(ROME) -- The Vatican is undergoing tough questioning by a United Nations committee regarding its record on sex abuse by priests in the Catholic church.
The U.N. committee against torture is examining whether the Vatican has breached the international treaty against torture in its handling of sex abuse cases. If so, the Vatican would be open to more lawsuits.
The Vatican is arguing that the treaty it’s signed on to only applies to the 1,000 or so people who live inside Vatican City, and not to church employees and clergy around the world.
Earlier this year another U.N. committee, on the rights of the child, rejected that argument and issued a scathing report of how the Vatican put its own interests ahead of protecting children from molesters and prosecuting abusers.
The committee against torture will issue its final report on the Vatican in three weeks.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio