A recent and demanding UN report reveals what the international organization actually wants of the Catholic Church: a rejection of her sexual moral principles.
We are grateful to LifeSiteNews and their correspondent, Hilary White, for allowing us to reproduce a very interesting and comprehensive piece on the United Nations and its anti-Catholic agenda concerning sexual morality.
What the UN really wants from the Catholic Church: a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis
by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent | Feb 17, 2014
On February 5, the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a scathing report telling the Catholic Church to leave its outmoded sexual morality behind. To equip our readers to respond to the finger pointing that is undoubtedly headed their way, we have compiled a paragraph-by-paragraph report debunking the claims.
An informed reading of the UN’s document (available here) is very revealing, and a useful teaching tool, as it more or less comprehensively summarizes the entire program of the revolutionaries against the traditional Christian worldview.
What follows is not nearly a comprehensive analysis, but more like what politicians call “talking points.” We offer it as a help, a starting point, for those who are faced with having to defend traditional Christian doctrines on sexual morality and the natural family at work, at home, in classes or at church. Readers are invited to follow the links to LifeSiteNews.com stories and other sources embedded in the text that explain and give more examples, data and facts [see the original article for these links—Ed].
Part I, paragraphs 10-17: The UN’s statist, materialist and anti-family ideology is radically at odds with Christian worldview
10. The Committee urges the State party [the Holy See] to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations… particularly those related to non-discrimination, children’s right to express their views and family matters."
From the first, the UN is assuming a model of “rights” that is deeply at odds with the Christian concept of family life and the relationship of individuals with the family. Essentially, they regard children as being radically separated from their family, particularly from their parents. This statist foundation of the UN’s goals comes out even more clearly later in the report.
This is the foundation of the gender ideologue’s notion of the human person as radically autonomous, a feature of modern humanistic philosophy that can also be seen in the new “bioethics” that holds “autonomy” to be the highest good, above even that of the right to life. It is at core an anthropology that assumes the individual is utterly sovereign and that “society” is held together not by the kind of mutual ontological ties found in families but by the external force of the state, and the pressure of the ideology behind the state.
Therefore, the Church’s insistence that “children’s rights” cannot be considered separately from the rights of families—often in opposition to the demands of the modern secular state—is the first point of departure from the UN’s concept. The UN on the whole is the world’s foremost proponent of the philosophical notion of materialist statism in which the individual, his duties as well as his rights, is seen only in relation to the needs of the state.
11 & 12—…“[T]he Committee reiterates its concern …about the Holy See‘s reservations to the Convention which undermine the full recognition of children as subjects of rights and condition the application of the Convention on its compatibility with the sources of law of the Vatican City State. The Committee recommends that the Holy See undertake the necessary steps to withdraw all its reservations and to ensure the Convention’s precedence over internal laws and regulations."
This requires a bit of history to understand. The Holy See only signed on to the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child with formal “reservations,” that have been a bone of contention ever since, and the pressure has never ceased for their unconditional withdrawal. The demand will continue, however, with the UN steadfastly refusing to acknowledge any reason or justification for them. The strategy is always to simply assume the total agreement of all for every point and nuance of their ideology and demand unconditional submission.
The Holy See, however, has simply insisted that they reserve the right to interpret the Convention according to Catholic social and moral teaching on the nature of the person and the family. Essentially, they have said that while they have committed themselves to uphold the rights of children, they will not be adopting the ideology that allows those rights to include what the UN’s Committee wants them to include. Their ideology, based as it is in radical materialism and utilitarianism, is simply anathema to Christian anthropology.
The Holy See is not the only body that has refused to take the UN’s materialist statist ideologies on board. The US has refused to sign the Convention, even with “reservations,” and family activists there continue to fight against the pressure to ratify.
Define your terms, please
13. [T]he Committee is also concerned that some of the rules of Canon Law are not in conformity with the provisions of the Convention, in particular those relating to children‘s rights to be protected against discrimination, violence and all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse."
One of the first things learned in the art of interpreting legislative texts is that the devil is always in the definitions. What, precisely, does the UN mean by “discrimination, violence and all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse”?
Although the Committee has declined to clearly define these terms, hints are given throughout the document that they are understood to include what many radical feminists mean by them; that “discrimination” can include refusing to allow children to be sexually active and “violence” can include refusing contraceptives and abortions to teenagers.
17. [Allocation of resources] The Committee …notes the absence of a comprehensive child-rights based approach to the allocation of resources to children…"
Again, this term is used throughout the report, but won’t you please give us clear definitions? What, precisely, do “child-rights” include? We shall soon see.
Part II, paragraphs 25-28: Let’s just drop all this ‘Christian morality’ nonsense
Starting at paragraph 25, the Committee starts becoming more explicit in its ideological demands. It is here that the Committee demonstrates too its utter failure to understand the difference between “teaching” and “policy.”
25. …While also noting as positive the progressive statement delivered in July 2013 by Pope Francis, the Committee is concerned about 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."
This is evidently a reference to the comment made by Pope Francis in the now-infamous airplane interview on the way back to Rome from World Youth Day. Asked by a journalist what he intended to do about homosexuality in the priesthood, Pope Francis replied, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?”
LifeSiteNews’ editor-in-chief, John Henry Westen, responded at length to the firestorm of headlines from around the world that followed this comment, explaining what the pope could not possibly have meant, in spite of the fond wishes of the people at The Advocate, Rolling Stone, Time magazine and, apparently, at the UN.
Simply put, the pope is not the CEO of a multinational corporation or the leader of a political party, but the guardian of a body of knowledge, of objective truth based on observable facts, which cannot be open to change according to the whims and preferences of political fashion. The “past statements” in question are in fact 2,000 years of teachings, doctrines, that are understood by the Church as factual descriptions of objective reality.
The Church has taught for twenty centuries, backed up latterly by elementary biology, that human sexuality is intended for procreation and the unity between married spouses, a man and a woman, and that we are made male and female—and nothing else—for this purpose. This is in accord with the Natural Law philosophy [cf: teleology] that understands that things in nature—sex, in this case—have certain purposes built into them.
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) [cf. this SSPX FAQ regarding the New Catechism] says: "2333: Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.
CCC 2334: "In creating men 'male and female,' God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity. Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God."
Homosexuality, by its nature, confounds the natural, (and therefore divinely authored) purpose of human sexuality. And homosexual acts can never be “approved of” by any pope or bishop, ever. Period.
It is worth reviewing the full entry in the CCC on homosexuality, which, notably, is considered separately from “offences against chastity.”
CCC 2357: “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”
They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."
Homosexuality as a condition is treated as distinct from homosexual acts; the temptation or inclination is not the same thing as acting on it. Most homosexualists seeking to accuse the Church of “discrimination,” of the kind the UN Committee means, stop there. And almost invariably they misquote the text, whether deliberately or not, claiming that the Church calls homosexual persons “intrinsically disordered.” In the homosexualist ideology, the person and the act are inseparable.
The report in the main reflects the ideology that insists it is only in accepting and approving the condition of homosexuality as intrinsic to the person that “discrimination” can be avoided. But the Church can never accept this idea. There being no scientific support for it, the Church is perfectly comfortable refuting the report’s assertion as a pure expression of the UN’s commitment to “gender ideology.”
The Church sees the human person as a divinely created and ordered whole, and his acts as morally accountable but separate from the person. A person with homosexual tendencies suffers from a mysterious disorder but is seen as a person first, with all the dignity inherent in human nature:
CCC 2358. The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition."
Again, the Church sees persons suffering from this mysterious disorder as persons, who are called to the same virtue of chastity as everyone else, according to his state in life and given whatever difficulties he faces in life, whether married or single, and by the same means and methods:
CCC 2359. Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection."
The Church, possibly alone among the world’s international bodies, insists that the person and the act are not the same thing, and that it is not necessary for any person to define himself according to this narrow and limiting, and harmful, condition.
It therefore rejects the ideology’s insistence on “gay” as being a kind of separate category of human being. This means it rejects from the start the entire edifice of “gender theory” that necessarily equates a person—and person’s worth—with this condition. “Sexual orientation” is purely an ideological term that the Church cannot recognize as a legitimate description of human nature.
26. …The Committee also urges the Holy See to 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."
Here the Committee, perhaps for the first time in the history of the UN’s relations with the Holy See, has forthrightly demanded that the Church abandon its teaching on sexuality and get on board with the modern world and its dedication to the dogmas of the Sexual Revolution.
The implication is that the Church does not already defend homosexuals from unjust discrimination, or do so sufficiently. Paragraph 2358 in the CCC, being based on a separation between the person and the act, and the Church’s rejection of the gender ideology’s concept of “sexual orientation,” is incompatible with the UN’s demand that there can be no such separation and that it is homosexuality itself that must be protected.
The birds and the bees—man and woman He made them…
27. With reference to its previous concern on gender—based discrimination
…the Committee regrets that the Holy See continues to place emphasis on the promotion of complementarity and equality in dignity, two concepts which differ from equality in law and practice provided for in article 2 of the Convention and are often used to justify discriminatory legislation and policies."
The Committee here is effectively admitting that they reject and oppose the foundational philosophical ideas behind all Catholic teaching on sexual morality and the family. To anyone outside the rarified ideological bubble of UN committees, it is simply common sense that human beings were made (or evolved, if you want) in the same way as every other higher life form on this planet—as male and female for the purpose of procreation of the species.
Define ‘equality’—I don’t think that word means what you think it means
28. The Committee urges the Holy See to adopt a rights-based approach to address discrimination between girls and boys and refrain from using terminology that could challenge equality between girls and boys. The Committee also urges the Holy See to take active measures to remove from Catholic schools textbooks all gender stereotyping which may limit the development of the talents and abilities of boys and girls and undermine their educational and life opportunities."
When the committee uses the term “equality between boys and girls,” it’s a good idea to ask them what it means, precisely. The notion of “equality” is at the core of the methodology used by the promoters of gender ideology to force it into legislation around the world. Who could possibly oppose “equality”?
The movement has used this leverage of guilt and moral blackmail to force “gay marriage” on unwilling populations around the world. When someone starts talking about “equality” ask them to be very specific about defining it. A detailed description of both the ideology and the political methodology was given by the German author Gabrielle Kuby, and can be read here.
Taking its point of departure from the radical feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s, the gender ideology insists that any depiction of men and women, boys and girls, that retains traditional, biology-based aspects of masculinity or femininity are examples of “gender stereotyping.” It is a dogma of the feminist ideologies that this “gender stereotyping” automatically tends to “undermine the educational and life opportunities” of girls and boys. (cf. Kuby, above.)
Part III—Committee repeating dated ‘media-folklore’ on sex abuse crisis
29. The Committee is particularly concerned that in dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse, the Holy See has consistently placed 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.
43. The Committee… expresses its deepest concern about child sexual abuse committed by members of the Catholic churches who operate under the authority of the Holy See, with clerics having been involved in the sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children worldwide. The Committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators."
The Committee follows by accusing the Church with, in point form:
- transferring child sexual abusers “from parish to parish;”
- using “disciplinary measures [that]… have allowed the vast majority of abusers and almost all those who concealed child sexual abuse to escape judicial proceedings in States where abuses were committed;”
- imposing “a code of silence… on all members of the clergy under penalty of excommunication;”
- refusing to make it mandatory to report sexual abuse cases to local civil authorities.
Predictably, the media, in its unquenchable thirst for cloak-and-dagger Catholic shenanigans, has in the last week pounced on this “proof” of the Vatican’s purported “code of silence.” A brief look at Google News at the time of writing show hundreds of articles, or the same article hundreds of times, from papers around the world repeating the UN’s accusation with little or no opposing commentary, despite the fact that the Committee deals with accusations that are years, and sometime decades, old.
But even more strange is the echo-chamber effect in which the report itself mainly repeated media-generated errors and accusations, their most popular charges against the Church as a whole and particularly against Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict. But such accusations, the kind frequently re-echoed by professional anti-Catholics like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens, have been thoroughly debunked and exhausted.
On the whole, the Committee has simply ignored the work of reform undertaken by Ratzinger and others in the Church’s handling of serious crimes by priests. It has also missed the fact that the cases of sexual abuse allegations mainly dated to the decades following the Second Vatican Council, the 1970s, 80s and 90s, and sometimes even further back.
The Committee’s reference to “national commissions of inquiry” is to those conducted in Ireland that resulted in a series of reports that showed horrific and systemic abuse of children and adolescents in state-funded institutions run by various Catholic institutions.
37. The Committee is concerned that the Holy See has not taken the necessary measures to protect and ensure justice for girls arbitrarily placed by their families, State institutions and churches in the Magdalene laundries of Ireland run by four congregations of Catholic Sisters until 1996.
d) Although the four Catholic congregations concerned function under the authority of the Holy See, no action has been taken to investigate the conduct of the sisters who ran the laundries and to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in holding accountable those who were responsible for the abuse as well as all those who organised and knowingly profited from the girls’ unpaid work.
