In a recent report, a United Nations committee excoriated the Catholic Church for its continued failure to implement a 1990 document, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the Vatican is a signatory, especially with regard to the church's efforts to prevent child abuse by predator priests.
This comes as no surprise since the United Nations is hostile to Catholicism. The fact of the matter is that the church has made great strides in purging itself of abusers. It now provides one of the world's safest environments for children.
The panel's criticisms are sophomoric insofar as they fail to acknowledge the church's international presence. This, of course, includes countries where there is no rule of law or due process, or where there is an anti-Christian bias.
In such places, caution in reporting sexual abuse is necessary, lest the innocent be condemned.
Nevertheless, we can all agree that more should be done to protect children from sexual predators, and that those in supervisory positions, such as bishops, who are not vigilant should be removed and even punished for their negligence.
The report, however, was used as a vehicle to attack the church's moral teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality — issues that were unrelated to the group's purpose. Vatican officials acted like deer caught in the headlights.
What is obvious is the anti-Catholic animus that exists at the United Nations, in which the Vatican holds Permanent Observer status under its official title, the Holy See's Mission to the United Nations. This is equivalent to a non-voting membership.
As the last solid international bastion of morality, the church has for a long time been the target of social elites who want to create a new world order based on created rights, as opposed to natural rights.
The sex-abuse scandals have provided a cover for attacking Catholicism. The moral issues that appeared by stealth in the aforementioned report betray the real agenda of the United Nations: to undermine the legitimacy of the church.
Contrary to church teaching, the United Nations through its various auspices provides contraceptives and abortions to the developing world. It has also succeeded in promoting legislation in some countries that makes preaching against homosexual practices, even in churches, a hate crime liable for punishment.
While the United Nations gives lip service to religious freedom as a basic human right, it is itself one of the greatest offenders. This latest attack on Catholic moral doctrine is indicative of the hostility that it bears toward the church.
Note that very little is said about radical Islam's moral code, especially in its abuse of women's rights and its poor treatment of female children. Why? Because, the U.N. is afraid of the reaction.
The Muslim members of the United Nations give lip service, at best, to the body's statements on human rights and laugh up their sleeve at the same time.
By what authority or expertise does the United Nations dare interfere with a religious body's beliefs? None.
By playing the United Nations' game, the church, in effect, empowers the subversion of its teachings. The Vatican's participation in this hostile organization only confuses people.
In many instances, it validates through the dissemination of U.N. propaganda the myth of an anti-humanitarian Catholicism.
Committees such as the one mentioned above hope that its criticisms will eventually be recognized by the full body of the United Nations General Assembly and the church will be condemned in international law.
The United Nations is working toward having the Catholic Church identified as an international criminal organization.
Church authorities are playing a dangerous game. They must remember that Christians are in the world, but not of the world. It is the job of the church to point out evil, not to cooperate with it.
Jesus said, "As the world hated me, so will it hate you."
A strong response from Pope Francis to this latest U.N. anti-Catholic attack is in order. Archbishop Francis A. Challikatt, Vatican nuncio to the United Nations, should demand an apology.
If an apology is not forthcoming, the Holy See should give up its observer status at the United Nations, or, at the very least, stop signing onto documents that can be used to undermine the church.
The Rev. Michael P. Orsi is research fellow in law and religion at Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Fla.