Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hague Is Asked to Investigate Vatican Over Child Abuse. Bravo to SNAP and the Center for Constitutional Rights!! Court Filing details.

Updated September 13, 2012

Updated April 3, 2012 

The Catholic church in Toledo, Ohio, refused to participate in a debate with SNAP and it says "the church does continue to pray for those victims" as if "to pray" is enough to appease the sufferings of victims of the JP2 Army http://jp2army.blogspot.ca/.  Read our related article Rosary could not defeat JP2 Army John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army in the 20th Century ... unlike the Battle of Lepanto in the 16th Century  http://jp2m.blogspot.ca/

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Church vs International Law debated

Updated: Tuesday, 03 Apr 2012, 12:14 AM EDT
TOLEDO, Ohio (WUPW) - Legal experts and leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests wrangled over the complaint SNAP lodged with the International Criminal Court in a legal debate Monday.

It asks the court to investigate the leaders of the church for allegedly allowing priest abuse to happen.

SNAP leaders say this is not about putting the catholic religion on trial.

The Diocese of Toledo was not present at the debate, though a spokesperson said the church has no comment about the event specifically, but the church does continue to pray for those victims.

Updated October 3, 2011 Read My Expert Declaration for SNAP’s ICC Complaint. A former Roman Catholic Priest and Benedictine Monk, Wall explains in his expert opinion the history of Canon law on child sexual 'abuse' and the policy of secrecy. http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/243676-a-3-pat-wall-expert-opinion.html

Updated September 26, 2011 Read letter of Center for Constitutional Rights below

From the Voice of Russia to the Times of India, at last around the world people now can see the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI Crimes Against Humanity particularly against children...this is the last frontier of the Pope Crimes and Vatican evils together with the SECRET Vatican Swiss Banks that hoard despots' and multinational corporations ill-gotten wealth...these are the crimes crying to Heaven to finally destroy the Mammon Vatican and sorcerer Pope. New addition below: Videos on Hitler and the Pope

Updated September 14, 2011, with photos and videos

Court filing details http://www.bishop-accountability.org/CCR/2011_09_13_CCR_Victims_Communication.pdf

Bravo to SNAP and the Center for Constitutional Rights, the bold Americans who dare bring the Roman Pontiff and the wealthiest and most powerful institution, the Italian Vatican to The Hague. It's like little David taking on the giant Vatican Goliath to final justice. At last, I hope that American children can sing again "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored..." listen to the song on video and read our related article Benedict XVI complemented bin Laden's death with JP2 Army! The Battle Hymn of the Republic! Not even the Almighty Vatican could see it coming http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2011/05/benedict-xvi-complemented-bin-ladens.html

The time of truth has arrived for The Hague whether it will investigate the most powerful ruler and monarch in the world, the Pope Benedict XVI, or allow The Hague members to sell their souls to the wealthiest Vatican Swiss Banks.

It is easy to bring obvious criminals like the despots, e.g. Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, who killed men and women to The Hague but what is difficult – and different – is to bring the mightiest monarch on earth, the Pope, into the tribunals of The Hague for the invisible crimes against children and the invisible souls of peoples around the world. The Vatican is the master deceiver who cover-up their crimes and their tracks. For the first time in history, Amnesty International named the Vatican as guilty of the violation of human rights. For the first time in history, a Prime Minister of a big country, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, publicly condemns the Vatican inside the Irish Parliament, listen to his speech here where he said "The law of the land should not be stopped by a crozier or by a collar". Irish PM blasts ‘narcissism’ of Vatican. The narcissism of John Paul II and the Vatican are one and the same http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2011/07/irish-pm-blasts-narcissism-of-vatican.html

The ICC has issued an arrest warrant against Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and has jurisdiction over the crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It lists rape, sexual violence, assault and torture as crimes against humanity.

Read our related articles

Ireland exported Catholicism (that came with some inherent evil baggage) to the world through its many Irish missionaries in centuries past but it may also as well export the key necessary changes in Catholicism– based on today’s standards - to end the Totalitarianism of the Vatican in the 21st century. An important issue today is the invincible Sacrament of Confession caught in the crossfire between the Ireland Government versus the Vatican City or Vatican “country” -- as Ireland condemns the Vatican for its secrecy and cover-up... read the full article here http://popecrimes.blogspot.com/2011/07/ireland-government-condemns-vatican.html

Amnesty International named the Vatican in 2011 report on human rights violations - it's time the UN end the Vatican status as a "secular" state http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2011/05/amnesty-international-names-vatican-in.html

Victims in USA - Attackers - Responsible Leaders

Pearl Harbor - 3,000 victims - 170 planes - Admiral Yamamoto

WTC & 9/11 attacks - 3,000 victims - 19 Muslims - Osama bin Laden

JP2 Army - 15,736 victims - 6,000 pedophile priests - John Paul II & Benedict XVI & Opus Dei, the new Vatican Trinity

Read our related article 9/11 victims 3,000. JP2 Army 100,000s. May Day: both Hitler and bin Laden Announced Dead on May 1 on John Paul II Beatification Day B-Day http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2011/05/911-victims-5000-jp2-army-100000s-may.html

Opus Dei controlled the 27 years papacy of John Paul II and is therefore the foremost guilty party who aided and abetted and covered-up the John Paul II Pedophiles Rapists-Priests Army. Opus Dei wrote most of John Paul II’s books and writings and to ensure their perpetuity as “All things Catholic”, they want JP2 to be beatified and canonized now by Benedict XVI so as not to take any chances on other future popes. The FACE of Opus Dei is John Paul II and the PHANTOM Spirit of Opus Dei is their founder St. Josemaria Escriva, read our related article John Paul II, Patron of Pederasts and Opus Dei – analysis of Joaquin Navarro-Valls’ reasons for JP2 beatification at Opus Dei conference in Rome http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2011/04/why-john-paul-ii-is-opus-deis-patron.html

The Hague: Full text Criminal Charges against Dr. Joseph Ratzinger, Pope of the Roman Catholic Church http://popecrimes.blogspot.com/2011/05/full-text-of-criminal-charges-against.html

Heil Satanas JP2 Patron Saint of Pedophiles, Pederasts Rapists-Priests! John Paul II is the same yesterday and today-- he cannot protect children http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2011/05/heil-satanas-jp2-patron-saint-of.html

The 9/11 Decade and the JP2 Millstone's 9th anniversary. Fr. Marcial Maciel, the Achilles Heel of John Paul II, is brought to light in USA court http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2011/09/911-decade-and-jp2-millstones-9th.html

JP2 Army John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army http://jp2army.blogspot.com/

John L.Allen Jr.Pied Piper of John Paul II deceives Catholics with his essay Fast-Track Saint in Newsweek -- with Vatican lunacy & Satanic timeline http://jp2army.blogspot.com/2011/05/john-lallen-jrthe-pied-piper-of-john.html

Will Pope Benedict End Up in the Dock?



Representatives of the Holy See may well have seen this in their crystal-ball gazing, but not all could have seen the manner of it. The US- based human rights group Centre for Constitutional Rights is filing a suit on behalf of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in the International Criminal Court. The complaint urges the ICC to ‘take action and prosecute the Pope’ for ‘direct and superior responsibility for the crimes against humanity of rape and other sexual violence committed around the world.’

