this dimension of reality. The Holy See, therefore, as the Holy See’s secretary of state, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, has said, continues its efforts to implement the convention and to maintain an open, constructive, and engaged dialogue with the organs contained therein.
[The Holy See] will take its further positions and will give account of them, and so on, without trying to escape from a genuine dialogue, from the established procedures, with openness to justified criticism — but the Holy See will do so with courage and determination, without timidity.

Entitled To Amazement

At the same time, one cannot fail to see that the latest recommendations issued by the committee appear to present — in the opinion of those who have followed well the process that preceded them — grave limitations.
They have not taken adequate account of the responses, both written and oral, given by the representatives of the Holy See. Those who have read and heard these answers do not find proportionate reflections of them in the document of the committee, so as to suggest that it was practically already written, or at least already in large part blocked out, before the hearing.
In particular, the [observations’] lack of understanding of the specific nature of the Holy See seems serious. It is true that the Holy See is a reality different from other countries, and that this makes it less easy to understand the Holy See’s role and responsibilities. [These particularities], however, have been explained in detail many times in the Holy See’s 20 years and more of adherence to the convention, and [specifically addressed] in recent written responses.
[Are we dealing with] an inability to understand, or an unwillingness to understand?
In either case, one is entitled to amazement.
The way in which the objections [contained in the concluding observations] were presented, as well as the insistence on diverse particular cases, seem to suggest that a much greater attention was given to certain NGOs, the prejudices of which against the Catholic Church and the Holy See are well known, rather than to the positions of the Holy See itself, which were also available in a detailed dialogue with the committee.
A lack of desire to recognize all that the Holy See and the Church have done in recent years, [especially as regards] recognizing errors, renewing the regulations, and developing educational and preventive measures, is in fact typical of such organizations. Few other organizations or institutions, if any, have done as much.
This, however, is definitely not what one understands by reading the document in question.

An Ideological Vision

Finally, and this is perhaps the most serious observation: The committee’s comments in several directions seem to go beyond its powers and to interfere in the very moral and doctrinal positions of the Catholic Church, giving indications involving moral evaluations of contraception, or abortion, or education in families, or the vision of human sexuality, in light of [the committee’s] own ideological vision of sexuality itself.
For this reason, in the official communiqué released Wednesday morning [February 5] there was talk of “an attempt to interfere in the teaching of the Catholic Church on the dignity of the human person and in the exercise of religious freedom.”
Finally, one cannot but observe that the tone, development, and the publicity given by the committee in its document are absolutely anomalous when compared to its normal progress in relations with other states that are party to the convention.
In sum: If the Holy See was certainly the subject of an initiative and a media attention in our view unfairly harmful, one needs to recognize that, in turn, the committee has itself attracted much serious and well-founded criticism. Without desiring to place [responsibility for] what has transpired “[on] the United Nations,” it must be said that the UN carries the brunt of the negative consequences in public opinion, for the actions of a committee that calls itself [by the UN name].
Let us try to find the correct plan of commitment for the good of the children — even through the instrument of the convention. The Holy See will not allow its careful and reasoned responses to be lacking.

+    +    +

(Translation by Vatican Radio)

+    +    +

(© Innovative Media Inc.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Hit job on Card. Pell because he’s doing his job

His Eminence George Card Pell was appointed by Pope Francis to oversee cleaning up the finances of the Holy See. He is doing his job. And so as Pell drills into the financial corruption and is getting closer to the…Continue Reading

Oil company hit man has Archbishop Cordileone in his sights

San Francisco, Calif., Feb 27, 2015 / 05:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Sam Singer’s public relations firm spun a Chevron oil refinery disaster in California and fought back a legal ruling in Ecuador that could have awarded billions of dollars to…Continue Reading

What about Henry VIII?

