Dissident Catholics assail Vatican role at UN

NEW YORK (AP) — A group of activist Roman Catholics is asking the United Nations to revoke the Vatican’s permanent observer status for failing to protect the rights of women, children and the LGBTQ community.

The group, calling itself Catholics for Human Rights, said in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday that the Vatican must be removed in part because of the “magnitude of rape, sexual violence and torture perpetrated by clergy.”

The activists also said the Holy See excludes women from positions of authority and opposes contraception, same-sex marriage and abortion.

In Rome, the Vatican did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

U.N. chief spokesman Stephane Dujarric said it had no immediate reaction.

Any change in the Vatican’s status would have to be decided by U.N. member states.

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