UN Blasts Vatican ‘Code Of Silence’
The first widely publicized case of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church unfolded right here in Acadiana. Father Gilbert Gauthe’ had been a priest in Broussard, New Iberia, Abbeville, and Henry. He admitted to hundreds of episodes of child abuse, rape & other offenses involving 37 boys. Gauthe’ was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1985, serving fewer than 10. He was arrested in 2008 for failing to register as a sex offender.
Since then, numerous similar scandals have come to light, the church has come under fire for allegedly sweeping those cases under the rug.
The Associated Press reports, a United Nations Human Rights committee issued a report on February 5th, 2014, blasting the Catholic Church for its “code of silence,” adding, “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.”
Vatican officials were reportedly taken aback by the harshness of the report. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told Vatican Radio, “It seems as if the document was prepared before the committee meeting, where the Vatican gave detailed responses on various points that weren’t reported in this concluding document or seem to not have been taken into consideration.”
The report is being hailed by victim groups worldwide.