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Fall synod to review state of family; 2015 meet for proposals

Pope Francis' reflections:
Torture a
'very grave sin'

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placeholder July 7, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 12   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
Pope Francis' reflections

Torture a 'very grave sin'
"I repeat the firm condemnation of every form of torture and invite Christians to commit themselves to work together for its abolition and to support victims and their families. … To torture persons is a mortal sin. A very grave sin."

In May, the U.N. Committee Against Torture questioned Vatican representatives about the Holy See's adherence to the 1987 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which the Vatican is a signatory. The committee later urged the Vatican to impose "meaningful sanctions" on any church authority that fails to follow church law in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and asked that church officials worldwide be required to report abuse allegations to local police. In response, the Vatican condemned sex abuse as a "serious crime and a grave violation of human dignity," but argued not all forms of sex abuse can be equated to state-sponsored torture under the terms of the treaty.

Pope Francis spoke after praying the Angelus at St. Peter's Square on June 22, relating his statement to the observance June 26 of the United Nations' International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Alessandro Bian chi/Reuters, cns

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