Interestingly, Jesus’ hard teaching that “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mt 19:6) follows not long after his insistence to Peter on the necessity of forgiveness (see Mt 18:21–35). It is true that Jesus did…Continue Reading

Sacrificing Priests on the Altar of Insurance

Fr. Bob (that’s what we’ll call him) was a faithful parish priest for more than 25 years. One day, a process server showed up at the rectory door and handed him a summons and complaint. The complaint alleged that some…Continue Reading

Catholic Colleges Must Save Students from Pornography Epidemic, Says Counseling Expert

Catholic colleges and universities owe it to their students to do everything within their power to help combat the destructive effects of pornography, argued Dr. Peter Kleponis in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. Kleponis, a licensed clinical…Continue Reading

Imagine: A Catholic Archbishop!

If it weren’t so predictable, it would be infuriating, but because of that, it is infuriating to thinking people. It’s happening again as San Francisco drops the hammer – again – on the Catholic Church and especially Archbishop Cordileone. He’s…Continue Reading

As storm brews, San Fran archbishop strikes back at school guideline critics

San Francisco, Calif., Feb 20, 2015 / 03:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Politicians have targeted San Francisco Catholic schools’ teacher standards, but Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone says they are a matter of Catholic mission and common sense. “Would you hire a campaign…Continue Reading

University of Scranton to end all abortion coverage

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) – The University of Scranton plans to end employee health care coverage for abortions in cases of rape, incest and to preserve the life of the mother. The Times-Tribune of Scranton (http://bit.ly/1JstU9i ) reports Thursday that the…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Scandals under Fr. Jenkins Are Rooted in Diminished Catholic Faculty, Alumni Say

February 20, 2015, at 11:02 AM  |  By Kimberly Scharfenberger  | Following the election of University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins, C.S.C. to his third term, Notre Dame alumni spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society to share their…Continue Reading

Cardinal Napier: African Bishops Have Higher Priorities Than Communion for Divorced and Remarried

by CNA/EWTN NEWS 02/19/2015 Cardinal Wilfrid Napier speaks at the Vatican Press Office on Oct. 14, 2014. – Bohumil Petrik/CNA ROME — A leading African cardinal says the continent’s bishops want the upcoming Vatican synod to zero in on strengthening…Continue Reading

LGBT Catholic group gets special seating during Pope’s weekly address

(CNN)Members of New Ways Ministry — an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Catholics — have made three pilgrimages to the Vatican, under three different popes. But only once have they been treated like VIPs. That’s the treatment…Continue Reading

Cardinal Wuerl attacks “brother bishops” as “dissenters”

It is an open secret in Washington, D.C., that Donald Cardinal Wuerl has effectively banned Raymond Cardinal Burke from entering the Archdiocese of Washington.  Several sources have confirmed this to Rorate over the years, stemming from Wuerl’s disdain for any priest…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis at the close of the Spiritual Exercises – With a piece of Elijah’s mantle

2015-02-27 L’Osservatore Romano The meditations this morning, Friday 27 February, in Ariccia were the last of the Spiritual Exercises in which the Pontiff and members of the Roman Curia participated. Meditations were led by Carmelite, Fr Bruno Secondin, in the chapel of the House of Divin Maesto belonging to the Pauline Fathers. At the end of his reflection Friday morning, Pope Francis wanted to thank the preacher. “On behalf of everyone, myself included,” the Pope…Continue Reading

Pope Francis returns to Vatican after Lenten retreat

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia have returned to the Vatican at the conclusion of their  5-day Lenten retreat held in the town of Ariccia near Rome. The spiritual exercises began last Sunday (February 22nd) and took place in the Casa Divin Maestro centre in Ariccia. In brief remarks at the conclusion of the retreat the Pope thanked Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin for leading the spiritual exercises with them. Please find…Continue Reading

Charles Rice RIP

charlie rice

Word reached  us today that longtime Catholic activist and legal scholar Charles E. Rice died during the night of February 25. We ask our readers to pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and many friends and associates. An ardent crusader and defender of the Catholic faith, his presence will be missed. Joseph Matt, President, The Wanderer

Pope, Curia reflect on superficial religiosity

  (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis and the Roman Curia are in the middle of their weeklong Spiritual Exercises in Ariccia, outside Rome. According to L’Osservatore Romano, the retreat master, Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin, has shared reflections with the Curia on the prophet Elias. In his reflection, Fr Secondin compared the worship of the false idols in Elias’ time with a modern-day religiosity that is interested in the superficial and in measures of faith “according to…Continue Reading

What If The Government Fears Freedom?

