Jan. 16 - The Vatican is grilled by a U.N. panel over its handling of alleged child sex abuse scandal involving Catholic clergy around the world. Gavino Garay reports.
It's what Pope Francis has called "the shame of the Church" -- a child sex abuse scandal that has plagued the Catholic church for years. Now, the U.N. wants to know the full scope of the alleged child sex abuses, demanding more transparency. A U.N. panel of child protection experts grilled a delegation of Vatican officials in Geneva for six hours over its handling of the allegations that involve clergy around the world. Kirsten Sandberg, chairwoman of the 18-strong U.N. committee said, "the best way to prevent abuses is to reveal old ones - openness instead of sweeping offenses under the carpet." The head of the Vatican delegation, Silvano Tomasi: (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF VATICAN DELEGATION SILVANO M TOMASI SAYING: "Egregious crimes of abuse committed against children have rightly been adjudicated and punished by the competent civil authorities in their respective countries." Victims have accused the Church of covering up such abuses. Barbara Blaine of the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests: (SOUNDBITE) (English) SURVIVORS' NETWORK OF THOSE ABUSED BY PRIESTS PRESIDENT BARBARA BLAINE SAYING: "It's ironic that the church is saying that individual states are responsible for persecuting the priests and bringing them to justice. When the Catholic church officials obstruct justice, they intimidate witnesses, they hide evidence and destroy evidence..." In a bid to help protect minors and victims -- and to better screen priests -- Pope Francis ordered the formation of a child protection committee in December 2013.