Sex Abuse Victims Call for Investigation of Pope in Cover-Up of Crimes by Priests
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Pope Benedict XVI
Upset over the lack of prosecutions of high-ranking Catholic leaders, sex-abuse victims are attempting to take their case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which was established for the prosecution of war crimes.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based nonprofit legal group, has requested that the ICC open an investigation into the Vatican to determine what church leaders knew about the rape and molestation of young men and women by priests in the U.S. and around the world.
The inquiry was filed on behalf of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which claims the Catholic 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, dismissed the complaint, calling it a “ludicrous publicity stunt and a misuse of international judicial processes.” The Survivors Network does not deny that they are seeking publicity, noting that this act is a tactic of last resort to call attention to the fact that the Vatican has resisted all other efforts to release the information.
During its nearly 10 years in existence, the ICC has only dealt with crimes related to war and genocide.
Those named in the inquiry include Pope Benedict XVI and three Roman cardinals: Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, Dean of the College of Cardinals Angelo Sodano and William Levada, who is in charge of receiving information about cases of sexual abuse.
Abuse Victims Seek Int'l Court Case Against Pope (by Mike Corder and Rachel Zoll, Associated Press)
Hague Is Asked to Investigate Vatican Over Abuse (by Laurie Goodstein, New York Times)
Clergy Sex Victims File International Criminal Court Complaint Case Charges Vatican Officials with ‘Crimes against Humanity’ (Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests) (pdf)
Supreme Court Rejects Vatican Immunity in Pedophilia Cases (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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