VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Appearing before a U.N. committee monitoring adherence to an international treaty designed to fight torture, Vatican officials repeatedly were asked about efforts to investigate allegations of clerical sexual abuse, punish offenders and cooperate with civil authorities in prosecuting the perpetrators.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva, led the Vatican delegation at the May 5-6 hearing of the Committee Against Torture, which monitors the implementation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.

The cases of clerical sexual abuse of children are a reality which the Catholic Church wishes never happened, he said, but, “human nature being what it is, they did happen.”

Read more here.