Vatican 'regrets' damning UN report on abuse

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Vatican 'regrets' damning UN report on abuse
Pope Francis listens to his speech being translated in several languages, during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. A U.N. human rights committee denounced the Vatican on Wednesday for ?systematically? adopting policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, and urged it to open its files on the pedophiles and the bishops who concealed their crimes. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Kirsten Sandberg, chairperson of the U.N. human rights committee on the rights of the child, talks during a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. A U.N. human rights committee denounced the Vatican on Wednesday for adopting policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, and urged it to open its files on the pedophiles and the churchmen who concealed their crimes. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Kirsten Sandberg talks to committee members Maria Herczog, right, and Benyam Mezmur during a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Kirsten Sandberg gestures as she joins committee members Maria Herczog, right, and Benyam Mezmur, left, for a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. A U.N. human rights committee denounced the Vatican on Wednesday for systematically adopting policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, and urged it to open its files on the pedophiles and the bishops who concealed their crimes. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis waves as he leaves at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. A U.N. human rights committee denounced the Vatican on Wednesday for systematically adopting policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, and urged it to open its files on the pedophiles and the bishops who concealed their crimes. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Teodoro Pulvirenti, an Italian who lives in New York, and an alleged victim of abuse by his priest in Italy when he was a teenager, is interviewed in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. The Vatican is now facing a bruising showdown over the global priest sex abuse scandal, forced for the first time to defend itself at length and in public against allegations it enabled the rape of thousands of children by protecting pedophile priests and its own reputation at the expense of victims. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
A man holds a placard during a demonstration against the Holy See outside the headquarters of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva on January 16, 2014. The Vatican is facing questions over clerical abuse of children at a hearing of a UN children's rights committee. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the Vatican's delegation, including former Vatican Chief Prosecutor of Clerical Sexual Abuse Charles Scicluna (C) and Christophe El-Kassis (R), wait for the start of a question-and-answer session dedicated to clerical sexual abuse of children by priests, on January 16, 2014, in Geneva, at the headquarters of the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
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VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican says it regrets what it calls the attempt by a U.N. committee to interfere with its teaching on abortion and contraception in a damning report on the priestly sex abuse scandal.

The U.N. report on Wednesday said the Vatican should change its rules on abortion and teach sexual education in Catholic schools to ensure children's rights and their access to health care are guaranteed.

The Vatican said in a statement that it remains committed to defending and protecting the rights of children but that it regrets that the committee had attempted "to interfere with Catholic Church teaching on the dignity of human person and in the exercise of religious freedom."
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