A “ludicrous publicity stunt.” ?????
– Ireland Demands $2 Billion In Child Abuse Compensation From Vatican (Bloomberg)
– Vatican Warned Irish Bishops Not to Report Child Abuse (AP)
– Abuse Victims Seek Court Case Against Pope (TIME, Sept. 13, 2011):
(THE HAGUE, Netherlands) — Clergy sex abuse victims upset that no high-ranking Roman Catholic leaders have been prosecuted for sheltering guilty priests have turned to the International Criminal Court, seeking an investigation of the pope and top Vatican cardinals for possible crimes against humanity. The Vatican called the move a “ludicrous publicity stunt.”
The Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based nonprofit legal group, requested the inquiry Tuesday on behalf of the U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, arguing that the global church has maintained a “long-standing and pervasive system of sexual violence” despite promises to swiftly oust predators.
The Vatican’s U.S. lawyer, Jeffrey Lena, called the complaint a “ludicrous publicity stunt and a misuse of international judicial processes” in a statement to The Associated Press.
The complaint names Pope Benedict XVI, partly in his former role as leader of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which in 2001 explicitly gained responsibility for overseeing abuse cases; Cardinal William Levada, who now leads that office; Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state under Pope John Paul II; and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who now holds that post.
Attorneys for the victims say rape, sexual violence and torture are considered a crime against humanity as described in the international treaty that spells out the court’s mandate. The complaint also accuses Vatican officials of creating policies that perpetuated the damage, constituting an attack against a civilian population.
Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network, said going to the court was a last resort.
“We have tried everything we could think of to get them to stop and they won’t,” she told The Associated Press. “If the pope wanted to, he could take dramatic action at any time that would help protect children today and in the future, and he refuses to take the action.”
The odds against the court opening an investigation are enormous. The prosecutor has received nearly 9,000 independent proposals for inquiries since 2002, when the court was created as the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal, and has never opened a formal investigation based solely on such a request.
Instead, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has investigated crimes such as genocide, murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers in conflicts from Darfur to this year’s violence in Libya. Such cases have been referred to the court by the countries where the atrocities were perpetrated or by the U.N. Security Council.
Also, the Holy See is not a member state of the court, meaning prosecutors have no automatic jurisdiction there, although the complaint covers alleged abuse in countries around the world, many of which do recognize the court’s jurisdiction.
“Politically, people do not want to look at this,” said Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Pam Spees before walking to the court with victims to hand prosecutors boxes full of documents.
But Spees conceded she was “not hopeful” the court would launch an investigation.
The prosecutor’s office said in a statement the evidence would be studied. “We first have to analyze whether the alleged crimes fall under the Court’s jurisdiction,” it said.
Attorneys for the Survivors Network argued that no other national entity exists that will prosecute high-level Vatican officials who failed to protect children.
In the U.S., no Roman Catholic bishop has been criminally charged for keeping accused clergy in parish jobs without warning parents or police. Within the church, only the pope can discipline bishops. The few who have been publicly punished by the Vatican have been sanctioned for molesting children, not for negligence in supervising priests.
“When a church has been left to its own devices it does nothing. It wouldn’t even have the reforms it has now if these cases hadn’t begun to bubble up and erupt in the public outside the confines of what the church can control,” said Spees.
The Survivors Network and victims are pursuing the case as the abuse scandal, once dismissed as an American problem by the Vatican, intensifies around the world. Thousands of people have come forward in Ireland, Germany and elsewhere with reports of abusive priests, bishops who covered up for them and Vatican officials who moved so slowly to respond that molesters often stayed on the job for decades.
Vatican officials and church leaders elsewhere have apologized repeatedly, clarified or toughened church policies on ousting abusers and, in the U.S. alone, paid out nearly $3 billion in settlements to victims and removed hundreds of priests. Bishops insist they fully grasp the devastation that molestation causes to victims and the limits that dioceses must impose on abusive clergy.
However, the scandal is far from resolved.
The Vatican is fighting on multiple legal fronts in the U.S. against lawsuits alleging the Holy See is liable for abusive priests. Just last month, the Vatican was forced to turn over internal personnel files of an abusive priest to lawyers representing a victim in Oregon.
Those prosecutions also could form an impediment to the ICC taking the case. The tribunal is a court of last resort, meaning it will only take cases where legal authorities elsewhere are unwilling or unable to prosecute.
Also, the court doesn’t investigate crimes that occurred before its 2002 creation. A study commissioned by the U.S. bishops from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York found abuse claims had peaked in the 1970s, then began declining sharply in 1985, as the bishops and society in general gained awareness of the problem.
But Blaine said the abuse continues and she wants church leaders to face justice.
“These priests and church officials live by some other law,” she said. “Somehow they’re not held accountable like every other citizen of a nation. That would be horrific in and of itself but what must end is shattering the innocence of even one more child.”
Center for Constitutional Rights: http://ccrjustice.org/
Related articles – “By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them!”:
…and by their signs:
Satanists love pedophiles and child porn
Picture from the Satanic Bible
This is a handsign of the devil worshippers (goat horns).
Horned Hand or The Mano Cornuto: this gesture is the Satanic salute, a sign of recognition between and allegiance of members of Satanism or other unholy groups.
Anton Lavey, founder of the Church of Satan
– Belgian Catholic Church Child-Sex Abuse Victims Sue Holy See (Sydney Morning Herald/AFP)
– Pedophile and Drug Scandal Case Hits Archdiocese of Pope’s Pedophilia Adviser (TIME)
– Dutch Priest Belonged To Paedophile Club (AP)
– Vatican Warned Irish Bishops Not to Report Child Abuse (AP)
– Pope Benedict’s Child Porn ‘Normal’ Claim Sparks Outrage Among Victims (Belfast Telegraph)
– Exorcists Wanted: Apply to Catholic Church (Reuters)
– UK Paedophile Priests Remain In The Priesthood (Guardian)
– Catholics, It’s You This Freemason-Satanist Pope Has Abused (Independent)
– Vatican rejects resignations of Irish bishops over child sex abuse scandal (Telegraph)
– Vatican Embarrassed By Gay Priests Revelations: Panorama Magazine Exposes Priests Visiting Gay Clubs And Bars And Having Sex (Guardian)
– Catholic Priest Stole $1.3 Million From Church To Pay For Male Escorts, Designer Clothes And Luxury Hotels (Independent)
– And Now Financial Scandals: The Hidden Wealth Of The Catholic Church (Spiegel)
– The Intelligence² Debate – Stephen Fry: ‘The Catholic Church is Not a Force For Good in the World’
– Archbishop of Vienna accuses one of Pope Benedict XVI’s closest aides of sex abuse cover-up (Times)
– Pope Benedict XVI accepts resignation of his close friend Bishop Walter Mixa in sex probe (Reuters)
– Belgium: Top Catholic Bishop Resigns Over Child Sexual Abuse (Times)
– Database of Catholic Priests Publicly Accused of Sexual Abuse in the US (BishopAccountability.org)
– Illinois man is suing the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI for covering up sexual abuse (CNN)
– Catholic priest, 84, receiving oral sex from a choirboy in front of a local church altar caught on video (AFP)
– Priest Says He Was Bullied Into Taking Fall For Pope Benedict XVI In Abuse Scandal (The Local)
– Catholic Church is ‘like the Mafia’ (The Telegraph)
– Cardinal Praised Bishop’s Silence Over Paedophile Priest (BBC NEWS)
– Catholic Priest Accused of Child Porn Possession (AP)
– Belgian Bishops Failed To Punish Over 300 Paedophilia Complaints (AFP)
– Connecticut Catholic Bishops Fight Sex Abuse Bill (CNN)
– Richard Dawkins plans to arrest Pope Benedict XVI during his state visit to Britain ‘for crimes against humanity’ (Times)
– Catholic Priest Raped Teenage Boy At Gunpoint (My San Antonio)
– Norway Catholic Church Computer Server Crashed By Flood Of Pedophile Priests Abuse Claims (AFP)
– Pope John Paul II Blocked Inquiry of Paedophile Cardinal Friend Who Abused 2,000 boys (Times)
– Ireland Archbishop Stunned by Archbishop of Canterbury’s Criticism of Catholic Church (Times)
– Pope Benedict XVI’s personal preacher: Abuse critique like anti-Semitism (AP)
– ABC Nightline: What the Pope Knew About Father Maciel (ABC NEWS)
– Pope Benedict Appointed Bishop Accused of Ritually Beating Orphaned Children (The Raw Story)
– 40% of Americans view Pope Benedict XVI favorably (Gallup)
– 1963 letter indicates former pope knew of abuse (AP)
– Germany’s Catholic Church sexual abuse hotline received 1,000 calls the first day (Digital Journal)
– Austrian Catholic Church Abuse Hot Lines Log 566 Reports This Year (Austrian Independent)
– Australian Bishop says ‘vast amount’ of sexual abuse cases yet to emerge (Sydney Morning Herald)
– Deaf Boys Tried to Tell of Priest’s Abuse FOR YEARS (New York Times)
– Christopher Hitchens Slams Vatican, Pope Over Sex Abuse Scandal (Huffington Post)
– The Pope Is Not Above the Law (Slate)
– Sex Abuse Victims to Sue Vatican (Times)
– Pope Benedict Signals Won’t Be Intimidated By Abuse Critics, Uses Popemobile For First Time On A Palm Sunday (New York Times/AFP)
– Vatican knew of abuse in Ontario: Victim (Toronto Star)
– Pope failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from American bishops pleading with him to act (Times)
– A church sex scandal where the truth is crucified (Toronto Star)
– Sinead O’Connor: ‘There Should Be A Full Criminal Investigation Of The Pope’ (LA Times)
– Catholic Church quietly expelling and punishing children, homeless (Irish Central)
– Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests (Flashback):
Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests, according to formerly sealed testimony turned over to Milwaukee County’s district attorney on Thursday.
– Swiss Catholic Church Investigating 10 Abuse Cases (Reuters)
– Irish Catholic Church Paid Child Sex Abuse Victim To Keep Quiet (Guardian)
– Catholic Church Child Abuse: Nuns Now Also Accused (Radio Netherlands Worldwide)
– Church: Pope Had Role in Moving Molesting Priest (Bloomberg)
– Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry (Times)
– Pope will struggle to survive abuse scandal (Irish Independent)
– Benedict’s involvement ’shows extent of cover-ups’ (Irish Independent)
– Sinead O’Connor: I’d help Jesus to burn down the Vatican (Irish Independent)
– RIGHTS-GERMANY: ‘Catholic Church Protects Paedophile Priests’ (IPS)
– Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe (AP)
2 thoughts on “Catholic Church Sex Abuse Victims Seek Court Case Against Pope Benedict And Top Vatican Cardinals”
Cardinal George Pell disappeared to hide in the Vatican after too many questions about Church abuse of children in Ballarat, Oz were being asked by families.
He has hidden there since, claiming he isn’t well.