The Vatican has struck back at a U.N. human rights committee that issued a scathing report on sex abuse by priests, accusing it of straying beyond its mandate and discrediting the U.N. as a whole.

The Vatican said Friday the committee had adopted the "prejudiced" positions of anti-Catholic advocacy groups and had ignored both the Holy See's unique status and its efforts to address the abuse crisis in recent years. It blasted what it called the "absolutely anomalous" publicity the committee gave its report and promised a fuller response at a later date.

The committee on Wednesday accused the Vatican of systematically placing its own interests over those of victims by enabling priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children through its own policies and code of silence.