• Demanded the Vatican ‘immediately remove’ all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers and turn them over to civil authorities
  • Also said the Holy See should also hand over its archives on sexual abuse
  • Watchdog’s paper followed public grilling of Vatican officials last month
  • The Vatican was expected to issue a statement on the report later today

By Jill Reilly

PUBLISHED: 07:37 EST, 5 February 2014 | UPDATED: 12:17 EST, 5 February 2014

The United Nations has demanded that the Vatican ‘immediately remove’ all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers and turn them over to civil authorities, in an unprecedented and scathing report.

The U.N. watchdog for children’s rights said the Holy See should also hand over its archives on sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children so that culprits, as well as ‘those who concealed their crimes’, could be held accountable.

The watchdog’s exceptionally blunt paper – the most far-reaching critique of the Church hierarchy by the world body – followed its public grilling of Vatican officials last month.