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Vatican grilled on child abuse by UN watchdog

Published on Jan 17, 2014 3:09 AM

GENEVA (AFP) - The Vatican was Thursday pushed for the first time to provide answers to the UN over its commitment to stamp out child sex abuse by priests.

The landmark six-hour session before the UN's child rights watchdog in Geneva came as Pope Francis said Catholics should feel "shame", in an apparent reference to the scandals that have rocked the Church.

Pope Francis, who has vowed zero tolerance of abuse, last month created a special commission to investigate sex crimes, enforce prevention and care for victims.

Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Vatican's former top prosecutor, insisted the Church understood what it had to do. "The Holy See gets it, that certain things have to be done differently," he told the committee. "It's not words, it has to be commitment on the ground, on the level of the local churches," he added.

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