38. d)… Assess the circumstances and reasons which have led to such practices and take all necessary measures to ensure that no women and children can be arbitrarily confined for whatever reason in Catholic institutions in the future."
This paragraph perhaps best indicates how historically out of touch the Committee is. What the Committee seems to have failed to notice is that such institutions were all closed decades ago, the still-living prelates involved have resigned and the Church, in the person of Pope Benedict XVI, has apologized and acknowledged that they were abusive and ought never to have existed.
Another point the Committee has failed to notice is that the Church does not have the power to punish with civil penalties those responsible for the abuse. Or that the religious orders ran the institutions but it was the state that maintained and sanctioned them and remanded young people to them.
In its demands that the Church automatically defer to the state authorities, the Committee might not be aware that it is demanding the universal Church adopt, essentially, a purely American “zero-tolerance” style policy. If this has been resisted, it is not because the Church is reluctant to put in adequate safeguards, but because of the injustices such a simplistic approach can entail, including by ignoring issues basic to any system of justice, like due process and the presumption of innocence.
As John Allen said, “the 67 million Catholics in the United States represent just six percent of the total Catholic population of almost 1.2 billion, meaning that 94 per cent of Catholics in the world don’t automatically see things through American eyes.”
Nevertheless, although the Church cannot endorse a global rule of automatic deferral to the state, or the abandonment of its legal concepts of due process, the reforms started by the former Cardinal Ratzinger in the 1980s have placed the Catholic Church at the forefront of what is now called “child protection best practice.”
Media-generated anti-Catholic frenzy peaked in 2010
The frenzy of Catholic-bashing over the sex-abuse crisis, particularly aimed at Pope Benedict—long a favorite target in the media for his defense of the Church’s teaching on sexuality through the 1980s—reached a peak in 2010 with the visit of the pope to the UK and the publication of the Irish government reports detailing clerical abuse of children and young people in Ireland.
Typical is this coverage by the New York Times accusing then-Cardinal Ratzinger of having refused to “defrock” a priest who had been a serial homosexual sex offender. The Times writes, “internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.”
As with other such cases, the media, with such breathless claims, was later found to be complicit in misleading and covering up the facts in the case of Lawrence Murphy, a priest who admitted to having abused boys in his care until the 1970s. It was revealed in this instance that Murphy’s bishop at that period, William Cousins, had not removed him from ministry when his offences were discovered. Cousins instead transferred the priest to a new diocese.
Later, Cousins’ successor, himself an admitted homosexual abuser, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, had not informed either the civil authorities or the Vatican until 1996, nearly 40 years after the offences had been committed. But at the time, the CDF did not have jurisdiction over sex abuse cases, a situation John Paul II was to change a few years later.
After receiving permission from Rome to conduct an ecclesiastical trial, Weakland dropped it, saying that he preferred a “pastoral solution” because of Murphy’s advanced age and ill health. Police investigations into the allegations at the time of the offences resulted in no charges being laid. The CDF was later cleared of any charge that it had obstructed attempts to lay civil charges.
But it is difficult to make sensational headlines out of such minute and fiddling details, particularly since Rembert Weakland, as an open homosexual and leader in the media-beloved “progressive” wing of the American Catholic episcopate, was considered untouchable as a journalism target, unlike Joseph Ratzinger.
NYT columnist and radical feminist Maureen Dowd sums up the general tone when she writes, “The sin-crazed ‘Rottweiler’ was so consumed with sexual mores—issuing constant instructions on chastity, contraception, abortion—that he didn’t make time for curbing sexual abuse by priests who were supposed to pray with, not prey on, their young charges.”
The Committee ignores the debunking
Despite these background facts being brought into the light years ago by a small army of Catholic journalists, bloggers and writers, (including in the Times itself) the New York Times never printed a retraction of its many attacks on Ratzinger/Benedict and has continued to pour on a steady stream of journalistic vitriol. And this is only one of a huge number of similar instances where the mainstream media has chosen to carry on with its highly popular narrative of ‘Ratzinger-the-Rottweiler’ and his corrupt—and above all “conservative” – Vatican.
Indeed, so careless did the secular media become with the facts that even the “progressive” wing of the Catholic press eventually took them to task for it. Michael Sean Winters, writing in the notoriously dissenting National Catholic Reporter, said that the NYT’s editors and writers in one of their attacks, “do not understand what they are talking about and, at times, put forward such an unrelentingly tendentious report, it is difficult to attribute it to anything less than animus.”
