Clergy Abuse Victims Want UN to Investigate Vatican

NEW YORK, April 13 /PRNewswire/ --

What

At a news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will call on the United Nations to launch a investigation into the role of Pope Benedict and Vatican officials in the widespread cover-up of sex crimes against children. Victims also want the U.N. to take action for the Pope's refusal to submit required reports as a signatory of the U.N. Charter on the Protection of the Rights of Children.

Where

In New York City, Millennium UN Plaza Hotel, One United Nations Plaza, 44th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenue) (The Governor's Room, 2nd floor)

Who

Several clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters, including a Chicago woman who heads a self-help support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).

WHY

On Friday, April 18, Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to speak before the United Nations yet the Vatican continues to violate a major UN Charter on the Protection of the Rights of Children, of which the Vatican is a signatory.

The widespread sexual abuse of children and the cover up of child sex crimes by church officials poses a major global human rights threat to children. In the U.S. alone, nearly 6,000 sex offender clergy have been acknowledged by church officials to have sexually assaulted children. If this number holds worldwide, there are likely 20,000 sex offender clerics around the globe.

In a letter being sent to UN officials today, leaders of SNAP are calling on the United Nations to launch a full-scale, global investigation into the commission and cover up of sex crimes against children by Catholic clergy, bishops and church officials around the world.

Victims are concerned that Pope Benedict, who will undoubtedly chastise nations this week for human rights violations, is administering a world wide institution in which human rights violations against children are an historic, ongoing and daily occurrence.

Under his leadership in the Vatican for the last 27 years - as Pope and formerly as head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith - thousands of predator priests have raped, sodomized and sexually brutalized thousands of children.

Countless church officials who kept silent about the crimes -- or actively concealed them -- have neither lost their jobs or faced reprimand by the Pope.

National and international criminal authorities have had little, if any, cooperation from church officials in stemming the tide of child sex crimes by clerics, or have been notified when church officials transfer known pedophiles across international boundaries.

SOURCE Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests; SNAP

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