VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is gearing up for a bruising showdown over the global priest sex abuse scandal.

On Thursday, The Holy See will be grilled by a U.N. committee in Geneva on its 1990 implementation of the U.N. Convention, which calls for signatories to take all appropriate measures to protect children from harm.

But testimony from victims and other evidence shows secrecy in the church to protect abusers, including correspondence from a Vatican cardinal praising a French bishop's decision to protect his abusive priest.