In 2010, Jack Valero, the head of the UK’s Catholic Voices, said he was told by fellow-panelists during a BBC program that he had “no right” to defend the pope. But Valero was among the many who said the pope is “completely innocent of the charges made against him.”
He added that “the media has merged with the mob and misreported the facts.” Indeed, this was happening with such frequency and viciousness that year that Valero joined with a group of other media-experienced Catholics in Britain to form Catholic Voices, a group formed to defend Pope Benedict and the Church during his visit to the UK.
Valero writes that during his tenure as head of the CDF, “Cardinal Ratzinger was the Vatican official who most clearly saw what was needed to tackle the problem” of clerical sex abuse. Valero points out that from the time Pope John Paul II gave him the task in the early 2000s, Cardinal Ratzinger set about reforming the process of laicizing, “defrocking” priests found to have committed grave offences, ending the need for canonical trials.
But one might expect more than a rehashing of such outdated and thoroughly debunked accusations from a United Nations committee. It is certainly easy enough to uncover the real facts of this and most other cases, with even Wikipedia giving details and links available leading to more original sources.
Ignoring the elephant in the living room: clerical sex abuse was homosexual in nature
Despite being bluntly told by the Holy See’s own delegate to the UN, the Committee continues to adhere slavishly to the dogmas of the homosexualist ideology, and is carefully ignoring the glaring fact that stands out about clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church: that it was perpetrated, and later protected, by homosexuals. Ultimately, it was the Sexual Revolution, not Catholic teaching on sexuality or canon law that precipitated the sexual abuse of young Catholics.
In 2009, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said it clearly: the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church was a matter of homosexuals preying on adolescent boys, not one of “pedophilia.” “Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90 per cent belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17,” he said.
Tomasi also said that while the Catholic Church has been “busy cleaning its own house, it would be good if other institutions and authorities, where the major part of abuses are reported, could do the same and inform the media about it.”
Others have pointed out that because it is hated in the media for refusing to bow to the Sexual Revolution, the Catholic Church has been an easy and tempting target for journalists, but the actual statistics have shown that compared to other professions, Catholic priests are less likely to sexually abuse minors. In 2004, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights summarized the research , showing much higher rates of abuse among teachers and school staff.
“According to a survey by the Washington Post, over the last four decades, less than 1.5 percent of the estimated 60,000 or more men who have served in the Catholic clergy have been accused of child sexual abuse. According to a survey by the New York Times, 1.8 percent of all priests ordained from 1950 to 2001 have been accused of child sexual abuse,” the League reported.
They also noted, “Almost all the priests who abuse children are homosexuals.” This finding was later backed up by the comprehensive John Jay Report on Catholic clerical sex abuse that found 80-90 per cent of priestly sexual abuse was committed against adolescent boys and young men. Similar studies in Europe have found even higher rates of homosexuality among priest-abusers.
It is not usually asked by the Church’s accusers how instances of sexually abusive priests became suddenly so prevalent in the 1970s and ‘80s, the period to which the vast majority of complaints date. Lorenzo Bertocchi, an Italian journalist and co-author of the book Investigation on Pedophilia in the Church, placed the source squarely at the feet of the Sexual Revolution.
"At the heart of the problem is the sex culture’ that, especially since ‘68, promoted a real revolution geared to ‘abolish the taboos,’” he told Zenit news agency. “The spread of pornography—which in some way represents the flag of this revolution—can be seen by everyone."
“The dominant mentality today is one that justifies sexual unions of every sort, and is a fruit of the thought rooted in De Sade, Freud, Fromm, Reich, Marcuse, etc.—those whom we could describe as prophets of the exaltation of the orgasm,” Bertocchi said.
Bertocchi said his book “gives examples of how this culture is still alive today.” “Representative is the case of the Dutch Pro-Pedophiles political party, recently dissolved for lack of signatures, but not because of a legal prohibition.”
“At its root, the sexual revolution of those years had the objective of attacking all types of authority, beginning with God's, and this, sadly, has left its mark also within the Church.”
Part IV: Odds and ends
Baby boxes: UN loves abortion, hates adoption
35. [T]he Commission is concerned with respect to the continuation of the practice of abandoning infants anonymous organized by Catholic groups in different countries through the so-called “baby boxes”.
36. …[It] invites the Holy See to deal with the abandonment of newborns by spreading family planning and reproductive health as well as appropriate advisory support… [T]he Commission urges the Holy See to cooperate to determine the cause of the abandonment of the practice of anonymous infants and to promote alternatives."
One has to know a bit of history on the issue to understand what it really means, but the first thing to be clear about is that it has been demonstrated countless times that at the UN, “family planning and reproductive health” are acknowledged code words for contraception and abortion. Asking the Church to become involved in “spreading” such practices is simply the same as asking it to give up its teaching on the nature of the human person and sex.
More specifically, a few years ago, reports started appearing of a number of hospitals in Europe and elsewhere that had revived the idea of “baby boxes” to provide a safe and anonymous place where mothers could leave an “unwanted” or “unplanned” baby to be properly cared for and ultimately adopted. These are medically approved and professionally monitored cubicles, staffed 24 hours a day and a child left in one of them is immediately taken into the care of the state and the medical supervision of the hospital.
The idea, a revival of a medieval practice, has come under criticism from some factions at the Council of Europe who revealed a startling hatred of adoption. To stop this deadly scourge of safe, medically monitored “baby boxes,” the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) heard a draft resolution that objected that such mechanisms could interfere with “the right of women to freely choose maternity.” In other words, baby-boxes are such a good way of dealing with an unexpected pregnancy that women would be less likely to abort.
The UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child took up the campaign against adoption and baby boxes. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper in 2012, Maria Herczog, a member of the Committee, said “that the arguments from critics were a throwback to the past.”
“Just like medieval times in many countries we see people claiming that baby boxes prevent infanticide.… There is no evidence for this.”
Simply, abortion ideologues don’t want anything, no matter how benign, to interfere with the abortion machinery, particularly not any alternative that would help women cope legally with an unexpected pregnancy in a way that does not result in the death of her child.
The PACE resolution denigrated adoption as an alternative to abortion, saying that where it is available it is used as a means of encouraging women not to have abortions. The drafters called baby hatches “controversial” and hinted that the idea encourages criminal activity and human trafficking. “Abandonment of newborn babies clearly raises the question of access for women—particularly migrant women—to sexual rights and reproductive health services.”
Asking the Holy See to encourage “alternatives,” this is plainly asking the Catholic Church to get on board with the only “alternative” acceptable to the Committee: abortion.
But gay adoption is a great idea…
48. … [T]he Commission expressed concern that the Holy See and the Church does not recognize the existence of different forms of families and often discriminate against children depending on their family situation."
Again, the question needs some clearer definitions. The Church certainly “recognises the existence” of broken families, of divorce and the havoc that it has caused in the world. The damage done to individuals and to societies by divorce and its inevitable camp follower, cohabitation, is certainly recognized by the Church.
But the Committee is not talking about the plight of women raising children without the benefit of the protection and support of marriage. The expression “different forms of families” is code from the homosexualist movement to mean homosexual unions and the popular homosexualist doctrine that same-sex partnerings are equal to, indeed exactly the same as, natural marriage.
The notion that is essential to this homosexualist article of faith, that children fare as well in same-sex households as in natural families, is widely disputed by the research. Saying it out loud may no longer be politically correct, but the Church opposes the use of children as “trophies” in the political machinations of the homosexualist movement.
Indeed, even their political supporters have not entirely climbed on board with the idea of “gay adoption.” The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2012 that there is no such thing as a “right” for same-sex partners to “marry,” and that restricting adoption to opposite-sex partners is not discriminatory.
The state can do no wrong
Here the UN reveals its master key to all problems: more state involvement in the private sphere of the family. The Committee pushes hard throughout the report for what is essentially a deeply statist intervention under the guise of protecting children from abuse by families.
41. The Committee is concerned about the Holy See’s position that civil authorities should intervene in the family setting only in cases where a proven abuse has been committed in order not to interfere with the duties and rights of the parents. Such a position seriously undermines efforts and measures to prevent abuse and neglect of children.
42. … [The] prerogatives of the parents should in no way undermine children’s right to be protected from abuse and neglect."
Perhaps the Committee has forgotten that the Catholic Church spans the whole globe, not just the comfortable societies of the Western world where reporting crimes to police can be done with a reasonable expectation of a just and lawful outcome. There are still places in the world where bringing in the state (which is what “national law enforcement” means) would be a grave threat to the safety of victims as well as perpetrators.
As Dr. Jeff Mirus put it in 2010, “The Church does not and should not recognize the right of the State to interfere in her own affairs.”