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO What if the current massive spying on Americans began with an innocent secret executive order signed by President Reagan in 1986? What if Reagan contemplated that he was only authorizing American spies to spy on foreign spies unlawfully present in the U.S.? What if Reagan knew and respected the history of…Continue Reading

Our Lady And The New Evangelization

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 3 This article will look at the importance of the modern Marian apparitions, and particularly Fatima, and in this regard, this is what the Church, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 67) says about private revelation: “Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which…Continue Reading

Hanging Rudy Out To Dry

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Back in 1987, this writer was invited by friends to advise them on a press conference they had called to oppose President Reagan’s signing of an INF treaty to remove all nuclear missiles from Europe. My advice: Deplore the treaty; do not attack the president. The next day, Howard Phillips declared…Continue Reading

Darfur: Hell Without The Cameras

By JOHN J. METZLER UNITED NATIONS — In recent years, there has been a dearth of media coverage of Darfur’s humanitarian crisis. What had once been a focus for both diplomatic and high-profile celebrity efforts to detail human rights abuses during more than a decade of inter-ethnic conflict in Sudan’s troubled western region, has now…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Should Serodiscordant Couples Be Permitted To Use Condoms?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book The Case Against Condoms, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + There are times when priests, ministers, and pro-life activists encounter what might be called the “ultimate hard…Continue Reading

The Wanderer Interviews His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke . . .

burk10

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who previously served as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome from June 2008 until November 2014, recently visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. Prior to that he served as Archbishop…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. As a longtime subscriber to The Wanderer, I am puzzled that your writers don’t hesitate to criticize and disagree with bishops and cardinals on particular issues, but when it comes to the Pope you automatically close shop, yet he is human just like the bishops and cardinals. There is no teaching in our Church that says one cannot disagree…Continue Reading

God’s “Foolishness” Is Wisdom

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sunday Sermon for March 8, 2015 Third Sunday Of Lent (YR B) Readings: Exodus 20:1-17 1 Cor. 1:22-25 John 2:13-25 In the Gospel reading today, we hear about our Lord cleansing the Temple because the people had turned God’s house into a marketplace. The people, naturally, were appalled at this action because the buying and selling…Continue Reading

Pope’s Message For 30th World Youth Day . . . “Blessed Are The Pure In Heart. . . .”

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the Vatican-provided text of the Holy Father’s message for this year’s World Youth Day, which will be held on Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015, at the diocesan level. ZENIT News Agency published the text on February 17; all rights reserved. + + + Dear Young Friends, We continue our spiritual pilgrimage toward Krakow, where…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Lent: Season For Deeper Conversion From Death To Life

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Italians, when the subject of marriage and therefore also of children comes up, are quick to say, “Due è basta,” meaning, “Two children are enough.” Young people decide long before they even meet the person they will marry that it will be thus also for them. If you’ve learned to love Italy and the Italians…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustus Chapdelaine

By CAROLE BRESLIN Christianity has never been warmly welcomed by the authorities in China, but that did not stop the missionaries over the centuries who have gone there to save souls. Christianity has existed in various forms since the Tang Dynasty (eighth century). The first reports of Catholic priests going to China go back to the 13th century. John of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Jacinta Marto

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Catholic classic Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, we learn that wisdom is to be valued much more than knowledge. There is an entire book of the Old Testament called the Book of Wisdom. While holiness does not equal happiness, we can be sure that joy comes only from God. Little Jacinta Marto, the…Continue Reading