The Committee Against Torture is currently holding its 52nd session at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from March 28 to May 23 and is reviewing periodic reports from the following 7 member states, Cyprus, The Holy See, Lithuania, Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Thailand and Uruguay.
The Holy See as the governing authority of the Vatican City State signed the United Nations Convention against Torture (CAT) in 2002. It is a requirement of the Convention that all member states that are party to the convention report periodically to the Committee established for the purpose of implementation of the Convention.
There has been an ongoing attempt by some committee members and hostile NGO’s to equate the Vatican City State with the entire Catholic Church and to use the opportunity once again to vilify the Catholic Church on both the issue of child abuse and its teaching on abortion.
The Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the UN in Geneva, Archbishop Tomasi told the Committee that the Holy See in acceding to the CAT in 2002, did so with the very clear and direct intention that it applied only to the territory over which the Holy See exercises its direct authority, the Vatican City State (VCS). There is 'much confusion' he said over the Holy See’s jurisdiction. The Holy See has 'no jurisdiction' over 'every member of the Catholic Church.'
Archbishop Tomasi also told the Committee that the Holy See 'globally encourages basic principles and authentic human rights' recognized in the convention, and implements the convention within the territory of Vatican City State, in harmony with the interpretative declaration the Holy See issued upon signing the convention.
The Archbishop continued by saying that all individuals who commit torture and abuse must face prosecution from legitimate government authorities.
'The Holy See wishes to reiterate that the persons who live in a particular country are under the jurisdiction of the legitimate authorities of that country and are thus subject to the domestic law and the consequences contained therein.'
In response to an accusation by Committee member Felice Gaer, director of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, that the Catholic Church's teaching on abortion may be responsible for nine-year-old rape victims giving birth Archbishop Tomasi said it was the Church's pro-life position that protected human rights.
‘The Holy See’s goal’ he said, ‘is to prevent children from being tortured or killed before birth, as is stipulated in the Convention,’ adding that ‘for example, in Canada, 622 living babies were delivered after failed abortion attempts, between 2000 and 2001. 66 such cases were registered in the UK in 2005. Some methods of late-term abortions constitute forms of torture, particularly in the case of dilation and evacuation, where 'the fetus, still alive, is dismembered to be pulled out of the womb in pieces.’
This is yet another example of an out of control United Nations (UN) Committee, which by declaring lack of availability to abortion to be a form of torture, has significantly overstepped its mandate of implementing the Convention.
One may ask why is the Holy See being targeted by this and other UN Committees such as the Committee on the Rights of the Child?
The Holy See has been the consistent voice at UN meetings that has always upheld not only the right to life, but all human rights based on natural law, despite constant pressure from the anti-life and family forces.
The proponents of the culture of death have for many years used the United Nations and other international Institutions to implement their ideologies.
We are in a critical period, coming to the end of the United Nations (UN) Cairo and Beijing programmes and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).
New continuation programmes are being negotiated at the UN in New York and Geneva with input from regional institutions and Conferences, such as ‘Beyond 2014’, ‘Beyond 2015’ and the Sustainable Development Goals
These programmes must be carefully monitored because there is an ongoing attempt by various entities to focus on population reduction and introduction of abortion, contraception and every so-called 'sexual freedom'.
The focus of the UN along with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in the area of maternal mortality for example, is primarily aimed at reducing the number of children a woman bears rather than making child bearing safe for every woman. This includes the provision of contraception and abortion.
They also want to introduce so called ‘same-sex’ marriage globally and teach innocent children ‘comprehensive sexuality education’ which is both immoral and actually pornographic in content.
These attempts are stiffly resisted at all levels by friendly Member States and NGO's, with excellent leadership from the Holy See. Is it any wonder then that the Holy See is under attack by committees such as this one?