di Marcello Mento
Madrid, February 5 - A plan to improve Church transparency in how it deals with cases of child sex abuse will soon be released, the Vatican's spokesman Federico Lombardi said Wednesday. He spoke after a United Nations human rights committee released a report that denounced the Vatican's behavior in allegedly hiding decades of sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children by clergymen. The U.N. committee on the Rights of the Child also urged the Vatican to hand over its archives on sexual abuse so that culprits and "those who concealed their crimes" could face justice. Lombardi, who was in Spain for a meeting of the national Catholic bishops' conference, spoke of "a need for transparency" within the Church, which he said would be demonstrated in a plan to be detailed "in the coming days or weeks". While Lombardi was not clear on what the plan would entail, last year Pope Francis also said that dealing with sex abuse in the Church was crucial to maintaining its credibility. To that end, in early December, he announced that a Vatican committee would be set up to advise him on how the Church could protect children and help victims of sexual abuse by clergy. At the same time, the pope also expanded the definition of crimes against minors to include sexual abuse of children. Meanwhile, said Lombardi, the Church must continue to respond to ideological "attacks" against its teachings.