Vatican seeks to defuse row with UN over child abuse report
ROME (REUTERS) - The Vatican sought to defuse tensions with the United Nations on Friday after a damning report which accused the church of covering up child sex abuse by priests.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi adopted a markedly softer tone to Wednesday's sharp criticism of a report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The paper accused the Church of valuing its reputation above the protection of children and demanded the Vatican turn over suspected offenders to civil justice.
The Vatican had originally planned a muted response, according to a person familiar with the matter, but attacked the report's demands that the church scale back its opposition to abortion, artificial contraception and homosexuality.