Italian religion expert blasts UN report demanding changes to Church teaching
ROME, February 6, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Italian Catholic commentators have blasted the February 5 report from the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child that demanded the Catholic Church change or ignore its teachings on human sexuality and abortion. Writing in the Catholic opinion daily La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, religion expert and sociologist Massimo Introvigne blasted the Committee for issuing “indiscriminate accusations” based on “statistical folklore” from outdated and biased sources.
The report on the Vatican City State’s compliance to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Introvigne wrote, “is evidence of how the tragedy of pedophile priests is used as an excuse and a cudgel to attack the Catholic Church.” It enjoins the Church “‘urgently’ to change its doctrine on homosexuality, abortion and contraception, and to rely upon ‘politically correct’ expert committees even for the interpretation of Sacred Scripture,” he said today.
In the name of protecting children from sexual abuse, the report demands that the Church drop its anthropological understanding of the complementarity of the sexes and its teaching on sexual purity. It “invited” the Church to “review Canon Law” to see what circumstances would “allow” abortion, contraception and the kind of radical “sex education” that normalizes homosexuality.
Its bias can be seen, Introvigne wrote, in its praise of the reform efforts by the Holy See in 2013, while “forgetting all the previous ones, in a misguided attempt to unfavourably contrast the Vatican of Pope Benedict XVI to that of Francis.”
Writing of “gay adolescents and children, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people” who must be defended from “discrimination,” the Committee urged the Church to follow “the statement issued by the progressive Pope Francis in July 2013” when he issued his famous comment on homosexuality in the priesthood, “Who am I to judge?”
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“Above all, they forget to say that these measures have worked, and may indeed be a model for other institutions that have the same problems of child abuse and are much less vigorous of the Holy See to counter them,” writes Introvigne.
Introvigne, an author, lecturer and the founder and managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions, points to the membership of the committee that drafted the report, chosen from among signatory nations, including Saudi Arabia and Uganda, and until 2013, Syria and Thailand, all countries that are regularly cited as among the worst in the world with regards to human rights abuses and child-trafficking.
“The most prominent, influential and famous of the Committee,” Introvigne said, is the Peruvian Susana Villarán, mayor of Lima and a Catholic “in constant dispute with the bishops of her country,” especially with the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima, Juan Luis Cipriani, “for her unbridled activism in favor of homosexual ‘marriage’ and the homosexual ideology of gender and abortion.”
Notable for her participation in the Lima “gay pride” demonstrations, Villarán has distinguished herself in Peru for her attacks on the Church on abortion and homosexuality and symbolically ‘married’ same-sex partners in Peru, where “gay marriage” and civil unions are not legal and where there is little public support for the homosexualist agenda.
Introvigne pointed out that the report is exactly the kind of outcome that had motivated the official “reservations” of the Holy See in signing on to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These stemmed specifically from concerns that ratification would “authorize the excessive interference by United Nations organs in the internal affairs of States subscribers,” including the Vatican City State.
The Catholic campaign group Famiglia Christiana also wrote today that the report is woefully behind the times on the Church’s response to clerical abuse that started years ago with Benedict XVI’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy. This is “a work of cleaning and renewal that Pope Francis wants to continue with force with the establishment of the Commission for the protection of children,” they wrote.
“While still a cardinal in his diocese, Pope Bergoglio had dealt very harshly with cases of abuse and today continues to recommend vigilance and commitment to prevention,” the group added.