ROME, February 5, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life and pro-family groups in the US and Europe have supported the Vatican with a chorus of outrage at a report from the UN that demands the Catholic Church change its teachings on the nature of human sexuality, the sanctity of life and marriage.

In a statement today, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, said that the UN has failed to understand that the Church’s teachings are not merely “positions” or opinions that can be changed to suit the political fashions of the day.

The Holy See, he said, “cannot certainly give up certain teachings that are part of their deep convictions and also an expression of freedom of religion.”

These, he said, are “the values that in the tradition of the Catholic Church sustain the common good of society and therefore cannot be renounced.”

The report, drafted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, accuses the Church of promoting “discrimination” with its teaching on natural human sexual complementarity, and of failing to make the best interests of children the highest priority in its dealing with clerical sexual abuse.

“The committee asked for acceptance of abortion and this is a contradiction with the principle of life that the convention itself should support recommending that children be protected before and after birth,” said Tomasi.

“If a child is eliminated or killed,” he said, “we can no longer talk about rights for this person.” What is needed, he said, is “to calmly and in detail analyz[e] the recommendations” and explain Church teaching.

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Austin Ruse, head of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), said today that he is “hopping mad” at the report’s brazen demand that the Church “let children have sex” and change its teaching on contraception, abortion and homosexuality.

He called the report “alarming and even disgusting” and said the committee that drafted it is “out of control.” Ruse added that it is likely a part of a greater effort that has been going on for some years, to oust the Holy See delegation from the UN.

“They want to reduce the Church to no more than an NGO. …These attacks have to stop. We must act.” C-FAM, he said, has launched a “global campaign” in defence of the Holy See’s right to participate at the UN. “I urge you to go right now and sign the Declaration in Support of the Holy See.”

“This will be an enormous effort but desperately needed. If you are Catholic, sign! If you are Evangelical, sign! If you are Jewish, sign. Muslim, sign! The Church represents all people of good will at the UN. If the Church was not there, abortion would now be a human right in UN documents. The family would be redefined. Religious freedom would come under further attack,” Ruse continued.

An editorial on the UK-based website Catholic Voices blasted the report for perpetuating long-discredited “myths” about how the Church handled the sex abuse crisis and for an “extraordinary misunderstanding of the nature of the Church and the Holy See.”

The report is “seeking to impose an ideology of gender and sexuality in violation of the UN’s own commitment to religious freedom.”

“By adopting the mythical framework peddled by victims’ advocacy groups and lawyers … the committee has shown itself to be a kangaroo court. … The Committee has very seriously undermined both its own credibility and that of the UN as a whole.”