Leaving aside the question of the rights of families to govern their private lives, and the ample statistical evidence that children are best protected by their natural families, what is to stop the state from deciding, as it already has in some parts of Europe, (notably Sweden and Germany) that a Christian upbringing by itself constitutes abuse and a pretext for removing the child from the home?
The Church still has sharp living memories of horrifying state persecution in places like Romania and Albania, and still has to deal with it in places, like Ukraine at this moment, where calling local “law enforcement” is going to put entire congregations at imminent risk of violence. Apparently the Committee “forgot” that lethal violence against Christians, on any pretext or none, is a rapidly growing reality in more and more places in the world.
John Allen wrote in 2010 of the experience of the Ukrainian Catholics with the state police who were even then seeing “a new pro-Russian government …reviving Soviet methods.” Ukrainian Catholic prelates, Allen said at that time, were receiving unexpected visits from police and Catholic staff were receiving “ominous calls … of the ‘we know where you live’ variety.”
As anyone who has seen the news recently will know of the growing conflict in Ukraine, pro-democracy forces, strongly supported by the Ukrainian (Greek) Catholic Church, are receiving a similar response in their efforts to force the country back to a functioning democracy.
The gloves come off: telling the Church to change her teaching on abortion
54. The Commission expresses its deepest concern because in Brazil in 2009 in the case of a nine year old girl who was subjected to a life-saving abortion after being raped by her stepfather, an archbishop of Pernambuco has sanctioned the mother of the girl as well as the doctor who performed the abortion, a sentence which was subsequently approved by the Congregation of Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church.
55. The Commission invites the Holy See to reconsider its position on abortion that obviously puts at risk the lives and health of pregnant girls, and to amend the Canon 1398 on abortion by identifying the circumstances in which access to abortion may be permitted.
56. The Commission is deeply concerned by the negative consequences of the position and practice of the Holy See denying teenagers access to contraception as well as health and sexual and reproductive health information.
57. (...) The Commission reminds the Holy See the dangers of early and unwanted pregnancies and illegal abortion, that for adolescent girls result in remarkably high rates of maternal morbidity and mortality, as well as the risk that the girls and boys from contracting diseases and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS."
The reference is to the worldwide scandal that occurred when the then-head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, wrote an editorial that appeared to condone the abortion conducted on a nine-year-old rape victim in Brazil, in 2009. The editorial came after the story exploded into the media when the girl’s local archbishop condemned publicly the abortion, and repeated Church teaching that the doctors involved had incurred the automatic penalty of excommunication, delineated in Canon 1398.
This conflict continued for over a year and finally resulted in the removal of Fisichella from the Pontifical Academy for life, and the publication of a clarification by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith strongly reiterating the Catholic teaching on the sanctity and absolute inviolability of the innocent human being in the womb, no matter what the circumstances of her conception.
The idea that this incident could be used as a pretext for the Church to drop its defense of that life is simply absurd and outrageous. The “invitation” indicates that the UN Committee has no concept of why the Church teaches what it does and has no respect for the UN’s own 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child that said the child “needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.”
Here, possibly for the first time, the UN has revealed its deep pro-abortion bias and openly demanded that the Church simply abandon its teaching that contraception and abortion are grave moral offences, evil, in short, and deadly to children, harmful to women, to marriage and the societies that adopt it.
To sum up:
Tomasi also said that the document is outdated, having either failed or refused to take into account “what, over the last few years, has been done by the Holy See, with the measures taken directly from the authority of Vatican City State and then in various countries by the individual [national] Episcopal Conferences.”
Rather pointedly, Archbishop Tomasi added that the Holy See “intends to observe [the Convention] in the spirit and letter… without added ideologies or impositions that lie outside of the Convention itself.”
“Of course, when a child is killed it no longer has rights! Hence this seems to me to be a real contradiction of the fundamental objective of the Convention, which is the protection of children.”
But accusations like the ones made by the report aren’t meant to be based on facts, which is why the plain reiteration of the facts has already met with a deaf ear at the UN.
At its core, the report is simply an expression of the increasingly shrill secularist demand that the Catholic Church, with its radically divergent worldview and concepts of the purpose and meaning of human life, effectively disband as a global institution.
“The Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed…” It’s hard to imagine what, apart from the abolition of the Catholic priesthood and voluntary dismantling of all the Catholic Church’s visible governing structures, would be enough acknowledgement to satisfy.