The documentation by SNAP is extensive – 20,000 or so pages of supporting materials including ‘reports, policy papers, and evidence of crimes by Catholic clergy committed against children and vulnerable adults.’

The legal problems behind this action are formidable. For one thing, there is a dispute as to whether the Vatican even qualifies as a ‘state’ in international law. Implicit in the charge of crimes against humanity is the state element behind the policy. To put it simply – no state, no crime.

The criteria for statehood are set out in the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1934), which resulted from the Seventh International Conference of American States. The occasion is more known for its declaration by President Franklin Roosevelt of Washington’s infamous ‘good neighbour policy’ than the dry legal detail. Yet it is that detail that has dominated international debate on the subject of statehood for decades. Those requirements for statehood remain: a permanent population; a defined territory; government and capacity to enter into relations with other states.

There is more than ample evidence suggesting that the Roman Church is, in fact, a state. Historically, it has been a force of secondary colonization – a state that is not a state, yet exerting dominion through channels that are not formally recognised as such. Last year, the notable human rights lawyer and advocate Geoffrey Robertson, in The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse, put forth the case that the Vatican had run a global clandestine system of exoneration and protection for pedophile priests. He also sought to tackle a few of the legal issues facing aspiring litigants.

The curious situation for SNAP and friends is that they would want the ICC to treat the Vatican like a sovereign state as a preliminary to showing ‘crimes against humanity’. But the sword of sovereignty cuts both ways. If the Vatican is recognised as such, it can plead state immunity on behalf of its highest officials, at the very least during their time in office. In the case of Doe v Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the US Department filed a ‘suggestion of immunity’ via the insistent legal advisor John Bellinger III. The Bellinger designation was simple – the Pope was ‘the sitting Head of State of the Holy See… a foreign state’.

The court agreed, though many jurists would be more circumspect in accepting the overarching judgments on whether a state is designated as such. (Incidentally, the Obama administration has followed the Bellinger line as well.) Even if the Holy See was designated as a state, there is no such thing, in this day and age, as complete immunity from civil process. Activities that cause personal injury through negligence can often be sued for in local courts, notwithstanding the sovereign nature of an entity.

The plaintiffs in this case are seeking something greater. They want redress for criminal charges, many of which also took place after the ICC’s mandate to investigate crimes commenced – July 1, 2002. Nor has the Vatican acceded to the ICC’s jurisdiction.

For Robertson, the sights for legal accountability should be set on Pope Benedict XVI, who can be charged like an employer over the actions of his agents or employees ‘irrespective of any direct authorisation’. Under Canon 331 of the Code of Canon Law, the Pope is granted sovereign control, a wordy provision claiming that, ‘By virtue of his office he possesses supreme full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the church, which he is always able to exercise freely.’ Clerical authority is one thing – but to attain a verdict through international channels on the subject of whether it was criminally exercised will be hard to do – at least for now.

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com


Members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), from left: Bert Smeets, Phil Saviano, Rita Milla, Megan Peterson, Pam Spees, Barbara Blaine, Winfried Fesselmann, Emmanuel Henckens and Peter Isely attend a press conference in Voorburg, near The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011. Clergy sex abuse victims upset that no high-ranking Roman Catholic leaders have been prosecuted for sheltering guilty priests brought their claims to the International Criminal Court, seeking an investigation of the pope and top Vatican cardinals for possible crimes against humanity. The Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based nonprofit legal group, requested the inquiry on behalf of the SNAP, arguing that the global church has maintained a "long-standing and pervasive system of sexual violence" despite promises to swiftly oust predators. The Vatican said it had no immediate comment. (AP Photo/Rob Keeris)


In the Case Against Vatican Officials for Rape and Sexual Violence, We've come to the End of the Beginning


Last week, lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) completed marathon journeys through Europe after filing a complaint with the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague seeking an investigation and prosecution of high-level Vatican officials for widespread and systematic rape and sexual violence committed against children and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy.

Two teams of survivors and lawyers visited 12 cities in seven days, meeting with other survivors, media, and concerned supporters. The response to the filing has been overwhelmingly supportive. The affirmations of the importance and gravity of the issue have had a deeply significant impact on the survivors involved who, like too many others around the world, have been fighting this lonely battle for far too long. Seeing other survivors reaching out through their pain and isolation has been humbling and inspiring. We hope that victims, survivors, and family members keep reaching out and find each other and more support. As SNAP co-founder and survivor Peter Isely said on this trip: "It doesn't matter where victims come from. We are our own country -- of the dispossessed, raped and molested. We can succeed together."

We expected Vatican spokespeople and allies would call this effort a stunt, and some very quickly did. They also called it "ludicrous." To head that accusation off at the pass, we presented the prosecutor not only with well-founded allegations and legal analysis, but with overwhelming documentation supporting these claims-- approximately 22,000 pages of documentation. It hardly needs stating that victims' demands for accountability for widespread and systematic rape are not 'ludicrous.' One Vatican ally has suggested that this effort somehow demeans or undermines victims of crimes against humanity committed in other contexts. This suggestion itself does precisely what it accuses victims of doing -- demeans and minimizes the horrors of child victims of sexual violence at the hands of Catholic clergy and the secondary victimization by church officials.

These are mass crimes. The magnitude, scope, and depth of harm are nearly unfathomable, especially when one considers that what we know at this point, shocking as it is, is likely the tip of the iceberg. As Peter Isely explained to press in Italy, there are always two crimes: the rape or sexual violence committed by individual clergy and then the cover-ups, betrayals and silencing of victims by church officials in the aftermath -- which deepens and furthers the harm of the primary offense, and facilitates and enables future crimes.

The gravity and depth of the mental harm of this type of sexual violence cannot be overstated and is ongoing. It follows children into adulthood and can color every aspect of their lives. Indeed, studies have shown that victims of childhood sexual abuse are twice as likely as non-victims to attempt suicide and that sexual abuse significantly increases the risk of developing serious health and social problems, including mental illness. Tragically, as we noted in the complaint, a number of suicides documented in different countries have been linked to the sexual violence that victims have suffered and the church's response to their stories. We know there are many more. In fact, on our journeys last week, we learned from grieving family members of still more recent losses.

Just today, Amnesty International Ireland released a report which affirmed that abuse of children revealed in the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne reports -- also summarized and discussed in the complaint to the ICC -- “included acts that amounted to torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.”

According to Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, “The abuse of tens of thousands of Irish children is perhaps the greatest human rights failure in the history of the state. Much of the abuse described in the Ryan Report meets the legal definition of torture under international human rights law.”

We deeply appreciate the support of this case as a valid, important effort. At the same time, these welcome acknowledgments have come with a number of misapprehensions as to the basis of jurisdiction of the ICC in this particular context. We would like to clarify certain aspects of the legal basis.

We brought this case to the ICC because it belongs there -- not only to shine a much needed and long overdue spotlight on the issue.

The ICC was established to end the culture of impunity for the "most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole" which "must not go unpunished." It is a popular misconception that the ICC is a “war crimes” court. In fact, the ICC was established to investigate and prosecute genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, which can occur in conflict as well as non-conflict situations. Indeed, the underlying concept of crimes against humanity was to address crimes and human rights violations that occur on a widespread or systematic basis where the laws of war would not apply -- for example, where leaders, be they state or non-state actors, were committing or allowing violations against their own people. For a more detailed discussion of how these crimes fit within the legal framework of crimes against humanity and the level of intent required, please review the “Legal Framework” and “Individual Criminal Responsibility” sections of the complaint.

