John Heilprin of the Associated Press played up how the Catholic Church supposedly "sought to limit its responsibility for the global priest sex abuse scandal" in front of a United Nations committee on torture. Heilprin repeatedly underlined how the Holy See underwent a "grilling" by the UN panel for allegedly violating an "international treaty against torture and inhuman treatment" in its handling of the scandal.
However, the correspondent glossed over the committee's ideologically-tinged slam of the Church's longstanding stance against abortion, which it labeled "psychological torture." By contrast, Reuters' Philip Pullella and Stephanie Nebehay mentioned this attack near the end of their Monday report on the meeting:
Church groups defended the Catholic Church's efforts to stem abuse and criticised committee members who said the Church's opposition to abortion had harmed women.
"Attacking the Church's moral and religious beliefs violates the religious liberty of the Church, a human right which the United Nations affirms," said Ashley McGuire of Catholic Voices.
Heilprin led his article, "At UN, Vatican seeks limit on abuse responsibility," with his "grilling" term and his "sought to limit its responsibility" line. He soon spotlighted that "Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's U.N. ambassador in Geneva, lost no time asserting that its responsibility for enforcing the U.N. treaty against torture only applies within the confines of the tiny Vatican City."
The AP journalist continued by outlining that "committee member Felice Gaer's first question was to ask why the Vatican's first report to the committee — the subject of the hearing this week — came nine years late. Gaer, an American human rights expert, then took aim at the church's 'alleged distinction' in its treaty responsibilities between Vatican City and the Holy See." He failed to point out, however, that Gaer is on the record as describing herself as "fiercely pro-choice," as a January 2009 report from the MRC's CNS News reported.
Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review also noted in a Thursday item that "it has been suggested that the chairperson of the committee, Claudio Grossman, consider recusing himself from the hearings, with conflicts with the Church on abortion and same-sex marriage that certainly look like bias."
Later in his article, Heilprin quoted from Katherine Gallagher, a "human rights attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights," but omitted the far-left ideology of that organization. He merely labeled it a "nonprofit legal group based in New York," and highlighted that it "submitted reports on behalf of victims to both committees urging closer U.N. scrutiny of the church record on child abuse." The correspondent also cited Barbara Blaine, "president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP," but didn't mention her affiliations with prominent anti-Catholics.