Archbishop Tomasi: "No Excuse for Child Abuse"


(11 Mar 10 - RV)The Vatican's representative to the United nations in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, toldthe 13th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday that the Church is committed to addressing the issue of sexual violence against Children.

Archbishop Tomasi was addressing the Council on the Rights of the Child.

Observing that Catholic clergy, religious and lay workers in a number of countries have been accused, and several have been convicted, of child abuse, Archbishop Tomasi affirmed that there is no excuse for this behaviour describing it as a grave betrayal of trust.

He told the session that protection from sexual aggression remains high on the agenda of all church institutions as they struggle to come to terms with this serious problem.

He also said that concrete measures to ensure transparency and assistance to the victims and their families are the only way to alleviate the pain, grief, and bewilderment caused by the abuse that has occurred.

Archbishop Tomasi went on to say that those who are found guilty of these crimes are immediately suspended from exercising their office and are dealt with according to the norms of civil and canon laws.

Prevention is the best medicine, the Vatican representative concluded inviting panel to share some best practices that can help children to recognize and report the improper behaviour of educators and caregivers.