United Nations Calls Catholic Church’s Pro-Life Teachings “Promoting Torture”

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 6, 2014   |   10:56AM   |   Washington, DC

It’s no secret that pro-abortion NGOs and diplomats from some nations that legalize abortion don’t want The Vatican involved at the United Nations and have undertaken campaigns to revoke its UN status, in large part because of its pro-life views.

Now that effort is taking the next step, as the Catholic Church’s pro-life teachings are being labeled as supposedly “promoting torture,” never mind the torturous effects of abortion on women and unborn children.

As the Washington Examiner reports:

unitednations2The United Nations is stepping up its attack on the Catholic Church‘s historic opposition to abortion, suggesting at a meeting Monday in Geneva that it amounts to “psychological torture” of women and should be repealed, a move Vatican officials refuse to consider.

A member of the United Nation Committee Against Torture also charged that the church’s anti-abortion stance has led women to seek out dangerous abortions, according to a pro-church representative at the Geneva hearing Monday.

“They are almost blaming the Catholic Church for unsafe abortions,” said Ashley E. McGuire of the group Catholic Voices USA in a telephone call from Geneva. “The church doesn’t believe there is anything as a safe abortion,” she added.

Among the questions about the Vatican’s anti-abortion position raised by the torture committee Monday was how it impacts the minds of women. One U.N. questioner said the “restrictions amount to psychological torture” of women, according to McGuire. “That’s crazy,” she added.

“Abortion is among the most egregious forms of torture than can be perpetuated against a child, and attacking the church’s moral and religious beliefs violates the religious liberty of the church, a human right which the United Nations affirms. Yet, the U.N. Committee Against Torture seems to be setting the stage that if you are pro-life you are pro-torture,” she added.

In an email to LifeNews, Steve Mosher of the Population Research Institute, a prominent pro-life group working on an international level, says he’s not surprised.

“It’s not as if we haven’t been warned. Last January, the chairwoman of another UN committee, this one the Committee on the Rights of the Child, “demanded” that the Holy See change Catholic doctrine,” he recalled, “because the current position of the Church supposedly violates the human rights of children.”

“The Committee Against Torture is criticizing the Holy See’s initial report under the “Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.” The problem, according to the “Solidarity Center for Law and Justice”, is that the Committee against Torture relies upon information that it receives from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (“OHCHR”) and various anti-Catholic NGOs,” Mosher explained. “What NGOs? The Center for Reproductive Rights, to name just one. And the CRR, as it is called, is in the forefront of groups which maintain that the position of the Catholic Church on contraception and abortion constitute a kind of torture.”

The chairman of the Committee on Torture, Claudio Grossman, has a long history of abortion and population control activism, Mosher noted. In 1994 he participated in a conference that examined possible strategies for ensuring that reproductive rights are respected in practice at the local, national, and international levels — and reproductive rights is the catch-phrase for abortion.



“Clearly, such groups are virulently opposed to the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church relating to the issues of life, abortion, sexuality, sexual orientation, marriage, family, bioethics, or euthanasia. Some members of the Committee against Torture are as well, and are unable to impartially review the Holy See’s report,” Mosher said. “While these groups and individuals fabricate accusations against the Catholic Church, and stretch the meaning of “torture” to absurd dimensions, real people continue to suffer real torture.”

“Where is their outrage against the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of tens of thousands of Christians who are suffering around the world in countries like China and Iran? Where is their concern over the killing, kidnapping, or forced conversion of Christians in places like North Korea, Pakistan, and Nigeria?” Mosher asked. “How can any reasonable person support the actions of the Committee on Torture against the one institution–the Catholic Church–that more than any other over the centuries has helped to eliminate, or greatly reduce, slavery, human trafficking, prostitution, and violence by teaching us that all human beings have an innate dignity and worth?”

Mosher concludes: “The Committee on Torture has abandoned its mandate and fallen into the hands of those who are so blinded by their anti-people ideology and anti-Catholic bigotry that they no longer understand that all human rights are based on the first freedom: freedom of conscience. By attacking the Catholic Church, the progenitor of freedom of conscience not just in the West, but globally, they are undercutting the very ground that they should be standing on.”

“If this is the best that the Committee on Torture can do, it ought to be disbanded,” he said.