Rape and sexual violence are explicitly codified in the ICC as crimes against humanity and as war crimes. They have therefore been recognized as among the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. Rape and sexual violence have also been recognized as forms of torture in international law, another key allegation in the complaint. The crime against humanity of torture is defined as the "intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the control of the accused."

In affirming acts of rape and sexual violence as torture, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has held that rape and sexual violence establish per se the suffering of those upon whom they were inflicted and that they necessarily give rise to severe pain or suffering. In another case before the ICTY, a trial chamber described rape as "a despicable act which strikes at the very core of human dignity and physical integrity" and noted that the psychological suffering can be "particularly acute and long-lasting."

Domestic prosecutions, when they occur, tend to address isolated instances of rape or sexual assault against direct perpetrators and, in rare cases, against bishops and diocesan officials for child endangerment or failing to report the crimes. They do not and cannot address the full dimension of the harm and the systemic nature of the offenses or the policies and practices that foster the climate in which sexual violence and cover-ups happen with impunity. Given the global presence of the church and the unique and idiosyncratic ways in which it operates, it takes an international court looking at the situation from a higher altitude to address the systemic violence.

There has been some discussion about the Vatican's statehood and national sovereignty, and whether the ICC could act in this case in light of this purported status. It is important to note that the ICC has jurisdiction over individuals, not entities or states. Moreover, the ICC statute was groundbreaking in rejecting the immunities that had long served as barriers to accountability for grave crimes, such as these. Article 27 of the Rome Statute, entitled "Irrelevance of Official Capacity" clearly sets out the rule that the statute "shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity." In particular, according to Article 27, "official capacity as a Head of State or Government, member of a Government or Parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence."

Regarding jurisdiction over the persons named in the complaint, the ICC has jurisdiction if the persons accused are nationals of states parties or if the crimes occurred on the territory of states parties. In this case, the crimes are occurring virtually everywhere the church has a presence and in many countries that are party to the treaty. Additionally, three of the people the complaint identifies as bearing the greatest responsibility for these offenses are also nationals of countries that are party to the ICC statute -- Germany, (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI), and Italy (Cardinals Angelo Sodano and Tarcisio Bertone).

We have urged that these persons have supervisory responsibility and are liable for the acts of priests and bishops because they knew or had reason to know of these crimes and failed to prevent or punish them and also failed to turn the matter over to proper authorities for investigation. We also urged that the inquiry should look at their roles in directly aiding and abetting the commission of many of these offenses.

Some have questioned whether the bulk of material we presented to the court lies outside the ICC's jurisdiction, either occurring before the ICC statute entered into force (2002) or in countries that have not ratified the statute(e.g. the United States). As we stated in the introduction to the complaint, the material we presented documenting cases prior to 2002 or in countries that are not states parties constitutes crucial evidence that helps establish the widespread and systematic nature of rape and sexual violence, which is precisely what makes an individual offense of rape a crime against humanity. These are not simply "historical violations" that have no bearing on post-2002 crimes or on current policies and practices of the Vatican. This material is necessary for a prosecutor trying individuals for crimes against humanity to prove the widespread and systematic nature of the offenses, and that high-level Vatican officials, including Joseph Ratzinger, were on notice and consistently followed a policy of protecting the church rather than the victims, putting others at risk. Moreover, the harm and the violations are continuing, well past the statute's entry into force.

Two of the reports we included in the documentation -- the Cloyne Report from Ireland and the 2011 Philadelphia Grand Jury Report -- show clearly that the rape and sexual violence continue and the same practices and policies are being used to shield perpetrators. This is despite the existence of new reforms and promises on paper. We noted in the complaint that much of the documentation and evidence we submitted to the court is only a small portion of what is now available. During the tour, we heard from more survivors and families of victims and learned of many more cases that fit within the ICC's jurisdiction.

In addition to the wealth of evidence that establishes the widespread and systematic nature of the offenses, we also submitted five new cases for the prosecutor to consider. In four of these cases, the crimes occurred post-2002, church officials had knowledge of prior acts of sexual violence by the perpetrator, and they left him in ministry to abuse again. Two of these cases involve children who are still minors. A fifth case involves acts that were committed prior to 2002 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has been submitted as a continuing violation. In that case, the perpetrator is still in ministry and currently working with orphanages in Rwanda, even though officials at the Belgian diocese know that this priest has sexually assaulted more than one child in multiple locations.

One of the complainants is Megan Peterson, a 21-year-old student and artist who was raped repeatedly by a priest in Minnesota when she was 14 and 15. The priest fled to India and, with the help of his bishop there and the Vatican office charged with handling allegations of sexual abuse by priests, has ignored an extradition warrant and Interpol red notice. There are allegations in addition to Megan’s against this priest. A journalist noted that if the issue had been taken seriously by church officials and real reforms had been given effect in 2002 after scandals broke in the U.S., Megan likely would not have been raped. When asked how that made her feel, Megan’s reply was forward-looking: “It shakes me to my core, that he is still out there and could do the same thing to other kids.”

Along the tour, we were occasionally asked by journalists, who, while acknowledging the seriousness of the effort, suggested that this case is a long shot and questioned whether we should have undertaken it in light of what they see as an impenetrable resistance to holding the Pope and others named in the complaint accountable in this way. If we accept the status quo and go along with the idea that children and vulnerable adults should continue to be sacrificed and offered up for horrific abuses just because challenging the authority of this particular institution's leadership is not easy, we become complicit in these crimes. There will be no accountability unless we demand it and challenge those with the power and responsibility to ensure it.

One person close to the Vatican in Italy predicted that this case "won't go anywhere." That may or may not turn out to be the case, but we have made one thing clear through this effort: if it doesn't go anywhere, it will not be because the ICC lacks jurisdiction over these crimes or the men involved; it will be due to a lack of political will to adhere to the principle that no one should be held above or beyond the law. As one survivor on the tour observed, "what does the ICC exist for, if not to protect children around the world?"

The ICC's clearly-stated mandate begs the question: if it wasn't the pope, but another leader of a global organization with the worldwide presence the church has who continually followed a policy of protecting the institution and running roughshod over child victims of brutal acts of rape and sexual violence, protecting their perpetrators from civil authorities, shifting them around, and leaving them in their positions knowing they would re-offend, failing to warn congregants and communities, thereby placing others at risk and knowingly enabling and essentially facilitating the commission of even more crimes-would there even be a question as to the need for accountability and law enforcement intervention?

The idea that accountability in this context is “ludicrous,” a stunt, “won’t go anywhere,” “can’t be done” represents a most insidious and dangerous form of moral relativism -- ironically a concept the Church is always quick to denounce but upon which it heavily relies to shield itself from any accountability whatsoever.

Now, with the filing and tour behind us, we have reached the end of this particular chapter. But the work for accountability of high-level Vatican officials to bring an end to the system that condones, accepts, enables, and perpetuates sexual violence -- a culture of sexual violence, if you will -- is just beginning.


