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Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders, E/CN.4/2006/95/Add.5, March 6, 2006: Holy See

713. From the establishment of her mandate to 1 December 2005, the Special Representative has sent one communication to the Holy See in December 2002 that concerned a priest Don Vitaliano Della Sala, who was serving in the parish of San Giacomo. The priest was allegedly removed from his function in part because of his participation in a “gay pride” march in defense of the human rights of homosexual persons. The Holy See responded to the communication in July 2003 and stated that the measures taken against Don Vitaliano Della Sala were not related to his participation in a “gay pride” march. The response stated that the actions against the priest had been preceded by two admonitions, as prescribed in the Code of canon law of the Catholic Church and that measures such as those taken were an expression of the self–organizing capacity proper to every religious community and recognized by the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.

714.   The Special Representative would welcome further information from the relevant authorities in the Holy See concerning the situation for human rights defenders and the implementation of the Declaration so that this profile can be updated in the future.

link to full text of the Report: