Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Vatican says not legally competent over abuses

05 December 2013, 07:05

Vatican City - The Vatican has told a UN investigating committee that it cannot be held legally competent over the abuses of children carried out by Catholic churchmen because they are subject to national laws, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

"When individual institutions of national churches are implicated, that does not regard the competence of the Holy See but rather the laws of the countries concerned," Father Federico Lombardi said.

Lombardi said Vatican officials would explain their position at a meeting in Geneva on 16 January with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, which is checking whether the Catholic Church is honouring the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"The competence of the Holy See is at the level of the Holy See," Lombardi said, explaining that the Vatican was among the first states to sign up to the convention.

Campaign groups for abuse victims have criticised the Vatican in the past for making the legalistic distinction between the central administration of the Church and the actions of individual clergymen.

The Vatican has already refused to respond to a questionnaire on its own investigations into the abuse cases, which was sent out by the UN committee in July of this year ahead of the meeting in January.

The Vatican has said Canon Law prosecutors are investigating thousands of alleged cases of abuse but it is unclear how many have been confirmed and what action has been taken against those found guilty.

Abuses and cover-ups began coming to light a decade ago in the United States and there has been a wave of revelations since then - although victims have mainly been coming forward in Western countries.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...