September 13, 2011

Hague Is Asked to Investigate Vatican Over Abuse

By Laurie Goodstein, NY Times

Human rights lawyers and victims of clergy sexual abuse said they would file a complaint on Tuesday urging the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate and prosecute Pope Benedict XVI and three top Vatican officials for crimes against humanity for what they described as abetting and covering up the rape and sexual assault of children by priests.

The formal filing of nearly 80 pages by two American advocacy groups, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, marks the most substantive effort yet to hold the pope and the Vatican accountable in an international court for sexual abuse by priests.

Some experts in international law said that while it was unlikely that the court would prosecute the case, it might investigate to see whether the matter is within its jurisdiction, which could serve the plaintiffs’ goals of elevating the issue internationally.

A Vatican spokesman was unavailable immediately for comment.

Vatican officials have often said that the decisions about priests accused of abuse are made by bishops — not by the Vatican hierarchy — and that the church is far more decentralized than is widely believed.

But the lawyers and abuse victims who are taking the case to the international court say their action is necessary because all the cases brought against priests and bishops in various countries have not been sufficient to prevent the crimes from continuing.

“National jurisdictions can’t really get their arms around this,” said Pamela Spees, a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights, who helped prepare the filing. “Prosecuting individual instances of child molestation or sexual assault has not gotten at the larger systemic problem here. Accountability is the goal, and the I.C.C. makes the most sense, given that it’s a global problem.”

In addition to Pope Benedict XVI, the filing asks the court to prosecute Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state; Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the previous secretary of state and the current dean of the College of Cardinals; and Cardinal William Levada, who is head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office designated to receive cases of clergy sexual abuse that are forwarded by bishops.

A central question is whether the accusations will fit the court’s criteria. The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed after July 1, 2002, when the court opened. It is independent of the United Nations and has jurisdiction in the countries that so far have ratified the Rome Statute that created the court. Italy, Germany and the Netherlands are signatories, while the Vatican and the United States are not.

The filing against the Vatican cites five cases in which priests have been accused of abuse in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United States; the priests in these cases are from Belgium, India and the United States.

Ms. Spees said she hoped to convince the court that the cases were within its jurisdiction, because they involve abuses that she said were “systematic and widespread,” and because the pope and two of the three cardinals named in the filing are from nations that are signatories to the Rome Statute.

Experts in international law said they thought the court’s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, would be reluctant to accept the cases because of thorny jurisdictional questions, as well as political and religious sensitivities.

They said that the sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests was sufficiently heinous and numerous to meet the court’s standards. The question is whether the facts show that the Vatican officials actually perpetuated the abuse.

Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association, which is based in London, said he thought that the Court would open a preliminary investigation to determine whether it has jurisdiction — and that it would probably conclude that it did not.

Crimes against humanity means acts that are committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population,” Mr. Ellis said. “What you’re looking at is really a policy, in which the government or the authorities are planning the attack.”

“When you look at the concept of why and how the I.C.C. was created, I just don’t think this fits,” he said. “But the filing does something that’s important. It raises awareness. Ultimately the plaintiffs will elevate this in the public eye and it will force the court to respond.”

Rachel Donadio contributed reporting from Rome.


Without all these papal robes - that can feed 10 African villages for 10 years - Benedict XVI is really an ugly old man with a sinister Devil`s smile and natural evil eyes, see photos and read our related article here http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2011/06/fr-murphy-in-evil-eyes-of-benedict-xvi.html

Benedict XVI as Cardinal Josef Ratzinger was the Head of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1981-2005, with John Paul II the Great they both covered-up the pedophiliac holocaust committed by the JP2 Army John Paul II Pedophiles Rapists-Priests Army for over 24 years. History has proven that as Cardinal Ratzinger at the Vatican he aided and abetted the most heinous crimes against children together with John Paul II - both said nothing and did nothing to stop the JP2 Army read more here http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/

Looking the other way . . . Pope Benedict XVI.

Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters



Sexual abuse victims want to sue Pope for crimes against humanity

Groups representing US victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the pope and other Vatican officials for covering up crimes, claiming these were "widespread and systematic."

By Oliver FARRY (video)
News Wires (text)

REUTERS - Victims of sexual abuse by the clergy want the International Criminal Court to investigate Pope Benedict and three Vatican officials, accusing them of allowing the rape and abuse of children.

The New York-based rights group Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and another group, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), filed a complaint with the ICC alleging that Vatican officials committed crimes against humanity because they tolerated and enabled sex crimes.

But it seems unlikely that the ICC, the world's first permanent war crimes court, could take on such a case.

Many of the crimes occurred before 2002, when the ICC was set up, which puts them outside the court's remit, while the Vatican itself has not signed up to the court's jurisdiction.

"It will be very difficult to make an argument that the Church as an organised group committed a crime against humanity and it would be debatable whether that was based on a common plan," said Andre de Hoogh, a senior lecturer in international law at Groningen University.

The Catholic Church has been rocked by a series of sexual abuse scandals and allegations of cover-up in Europe and the United States in recent years.

But this is the first time the sexual abuse scandal has been brought to an international jurisdiction, marking a new approach by victims and rights groups.

Victim support groups, which usually target church officials with their lawsuits, have increasingly sought to implicate the Vatican in their legal action.

In its filing with the ICC on Tuesday, rights group CCR alleged that sex abuse crimes were "widespread and systematic."

"Crimes against tens of thousands of victims, most of them children, are being covered up by officials at the highest level of the Vatican. In this case, all roads really do lead to Rome,"
CCR lawyer Pam Spees said.

A Vatican spokesman said there would be no immediate comment.

"The Office of the Prosecutor has received the documents," spokeswoman Florence Olara said, adding the prosecutor's office "will analyse ... and make a decision in due course."


While the Vatican has not signed up to the ICC, countries such as Italy, the Netherlands and Germany have done so, which means that their citizens are subject to ICC jurisdiction.

Pope Benedict is German-born and because a pope retains his nationality when he also takes on Vatican nationality this could potentially expose him to ICC prosecution.

"It is a very slim avenue, but it's an avenue nonetheless
," said Lorraine Smith at the International Bar Association, which monitors the ICC. "But there is still the issue of the timing of the offences."

Alongside a filing of more than 80 pages, CCR said it had lodged more than 20,000 pages of supporting material including reports, policy papers and evidence of crimes by Catholic clergy committed against children and vulnerable adults.

SNAP members from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United States travelled to The Hague to file the request.

It names Pope Benedict, former Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, current Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone and Cardinal William Levada, the top doctrinal official.

Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn publicly accused Sodano last year of blocking a Church inquiry into his predecessor, Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, who stepped down in 1995 after being accused of sexually abusing young student priests.

The ICC has investigated crimes including genocide, murder, conscription of child soldiers and rape, mostly in Africa. In June, it issued an arrest warrant for Libya's Muammar Gaddafi.

The prosecutor's office has received more than 9,000 requests for investigations, but has said almost half of them were "manifestly outside" its jurisdiction.

In June, Syrian human rights groups called on the court to investigate the killing of civilians in Syria, but the court lacks jurisdiction there because Syria is not an ICC member.

The Rome Statute that set up the court also stipulates that the ICC should be used as a court of last resort only if national proceedings are not taking place.

The prosecutor must first seek approval from ICC judges before formally opening an investigation.

