The Vatican said it would examine the report thoroughly and
reiterated its commitment to defending and protecting child rights in
accordance with the U.N. guidelines and "the moral and religious values
offered by Catholic doctrine."
The U.N.'s conclusions come after an unprecedented hearing in
Geneva on Jan. 16 in which Vatican representatives were questioned by the
Its recommendations are non-binding and the U.N. has given
the Vatican until 2017 to report back. It criticized the institution for
submitting its last report 14 years late.
"Well-known child sexual abusers
have been transferred from parish to parish or to other countries in an
attempt to cover-up such crimes," the report said.
It later added: "Due to a code of silence imposed on all
members of the clergy under penalty of excommunication, cases of child
sexual abuse have hardly ever been reported to the law enforcement
authorities in the countries where such crimes occurred."
The U.N. report also denounced the Holy See for its attitudes
toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion.