ROME, February 5, 2014 ( – A report by a UN human rights committee is a thinly disguised ideological attack on the Catholic Church’s teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality – and even the nature of human sexuality – under the guise of a critique of the sex abuse scandals, says a leading pro-life NGO.

Pat Buckley, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children’s representative in Geneva, said the Committee on the Rights of the Child that drafted the report has “significantly overstepped its mandate” by demanding changes to Catholic teaching.  

“There is nothing in the Convention [on the rights of the child], which requires the Catholic Church or any other body to facilitate abortion, contraception or homosexuality,” Buckley said.


The Church, the report said, must identify “circumstances under which access to abortion services can be permitted.” It must “overcome all the barriers and taboos surrounding adolescent sexuality that hinder their access to sexual and reproductive information, including on family planning and contraceptives,” it added.

The committee also attacked the Church’s teaching on sexual “complementarity and equality in dignity,” the idea that human beings are made by God to be male and female for the purpose of procreation and equal in moral dignity. This concept, they said, which lies at the heart of all Catholic teaching on sexuality, “differ[s] from equality in law and practice provided for in article 2 of the Convention and are often used to justify discriminatory legislation and policies.”

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The committee also wants the Church to “ensure that sexual and reproductive health education and prevention of HIV/AIDS is part of the mandatory curriculum of Catholic schools.”

It condemned the “Holy See’s past statements and declarations on homosexuality which contribute to the social stigmatization of and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescents and children raised by same sex couples.”

The report demanded that the Holy See “make full use of its moral authority to condemn all forms of harassment, discrimination or violence against children based on their sexual orientation or the sexual orientation of their parents and to support efforts at international level for the decriminalisation of homosexuality.”

The committee repeated the long-discredited claim that Catholic clergy were ordered to remain silent about sex abuse under pain of excommunication. It accused the Catholic Church of being concerned only with “the preservation of the reputation of the Church and the protection of the perpetrators above children’s best interests, as observed by several national commissions of inquiry.”

John Smeaton, executive director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, blasted the committee, saying there is a “great deal of hypocrisy” in their report.

“Under the cover of seeking to protect children against sexual abuse, the report promotes damage to children – the destruction of unborn children through abortion and the destruction of born children’s innocence through the promotion of contraception and homosexuality.”

Smeaton added a call for pro-life and family groups to come to the UN to “help the Holy See in its vital work of protecting unborn children and the marriage-based family. This work is under constant attack by the Catholic Church's enemies, as manifested in the committee’s report today.”