Child abuse victims accuse pope of crimes against humanity

Posted by From Afp 0pc on September 14, 2011


AN INTERNATIONAL group for victims of sexual abuse by priests said Tuesday had asked the International Criminal Court to prosecute Pope Benedict XVI for crimes against humanity.

The Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said it had filed the complaint with the ICC with help from lawyers from the non-profit US Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR).

They called on the court "take action and prosecute the Pope and three other high-ranking Vatican officials for their direct and superior responsibility for the crimes against humanity of rape and other sexual violence committed around the world."

"Crimes against tens of thousands of victims, most of them children, are being covered up by officials at the highest level of the Vatican," CCR lawyer Pam Spees said in a statement.

"In this case, all roads really do lead to Rome," she added.

As well as the pope, SNAP asked that three other top Vatican officials be investigated: Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, his predecessor Angelo Sodano and US Cardinal William Levada.

Levada is head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the Vatican office designated to investigate sex abuse cases forwarded to it by bishops.

"The Vatican officials charged in this case are responsible for rape and other sexual violence and for the physical and psychological torture of victims around the world both through command responsibility and through direct cover up of crimes," Spees said.

"They should be brought to trial like any other officials guilty of crimes against humanity," she added.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi refused to comment.

Some international law experts suggested the case might not go very far.

Normally, the ICC prosecutor only investigates complaints if asked to do so by the United NationsSecurity Council; by a state that has ratified the Rome Statute; or on his own initiative.

But the CCR said in its statement that "the jurisdiction of the ICC names rape, sexual violence assault, and torture as crimes against humanity.

"It also provides for individual criminal liability for those with command or superior responsibility over those who directly commit such crimes."

On this basis, members from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States had travelled to The Hague to urge prosecutors to investigate the head of the Roman Catholic Church, it said.

The US-based victims network said it had submitted more than 20,000 pages of supporting material.

Megan Peterson, a 21-year-old SNAP member who spoke publicly of her abuse for the first time last week, was among those backing the initiative.

Describing her ordeal, she recalled: "When at age 15 I called the diocese to report the rapes they hung up on me."

She called on the ICC to "take this case seriously and do the right thing.

"I don't want any more kids to go through what I went through," she said.

But Herman van der Wilt, professor of international law at Amsterdam University, told AFP he did not think the complaint stood much chance chance before the ICC.

"Firstly, a prerequisite for crimes against humanity is that it has to be perpetrated by a State, or 'state-like' organisation," he said.

"And secondly because the ICC would not be able to investigate any crimes committed before July 1, 2002, when its mandate commenced according to its founding statute," he added.

SNAP has organised a 12-city tour across Europe to get local diocese to turn over relevant documents and encourage other victims of sexual abuse by clergy to come forward and tell their stories.

As well as The Hague, they will visit Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, London, Dublin, Warsaw and Madrid before returning to Rome to "bring the case to the Vatican's door".

The Roman Catholic Church is struggling to deal with rising anger and a string of lawsuits following thousands of child abuse claims in Europe and the United States.

The latest major crisis came in July, when Irish Prime Minister launched an ferocious attack on the Roman Catholic Church's "absolutely disgraceful" failure to deal with years of sexual abuse of children by priests.

Pope Benedict has expressed shame and sorrow over the clerical sex scandal and has called on bishops around the world to come up with common guidelines against paedophiles by May 2012.

But the issue shows no sign of going away.

On Tuesday an Australian senator, Nick Xenophon, named a Catholic priest who allegedly raped a teenage boy in assaults dating back about 50 years, after the Church refused his demand that they withdraw him from his post.

Read more: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/child-abuse-victims-accuse-pope-of-crimes-against-humanity/story-e6frf7jx-1226136830592


Clergy sex victims seek criminal charges against top Catholic officials

Posted by David Clohessy on September 14, 2011


They beg victims witnesses and whistleblowers to “break your silence now”

Group issues special appeal to current and former church employees“

Search your conscience, be part of the solution, call law enforcement
,” SNAP says

On local and international levels, victims want them to “protect kids, not predators”


Holding signs and childhood photos at sidewalk news conferences in over twenty cities across the country, leaders of a clergy sex abuse victims’ support group will

--discuss a detailed new formal complaint to the International Criminal Court prosecutor urging him to investigate high-level Vatican officials for crimes against humanity,

--urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to immediately contact law enforcement, and

--especially beg current and former church employees to “search their consciences ”

The filing is by an international, US-based support group called SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) along with a New York City-based leading human rights organization called CCR (Center for Constitutional Rights).


Wednesday, September 14 in these cities at these times [call the SNAP national office at 312-455-1499 for details]:
Albuquerque -- 11:00am
Baltimore -- 11:00am
Belleville, IL -- 10:30am
Boston -- 1:00pm
Chicago -- 11am
Denver -- 1:30pm
Houston -- 12:00pm
Los Angeles -- 11:15am
Milwaukee -- 10:30am
Newark -- 1:00pm
Philadelphia -- 2:00pm
Phoenix -- 1:00pm
Sacramento -- 2:30pm
San Antonio -- 10:00am
San Diego -- 11:15am
San Francisco -- 11:00am
Seattle -- 11:00am
Springfield, IL -- 2:00pm
St. Louis -- 1:00pm
Washington, DC -- 11:00am
Wilmington, DE -- 1:00pm
Youngstown, OH -- 3:30pm


Several clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters who belong to an international self help group called SNAP


Yesterday, representatives of SNAP and CCR filed an 80+ page formal request asking the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to investigate high-level Catholic Church officials for crimes against humanity. The detailed complaint - accompanied by 20,000 pages of evidence – charges that the church hierarchy tolerates and continues a widespread, on-going global practice of concealing rape and abuse. The complaint is posted at SNAPnetwork.org and CCRjustice.org. SNAP believes their filing contains sufficient proof that the prosecutor should act. But, for the sake of protecting the vulnerable and healing the wounded, SNAP is urging all clergy sex victims to step forward now. And the organization wants those who saw or suspected such crimes and cover ups – particularly as church employees – to summon the strength to call police and prosecutors with any information they may have, however old, small or seemingly insignificant, so that more child molesting clerics might be charged, convicted and imprisoned.

The jurisdiction of the ICC names rape, sexual assault, and torture as crimes against humanity. It also provides for individual criminal liability for those with superior responsibility over those who directly commit such crimes. Through these mechanisms, the complaint urges investigation and prosecution of high-level Vatican officials for their roles in the on-going protection of perpetrators, hiding of crimes and the enabling of rape, sexual assault, and torture of thousands of individuals around the world. If the ICC launches the investigation, this action could mark the first time that an international court asserts jurisdiction over the Vatican for crimes committed by its agents worldwide.

The four officials named as defendants bear, in the eyes of SNAP & CCR, greatest responsibility for ongoing, widespread and systematic sexual violence and cover up by church employees. They are --Pope Benedict XVI (both in his capacity as pontiff and former head of the CDFG, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a church entity that oversees pedophile priest reports)--Cardinal William Levada (current head of the CDF)--Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (the current Vatican Secretary of State, and --Cardinal Angelo Sodano (the Dean of the College of Cardinals and former Vatican Secretary of State).

In the formal filing, a few particularly egregious and recent troubling predator priest cases are highlighted including a Belgian cleric who molested in the Congo and now works with kids in Rwanda and an Indian cleric who raped a Minnesota girl and is now back in India. (His name is Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul).

