The Vatican was questioned this week at the UN Committee against Torture in relation to cases of sexual abuse and violence that have been reported for years by victims and the media. This is the first time the Holy See presented a report to the Committee, since it ratified the text in 2002 .
The hearing was a rare moment to see the Catholic Church being interrogated by a human rights surveillance instance in relation to sexual crimes committed by clerics. However, in the Brazilian press, the coverage was anemic. The country’s main newspapers mentioned the hearing briefly on the basis on information released by international news agencies (here – here – and here). These shorts articles are rather shallow and do not examine the conditions that trigger the abuses within the Church or the role of the Holy See in covering them up and not always punishing the perpetrators.
Deeper and better contextualized analysis can be found in the reports circulated by international organizations, in particular the Center for Constitutional Rights, but also in a number of articles published by the international press (see below).
A question must therefore be asked: why the converage of the Brazilian press has been so meager?
Democracy Now: As UN Torture Committee Probes Vatican, Sex-Abuse Survivors Urge Church to End Decades-Long Cover-up
Center for Constitutional Rights – Vatican Officials Questioned by Second UN Committee About Sexual Violence
ABC: United Nations Committee against Torture grills Vatican on clerical sexual abuse
The Guardian: Vatican tries to draw line under clerical sex abuse scandals at UN hearing
NY Times: U.N. Panel on Torture Presses Vatican Envoy on Abuse