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"Child Rights": Another "Triumph" of Vatican Diplomacy

by Christopher A. Ferrara

In the June 9 issue of WorldNet Daily.com, columnist Mary Jo Anderson reports that the U.S. General Assembly Special Session for Children (to be held September 19, 2001) will "redefine rights for children" and that the U.N. "seeks to create a universal and autonomous legal standing for children 0-18 years of age."

The basis for this activity will apparently be the atrocious United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which has been ratified by all nations except the United States and Somalia. Even the Vatican City State has "acceded" to the CRC in its status as an observer-nation, albeit with certain utterly useless "reservations" about how the CRC’s terms should be interpreted. The Vatican’s official comments to the CRC include this statement, attributed in part to Pope John Paul II: "The Holy See regards the present Convention as a proper and laudable instrument aimed at protecting the rights and interests of children, who are ‘that precious treasure given to each generation as a challenge to its wisdom and humanity’ (Pope John Paul II, 26 April 1984)." Notice, however, that only the internal quotation contains the words of the Pope himself. The rest of the statement comes from "the Holy See"  —  that is, the Vatican Secretariat of State.

The story by Anderson notes that the United States opposes use of the CRC as a framework for the Special Session for Children. With good reason. Anderson quotes an assessment of the CRC by Concerned Women of America, a conservative public interest organization: "This treaty (CRC) divorces children from their parents, giving them full autonomy over every aspect of their lives. This assault on parental rights puts children's lives and well-being at risk, rather than seeking their best interest."

Anderson further notes that "legal scholars have asked whether those legitimate protections [of children] require that children also have rights to ‘assembly’ and rights to legal, psychological and medical services without parental consent? Such sweeping ‘rights’ make children masters of their own lives and thus vulnerable to everything from pornographers to abortion providers to pedophiles, say concerned family-values groups."

Why in Heaven’s name did the Vatican lend its support and prestige to a treaty which purports to recognize "child rights" as distinct from the natural rights of every human being  —  thus creating the notion of a disjunction between the rights of the child and the rights of parents in the rearing and education of the child? Are Vatican diplomats so obtuse that they cannot recognize the insidiousness of the whole concept of "child rights"? Are they so naive as to think that the United Nations is really concerned about the "rights" of children, as opposed to advancing the establishment of an officially atheistic world government that would be nothing more than a supranational version of the godless regimes which already rule every once-Catholic nation? Can they not see what is apparent to Concerned Women for America and millions of others members of the laity?

Moreover, how can Vatican diplomats be so stupid as to "accede" to a treaty which, as even the evangelical Protestant group Focus on the Family warns, establishes a treaty compliance committee that has "a virtually unlimited mandate to insert itself in the affairs of a nation. It can demand wholesale changes in a country's legal system, education system, and social-welfare institutions –– whatever is necessary to bring the country into line with the Convention."

Or is it a question of naivete or stupidity at all? Is it possible that the Vatican bureaucrats who contributed to this debacle knew exactly what they were doing and why they were doing it?

Anderson concludes by noting that "pro-family non-governmental organizations" at the U.N. "hope to help forestall any demand to make the Convention on the Rights of the Child the framework for the September World Summit for Children." Thus, it is left to the laity to defend the rights of the family by opposing a treaty lauded by the Vatican. And the same is true with the Vatican’s support and approval for the International Criminal Court, praised by Vatican Secretariat of State Cardinal Sodano and Archbishop Martino (the Vatican’s U.N. observer) as great advance for "human rights." Here too the laity must oppose what Vatican diplomacy has helped to establish.

To my neo-Catholic friends I pose this question: How much longer will you remain silent about the Vatican bureaucracy’s blatant involvement in the establishment of a godless New World Order?