Yesterday, outside the ICC headquarters (at the Hague in the Netherlands), a similar news conference was held. There, eight adults who were abused as children by priests in four nations delivered 10,000+ pages of evidence and documents to the ICC. The victims were from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the US. US victims included Megan Peterson of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, Rita Milla of Los Angeles, Phil Saviano of Boston (SNAPsaviano@gmail.com), Peter Isely of Milwaukee (peterisely@yahoo.com) and Barbara Blaine of Chicago (SNAPblaine@gmail.com). The two principal human rights attorneys involved are Pamela Spees and Katherine Gallagher, both of CCR. They are both in Europe. Vince Warren is CCR’s director.


David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director, SNAPClohessy@aol.com 314-566-9790

Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach director, SNAPdorris@gmail.com 314-503-0003

Pope should be tried for crimes against humanity

Vatican Insider

Alessandro Speciale

The biggest association of paedophilia victims who have suffered at the hands of members of the Catholic Church has asked the International Criminal Court to try Benedict XVI and the heads of the Roman Curia, for “crimes against humanity.”

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, presented an 80 page long document to the ICC at The Hague, to show how the Vatican allegedly “tolerated and made possible the systematic and widespread cover up of rapes and sexual crimes against children across the world.”

SNAP, together with the American NGO Center for Constitutional Rights, has asked the ICC for a “declaration of judicial jurisdiction.” In practice, this means, the Court should declare itself authorized to deal with the case, in the light of the proof that "legal action taken on a national level, was not sufficient in preventing the abuse against minors from continuing.”

It is now up to the ICC’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Louis Moreno-Ocampo, to decide whether to accept the appeal or not. SNAP hopes that The Hague’s ICC will at least decide to open a preliminary investigation to see whether the case in under their jurisdiction.

Appeal filed with the Court of The Hague against the Pope

Vatican Insider

Cardinal Sepe has responded to claims that the "Pedophilia scandal is a crime against humanity,” saying these are just anti-Catholic attacks

GIacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

Victims of pedophile priests have filed an appeal in The Hague against the Pope's "guilty of crimes against humanity". A group of associations of victims of pedophile priests (SNAP) and the Center for Constitutional Rights have filed an appeal to the International Criminal Court that accuses Benedict XVI and three cardinals of covering up crimes committed by clergy against children. The Vatican, the report said, "has always resisted the idea of being subject to the laws of other governmental authorities, whether national, international or local laws." The heads of the Catholic Church, are therefore directly called to answer. But the message sent by the Holy See read "no comment". The move was made to prevent controversy. From the meeting of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Munich, the archbishop of Naples, Crescenzio Sepe, dismissed the matter as "the usual anti-Catholic attacks."

Why Ratzinger, Bertone, Sodano and Levada? To some extent, in the report submitted by the associations leverage was made on their objective responsibility for the role they held or hold, sustaining that all three, starting with Joseph Ratzinger, encouraged policies and strategies bent on covering up cases of child abuse, thereby obstructing justice; apparently they contributed to creating a climate of silence; favoring the transfer of pedophile priests and protecting perpetrators. "Crimes committed against tens of thousands of victims, mostly children, were concealed by very high-ranking Vatican officials," says Pamela Spees. SNAP estimated that "20 thousand priests have committed abuses and are still in office."


Abuse Survivors Will Try To Take Pope to Court

Ms. Magazine

September 13, 2011 by Carol King

For eight years, I walked through the doors of my Catholic elementary school under the words “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”

I haven’t thought about my grade school, Patronage of St. Joseph, in a very, very long time. But as I listened the other night to Barbara Blaine, founder and president of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), describe the first time she was molested by a priest, the image of those doors and that biblical passage came rushing to my mind.

Blaine, like too many other young Catholic girls and boys, was betrayed by a priest–the very adult she’d been taught represents Christ on earth. “In persona Christi” (in the person of Christ), the priest forgives your sins, transforms bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ and interprets the Bible in his sermons. In so doing, he provides parishioners with guidance on living a life that will ensure their entrance to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. Catholic children look up to priests–we’re supposed to admire, respect and trust them.


Holy See No Evil? International Court Asked to Investigate Pope

ABC News (United States)


Sept. 13, 2011

Victims of Catholic clergy sex abuse have formally asked the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into the role played by top Vatican officials, including Pope Benedict, in what the group called "crimes against humanity."

The New York-based legal group Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) announced today that the group, along with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), filed a complaint at the Hague claiming that top Vatican officials tolerated and enabled "the systematic and widespread concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world."

"SNAP wants to prevent even one more child from being raped or sexually assaulted by a priest and we hope that victims around the world will know today that they are not alone and that it is safe to speak up and report their abuse," SNAP President Barbara Blaine said, according to the CCR's statement. "We as victims are mobilizing across the globe, and every survivor is invited to join us."



Victims say criminal charges against pope not a stunt

USA Today

By Francis X. Rocca, Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY – A campaign to hold the pope responsible for "crimes against humanity" is not a publicity stunt, sex abuse victims say, even as experts doubt it will have much success at the International Criminal Court.

In a dramatic and unprecedented move, abuse victims filed a complaint that seeks to hold Pope Benedict XVI and others responsible for the "systematic and widespread concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world."

Lawyers representing the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) filed the 84-page complaint at the ICC in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Tuesday.

The filing calls for the investigation and prosecution of the pope and three other top Vatican officials: former Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano; current Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone; and Cardinal William Levada, a former archbishop of San Francisco who now has jurisdiction over abuse cases as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. ...

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi declined requests for comment. But Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples, former head of the Vatican's missionary office, told the Vatican Insider website that the filing was "the usual anti-Catholic attempt that tends in some way to obscure" the image of the church.

September 14, 2011

Pédophilie: des victimes portent plainte contre le pape à la CPI

Le Parisien

Une association américaine de victimes de prêtres pédophiles a annoncé mardi avoir déposé une plainte devant la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) contre le pape et d'autres responsables de l'Eglise catholique, "pour crimes contre l'humanité".

Des victimes de prêtres pédophiles portent plainte contre le pape


La procédure a peu de chance d'aboutir mais le symbole est fort. Des victimes de prêtres pédophiles ont déposé une plainte devant la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) contre le pape et d'autres responsables de l'Eglise catholique pour "crime contre l'humanité", a annoncé mardi l'association d'anciennes victimes SNAP.

Pour l'heure, la recevabilité d'une telle plainte est incertaine puisque la CPI doit se déclarer compétente. Les dirigeants de l'association, assistés par des avocats de l'ONG américaine "Center for constitutional rights", ont d'ailleurs présenté une "requête de déclaration de compétence juridictionnelle" auprès de la CPI, selon un communiqué de l'association.

Dans les faits, ils accusent ces responsables du Vatican d'"avoir toléré et rendu possible le camouflage systématique et largement répandu de viols et crimes sexuels contre des enfants dans le monde entier". A leur plainte, ils ont adjoint 10.000 pages qui documentent les affaires de pédophilie, a précisé le communiqué de l'association basée aux Etats-Unis. Des membres de SNAP venant d'Allemagne, des Etats-Unis, des Pays-Bas et de Belgique -quatre pays touchés par le scandale pédophile dans l'Eglise- sont allés à La Haye demander que ces poursuites soient ouvertes contre le pape et trois autres hauts responsables de l'Eglise catholique "pour leur responsabilité directe en tant que supérieurs hiérarchiques".

