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Letter to Biden Re: New Ambassador to the Vatican

“The Vatican has used its international reach and diplomatic ties to obstruct justice by protecting child rapists and war criminals from secular authorities …. The U.S. government, in recognizing the diplomatic status of the Vatican, is aiding this criminality.”

“The U.S. recognizes papal ambassadors, called ‘nuncios,’ granting immunity to these officials. The nuncios are taking advantage of that status.”

“The Vatican has explicitly relied on its diplomatic status to thwart lawsuits by American victims of priestly abuse and assault.”

“The Roman Catholic Church has no desire to cooperate with investigations into its finances and crimes.”

The above are just some of the reasons given why the Freedom From Religion Foundation objected to Pres. Joe Biden’s appointment of former Sen. Joseph Donnelly as Ambassador to the Holy See. In an eight-page open letter to Biden and Sect. of State Antony Blinken, the FFRF provides copious examples supporting the above statements to justify their request that the U.S. sever diplomatic ties with the Holy See. “Diplomatic ties were only officially established by Reagan in 1984.” (See https://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/39939-ffrf-urges-biden-to-end-diplomatic-relations-with-the-vatican)

“The Vatican’s obstruction and abuse of its diplomatic status occurs at nearly every level, including, as the earlier examples made clear, in the Vatican’s handling of child rape cases, which the New York Times dubbed “denial, legalistic foot-dragging and outright obstruction,” the letter continued.

On February 5, 2014, “the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child commented on the Holy See’s second periodic report, which was 14 years late. The CRC noted: [C]lerics have been involved in the sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children worldwide. The Committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, nor taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have enabled the continuation of sexual abuse by clerics and impunity for the perpetrators,” the FFRF wrote.

On March 5, 2014, Pope Francis responded that, as regards the sexual abuse of children, “The statistics on the phenomenon of violence against children are shocking, but they also show clearly that the great majority of the abuses come from the family environment and from people who are close. The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution that moved with transparency and responsibility. No one else did as much. And yet, the Church is the only one being attacked.”

Seven years later, Pope Francis has still “not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, nor taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and adopts policies and practices which have enabled the continuation of sexual abuse by clerics and impunity for the perpetrators” as the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child stated. (See https://opentabernacle.wordpress.com/2021/07/03/un-rebukes-pope-francis-on-child-sex-abuse-again/)

Biden will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Oct. 29. After German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with the pope on Oct. 7, she said “the truth must be exposed and that the issue of child abuse must be dealt with.” Unfortunately for the world’s children, Biden will not address the issue.

Betty Clermont is author of The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America.

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