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The Holy See in Dialogue with the Committee on the Rights of the Child

35 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2012  

Jane Adolphe

Ave Maria School of Law

Date Written: January 22, 2011


The Holy See’s commitment to the well being of children, born and unborn, is longstanding. By reason of their vulnerability, children occupy a special place in the heart of the Catholic Church and are the beneficiaries of special care. Since 2002, however, the Church’s commitment to children has been the subject matter of intense scrutiny, by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, due to increasing awareness about the sexual abuse of children by some Catholic clergy, religious and laity.

The Church’s heartfelt concern has taken concrete form in international law. The Holy See participated in the drafting process of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter “CRC”), which it ultimately ratified in 1990 with three reservations and one interpretative declaration.

The author argues that the Holy See’s faithful interpretation to the terms and content of the texts of treaties is congruent with international law on treaty interpretation. She offers points for consideration that better reflect the object and purpose of the Convention and an integral vision of the rights and duties of child within the context of the family and society, where he or she is protected from conception until natural death.

Keywords: Holy See, children, Convention on the Rights of the Child, treaty interpretation, family law

Suggested Citation

Adolphe, Jane, The Holy See in Dialogue with the Committee on the Rights of the Child (January 22, 2011). Ave Maria Journal of International Law, Vol. 1, No. 1, Fall 2011. Available at SSRN:

Jane Adolphe (Contact Author)

Ave Maria School of Law ( email )

1025 Commons Circle
Naples, FL 34119
United States

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