Tournée d'information

Dans le passé, des évêques, et, dans certains cas, le Vatican, ont rejeté ou négligé de nombreuses plaintes déposées par des victimes de prêtres et religieux pédophiles, mutant les coupables ou les protégeant. Le scandale a discrédité l'Eglise dans plusieurs pays d'Europe, même si une petite minorité de prêtres était coupable. Le pape Benoît XVI a exprimé sa honte et demandé pardon, prônant la tolérance zéro à l'égard des pédophiles. Il a demandé aux évêques du monde entier, qui ont la première responsabilité de leurs prêtres, une pleine collaboration avec les instances judiciaires pénales.

Mais l'association SNAP ne croit pas à cette volonté de transparence et de justice, et n'a pas modéré ses accusations. L'organisation a entrepris mardi une tournée d'information qui la conduira à Amsterdam, Bruxelles, Berlin, Paris, Vienne, Londres, Dublin, Varsovie, Madrid et Rome, pour y "porter sa plainte aux portes du Vatican".

Pédophilie : le pape visé par une plainte



Une association de victimes de prêtres pédophiles a déposé une plainte devant la Cour pénale internationale de La Haye contre le pape et d'autres responsables de l'Eglise catholique pour "crimes contre l'humanité". Une action hautement symbolique

Pédophilie. Le Pape accusé de "crimes contre l'humanité"

Un membre du SNAP, victime de pédophilie,manifeste contre la visite du Pape le 14 septembre 2011 à Berlin. (AFP, John Macdougall)



Une association américaine de victimes de prêtres pédophiles vient de déposer plainte devant la cour pénale internationale de La Haye contre le Pape Benoît XVI et d'autre hauts responsables de l'Eglise catholique, pour « crimes contre l'humanité ».

Pédophilie : le Pape accusé de crime contre l'humanité

Le Figaro

Par Jean-Marie Guénois

Le Vatican ne s'inquiète pas de la plainte déposée à Cour pénale internationale à propos des affaires de pédophilies

Au Vatican, la plainte déposée lundi contre Benoît XVI et trois cardinaux devant la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) par deux organisations américaines de défense de victimes de prêtres pédophiles (SNAP : Réseau des survivants des personnes abusées par des prêtres ; CCR Centre pour les droits constitutionnels) n'impressionne pas.


"Folle denunciare Papa"

La Stampa

«Una follia: tanto più che, con tutta evidenza, mai bersaglio poteva essere più sbagliato». Avvenire commenta così l'iniziativa dell'associazione statunitense di vittime di preti pedofili Snap, e il Center for Constitutional Rights (Ccr) che si è rivolta al tribunale internazionale dell'Aja, scrive, «per alzare il livello dello scontro. Che, tanto per chiamare le cose col loro nome, significa pubblicità e soldi. Non a caso i due organismi hanno già annunciato un tour europeo di sensibilizzazione». «Se non ci fosse di mezzo l'orrore per quella che lo stesso Benedetto XVI ha definito una tragedia, ci sarebbe solo da buttarla sul ridere, tanto scoperta, smaccata, è la strategia mediatica scelta dai denuncianti», sottolinea il quotidiano della Cei ricordando che il «denunciato», Papa Benedetto, «è lo stesso che, ancora cardinale, col suo predecessore Giovanni Paolo II segnò l'inizio dell'era 'tolleranza zerò riguardo a questo crimine odioso.



(ASCA) - Roma, 14 set - ''La denuncia del Papa alla Corte dell'Aja e' il frutto di un'interpretazione delirante e radicalista del principio di liberta' che, in realta', nasconde solo un odio sconsiderato nei confronti della cristianita'''. Lo afferma in una nota il presidente del Movimento Cristiano Lavoratori, Carlo Costalli.

Church Sex Abuse Victims Ask for Pope to be Prosecuted


The Fresh Outlook

Victims of alleged sex abuse in the Catholic Church request the prosecution of the Pope and three other Vatican officials.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) have requested the prosecution of the Pope and three other Vatican officials by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

All four individuals stand the possibility of being prosecuted for alleged crimes against humanity if the ICC takes up the case. SNAP, who have been running since 1988, requested that the court “take action and prosecute the Pope and three other high-ranking Vatican officials for their direct and superior responsibility for the crimes against humanity of rape and other sexual violence committed around the world”.

With help from lawyers from the US Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the American-based group have compiled over 20,000 pages of evidence to support their case against Pope Benedict XVI; Tarcisio Bertone, the cardinal secretary of state; Angelo Sodano, his predecessor; and William Levada, a US cardinal who is head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the office designated to investigate any sex abuse cases referred to them by bishops.


Crimes Against Humanity

"It's About Me"

This entry is from yesterday’s press conference in St. Louis.

Hello my name is Tim Fischer I am a survivor of priest abuse here in St. Louis. I was raped when I was 11 by Fr. Norman H. Christian at St, Georges perish. I am also a member of SNAP.

I would like to relate yesterdays powerful event at the Hague to my own experience. then take any questions you have... and that I might be able to answer.

In 2004, something very powerful was happening in St. Louis. I recount these events in great detail in my blog. www.timfischer1.com

The police had been investigating my case for two years, trying to pry information out of the archdiocese that entire time when suddenly I received a courageous phone call from my perp’s niece Pete. She told me about how her Aunt (Father Christian’s younger sister Carol) had been battling with not only Father Christian but also the Archdiocese and several Bishops and Archbishops, over the past 18 years. Everything she told me helped my heart heal more and more. She informed me Father Christian was dying, and the two of them wanted to help any of his victims if they could. She asked,” Is there anything I can do for you?” I told her: “Yes, would you give him a message for me?”


The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuses by Geoffrey Robertson

Terry Eagleton welcomes a coolly devastating inquiry into the Vatican's handling of child abuse

The first child sex scandal in the Catholic church took place in AD153, long before there was a "gay culture" or Jewish journalists for bishops to blame it on. By the 1960s, the problem had become so dire that a cleric responsible for the care of "erring" priests wrote to the Vatican suggesting that it acquire a Caribbean island to put them on.

What has made a bad situation worse, as the eminent QC Geoffrey Robertson argues in this coolly devastating inquiry, is canon law – the church's own arcane, highly secretive legal system, which deals with alleged child abusers in a dismayingly mild manner rather than handing them over to the police. Its "penalties" for raping children include such draconian measures as warnings, rebukes, extra prayers, counselling and a few months on retreat. It is even possible to interpret canon law as claiming that a valid defence for paedophile offences is paedophilia. Since child abusers are supposedly incapable of controlling their sexual urges, this can be used in their defence. It is rather like pleading not guilty to stealing from Tesco's on the grounds that one is a shoplifter. One blindingly simple reason for the huge amount of child abuse in the Catholic church (on one estimate, up to 9% of clerics are implicated) is that the perpetrators know they will almost certainly get away with it.

