Monday, May 05, 2014

AT U.N. Review of Anti-Torture Treaty Compliance, Holy See Says Its Ratification Applied Only To Vatican City State

The United Nations Committee Against Torture met today and will meet again tomorrow (UN press release) to review the Vatican's compliance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.  Every country that has signed the Convention must undergo a periodic review of its compliance record before the Committee.  The hearing is being watched closely on the issue of whether clergy sexual abuse around the world violated the Convention. The Holy See's initial report to the Committee and submissions from civil society organizations are all available from the UN's website. The full text of the presentation to the Committee today by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi is reported by Vatican Radio. As reported by AP, the Holy See contends that its obligations under the treaty only extend to the territory of the Vatican City State, and do not apply more broadly to the Holy See which governs the Catholic Church around the world. At issue is the language in the Declaration made by the Holy See when it became a party to the Convention:
The Holy See, in becoming a party to the Convention on behalf of the Vatican City State, undertakes to apply it insofar as it is compatible, in practice, with the peculiar nature of that State.