For almost a quarter of a century, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the man who is now Pope, was in supreme command of this parallel system of justice – a system deliberately hidden from the public, police and parliaments and run, so Robertson maintains, in defiance of international law. Those who imagine that the Vatican has recently agreed to cooperate with the police, he points out, have simply fallen for one of its cynical public relations exercises. In the so-called "New Norms" published by Pope Benedict this year, there is still no instruction to report suspected offenders to the civil authorities, and attempting to ordain a woman is deemed to be as serious an offence as sodomising a child. There have, however, been some changes: victims of child abuse are now allowed to report the matter up to the age of 38 rather than 28. If you happen to be 39, that's just tough luck. As Robertson wryly comments, Jesus declares that child molesters deserve to be drowned in the depths of the sea, not hidden in the depths of the Holy See.

How can Ratzinger get away with it? One mightily important reason, examined in detail in this book, is because he is supposedly a head of state. The Vatican describes itself on its website as an "absolute monarchy", which means that the Pope is immune from being sued or prosecuted. It also means that as the only body in the world with "non-member state" status at the UN, the Catholic church has a global platform for pursuing its goals of diminishing women, demonising homosexuals, obstructing the use of condoms to prevent Aids and refusing to allow abortion even to save the life of the mother. For these purposes, it is sometimes to be found in unholy alliance with states such as Libya and Iran. Neither is it slow to use veiled threats of excommunication to bend Catholic politicians throughout the world to its will. If Pope Benedict were to air some of his troglodytic views with full public force, Robertson suggests, the Home Office would have been forced to refuse him entry into Britain.

In fact, he argues, the Vatican's claim to statehood is bogus. It dates from a treaty established between Mussolini and the Holy See, which Robertson believes has no basis in international law. The Vatican has no permanent population, which is a legal requirement of being a state. In fact, since almost all its inhabitants are celibate, it cannot propagate citizens at all other than by unfortunate accident. It is not really a territory, has no jurisdiction over crimes committed in its precincts and depends for all its essential services on the neighbouring nation of Italy. Nor does it field a team in the World Cup, surely the most convincing sign of its phoniness.

"Petty gossip" is how the Pope has described irrefutable evidence of serious crimes. His time as the Vatican official in charge of overseeing priestly discipline was the period when, in Robertson's furiously eloquent words, "tens of thousands of children were bewitched, buggered and bewildered by Catholic priests whilst [Ratzinger's] attention was fixated on 'evil' homosexuals, sinful divorcees, deviate liberation theologians, planners of families and wearers of condoms".

Can he be brought to book for this? As a widespread and systematic practice, clerical sexual abuse could be considered a crime against humanity, such crimes not being confined to times of war; and though Ratzinger may claim immunity as a head of state, he is also a German citizen. The book comes to no firm conclusion here, but the possibility of convicting the supreme pontiff of aiding and abetting the international crime of systemic child abuse seems not out of the question. The Vatican, in any case, is unlikely to escape such a fate by arguing, as it has done already, that the relations between the Pope and his bishops are of such unfathomable theological complexity that no mere human court could ever hope to grasp them.

This is a book that combines moral passion with steely forensic precision, enlivened with the odd flash of dry wit. With admirable judiciousness, it even finds it in its heart to praise the charitable work of the Catholic church, as well as reminding us that paedophiles (whom Robertson has defended in court) can be kindly men. It is one of the most formidable demolition jobs one could imagine on a man who has done more to discredit the cause of religion than Rasputin and Pat Robertson put together.

Terry Eagleton's latest book is On Evil (Yale).

The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse

A must-read book on Ratzinger

Read our related article

John Paul smelled Devil`s Bowels as roses for 27 years as he deified Father Marcial Maciel and deified Cardinal Bernard Law http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2011/04/john-paul-smelled-devils-bowels-as.html

John L.Allen Jr.Pied Piper of John Paul II deceives Catholics with his essay Fast-Track Saint in Newsweek -- with Vatican lunacy & Satanic timeline http://jp2army.blogspot.com/

Freak thunderstorm lashed at Benedict XVI & fanatic World Youth Day pilgrims in Madrid, forcing him to cut short his speech VIDEOS, PHOTOS http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2011/08/storm-lashes-at-benedict-xvi-and.html


From the Voice of Russia to the Times of India, around the world the Vatican and Benedict XVI's crimes against humanity is brought to light.

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Local: Priest abuse victims rally to raise awareness‎ YNN
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89.3 KPCC
Will Pope Benedict End Up in the Dock?

CounterPunch - Franklin Spinney - 1 day ago
... for Constitutional Rights is filing a suit on behalf of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in the International Criminal Court. ...
Shame on SNAP's Lawyers‎ National Catholic Reporter (blog)
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Case against the Pope

The Voice of Russia - Milena Faustova - 4 hours ago
The head of the Roman Catholic Church Benedict XVI may soon become a defendant at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. ...

The Voice of Russia
Strauss Kahn and the Pope

Huffington Post (blog) - 18 hours ago
"SNAP" -- an American association for the victims of pedophile priests has filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice at the Hague, ...

CNN Legal Contributor: Catholic Clergy Sex Abuses Could Qualify as ...

NewsBusters (blog) - Matt Hadro - 1 day ago
To support its claim, SNAP has filed more than 20000 documents with the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. A Vatican spokesmen tells CNN he's ...

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia - 2 days ago
Charges brought by US-based SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by ... the Roman Catholic Church at the International Court of Justice, in The Hague. ...

Update September 13, 2012

September 13 Marks One-Year Anniversary of International Criminal Court Filing on Vatican Officials for Crimes Against Humanity

Posted by Barbara Blaine on September 13, 2012 ·

Since the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) filed a formal request for an investigation one year ago to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at The Hague alleging that top-ranking Vatican officials are committing crimes against humanityincluding abetting and covering up the rape and sexual assault of children by priests, hundreds of additional survivors are coming forward. 
In this short year the movement of survivors across the globe has grown significantly. SNAP now has members in 67 different countries. Visits to the SNAP website come from 122 countries. “Survivors are creating a worldwide movement in response to crimes by priests that have been committed across the globe,” said CCR lead attorney, Pam Spees.
Survivors have discovered that in spite of coming from different time zones, countries and cultures and even though they speak many different languages, all had similar experiences. SNAP President Barbara Blaine said, “First we were sexually violated and assaulted by priests, nuns, brothers or other authority figures, and then we were betrayed by church officials who enabled and covered up the crimes. Regardless of where they occurred, our experiences are eerily similar.” The insights and mutual support survivors give to each other also challenges survivors to recognize how their healing is intrinsically tied to their efforts to protect others and stop sexual violence.  

“SNAP members continue to welcome and invite anyone seeking support and information to contact SNAP,” Blaine says, “while we continue to work to hold those who enable and cover up sexual violence and torture to be held accountable.”

Spees says, “We encourage anyone with information about sex crimes and cover ups by church officials to report it to police and to contact us so that we can add it to our complaint.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. Visit www.ccrjustice.org. Follow @theCCR.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org
 Contact – Jen Nessel (press@ccrjustice.org) Barbara Blaine (+1-312-399-4747, bblaine@snapnetwork.org), Barbara Dorris (+1-314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), David Clohessy (+1-314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), David D’Bonabell, (06 99 125 90464, dmbonnabel@yahoo.com) Joelle Casteix (+1-949-322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com), Peter Isely (+1-414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com), JakubSkrzypczyk (+254715712485, jskrzypczyk@hotmail.com)


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