Friday, May 27, 2011

Is the Vatican a state or country? It is only one building and one public square but it is a country like the vast USA, Russia, China???

Is the Vatican a "state" or country? It is only one building with a public square -- and no children and women are allowed to live there. Actually it is a homosexual building!

Is the Vatican Truly an Independent State?

April 11, 2010 — Terence Weldon

With extraordinary synchronicity I had just proposed in my last post, which I had not yet even published, that we should seriously question the Vatican’s claims to be treated as an independent state, when I saw an opinion piece in the LA Times on exactly the same topic.

The problem with the Vatican’s present status as a “state” is not just that is a quirky little oddity, an peculiar little legacy of the historical interrelationship between it and the rest of Italy, nor is it even that it leaves the Vatican beyond the legal reach of any external authority. No, it is worse. There are other tiny states (not quite so small) which are truly independent, and are not a problem to anyone. The real issue is that the Vatican’s claims are so one-sided: while their insistence on independent status excludes any other state from interfering in their internal affairs, they do not respect the balancing principle. Through their army of clerical staff, all under direct or indirect Vatican control, they are constantly busying themselves with the affairs of the entire world. They dictate moral rules to individual citizens, and they regularly attempt to influence the political process – as is seen most dramatically on abortion, marriage equality and gay adoption.

It is not right that they should be allowed to get away with these double standards. Which major country will be the first to withdraw recognition of the Vatican “state”?

From the LA Times:

Consequences of the Catholic Church’s claim of statehood

The practice of treating the Catholic Church as a state has been bad for women’s equality and gay rights. Now, the unfolding sexual abuse scandal reveals another dark side of the Holy See’s status.
Giuseppe dalla Torre, a top Vatican legal advisor, declared in a preemptive strike last week that Pope Benedict XVI could not be sued in an American court. His statement — in response to allegations that the pope played a role in covering up, among other scandals, the sexual abuse of children at a Wisconsin school for the deaf — was unequivocal. “The pope is certainly a head of state, who has the same juridical status as all heads of state,” Dalla Torre said, which grants him immunity from foreign courts.

But is the spiritual leader of the world’s Roman Catholics really a “head of state” as well?

Benedict XVI is the head the church’s governing body — known as the Holy See — which claims many of the privileges of a sovereign country. In recent decades the Holy See has welcomed ambassadors, signed international treaties and used its status to influence developments at the United Nations.

That the Holy See is often treated as a state is deeply troubling, for several reasons. For one thing, the Catholic Church isn’t truly a sovereign nation; to allow it to play one on the international stage perverts the meaning of statehood.

Moreover, the church’s claim to statehood gives it even more political influence than it would otherwise wield and grants outsized power to only one of the world’s many religions. And its claim is particularly worrisome now that the church — embroiled in a disturbing scandal that has reached from Boston to Berlin — is claiming the sort of immunity enjoyed by prime ministers and presidents.

How did this situation come about? The concept of sovereign statehood first developed in 17th century Europe, where the church was long treated as a quasi-state by Western powers. The Papal States existed within Italy for centuries. At their height, the Papal States comprised most of central Italy and parts of what is now southern France.

But the church’s territorial holdings were lost in battles over time, and by the end of the 19th century the church was essentially landless. Then, in the late 1920s, Vatican City was carved out of Rome via a treaty with Italy. The Holy See and Vatican City are legally distinct, but Vatican City was created to give the Holy See a territorial home and thereby safeguard its independence.

Despite opposition from many quarters, the Reagan administration initiated formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See in the 1980s. Today, nearly every country maintains diplomatic ties, and the Holy See is a “permanent observer state” at the U.N. This persists despite its lack of most of the key legal characteristics of statehood.

It’s true that Vatican City runs a popular post office and mints its own currency. But international law requires that a “state” have four attributes: territory, a permanent population, a functioning government and the ability to engage in international relations. The last requirement largely builds on the others: Whether a state can engage in international relations is decided by whether other states treat it like one.

As to the question of territory, there exists only the small parcel of land known as Vatican City. But as any visitor knows, Vatican City is in the middle of Rome and is little more than half the size of the Mall in Washington, D.C. In any event, the Holy See continues to claim that its international status is based on its religious authority, not its territorial enclave.

To say that Vatican City possesses a permanent population of the sort envisioned by international law is even more of a stretch. Most residents are simply members of the church hierarchy, a body composed solely of men. They number less than the student bodies of many high schools — about 800. As to the Catholics of the world, they are already represented by the governments of other nations.

Vatican City does have a functioning bureaucracy, and so has a government of sorts. Yet it is surely the most unusual government of the world, given its minute size and lack of any standard government functions, such as the administration of justice, education of the young or provision of defense. It even relies on Italy for its water, police and firefighting services.

For decades the strange practice of treating the Catholic Church as a state has been bad for women’s equality, gay rights and reproductive freedom. The Holy See’s fictive statehood allows it to promote its retrograde views on gender and sex in diplomatic settings and during treaty negotiations.

Now, the unfolding sexual abuse scandal reveals another dark side of the Holy See’s claim to statehood: the extraordinary immunities claimed by the pope in the face of conspiracy accusations that span the globe.

Pope Benedict XVI’s predecessor, John Paul II, recognized the tenuous claim to statehood. When Vladimir Putin visited Vatican City some years ago, he offered to invite the pope to Russia. Russian Orthodox leaders opposed the pontiff’s visit, seeing it as an encroachment by Rome on their turf. Putin proposed a solution. As Putin later recalled, he told the pope: “I am ready to invite you as the head of state. I, as the head of state, invite you as the head of state.” The pope replied, “Look out the window. What kind of state do I have here? You can see my whole state right from this window.”

The Hague: Full text Criminal Charges against Dr. Joseph Ratzinger, Pope of the Roman Catholic Church

To the Prosecutor
The International Criminal Court

Dr. Luis Moreno Ocampo
Maanweg, 174
NL-2516 AB Den Haag

February 14, 2011

Criminal Charges
Dr. Joseph Ratzinger,

Pope of the Roman Catholic Church

on grounds of
Crimes against Humanity

According to Art. 7 ICC Statute

Dr. jur. Christian Sailer
Dr. jur. Gert-Joachim Hetzel

Dr. Sailer, Dr. Hetzel, Max-Braun-Str. 2, 97828 Marktheidenfeld-Altfeld, Germany
Max-Braun-Straße 2
97828 Marktheidenfeld-Altfeld, Germany

Telefon: 09391/504-200
Telefax: 09391/504-202

Introduction .................................................................................................................. 3
I. The Terrifying Church Regime.............................................................................. 5
1. Compulsory membership ....................................................................................... 5
2. Psycho-terror ............................................................................................................. 7
3. A crime against humanity.......................................................................................12
4. The criminal responsibility of Dr. Ratzinger .......................................................14
II. The Murderous Forbiddance of Condoms .......................................................14
1. The conflict ...............................................................................................................15
2. Obedience with fatal consequences ......................................................................16
3. A crime against humanity ......................................................................................18
4. The criminal responsibility of Dr. Ratzinger .......................................................19
III. Joseph Ratzinger’s Patronage of the Sexual Crimes of the Clergy ............20
1. The worldwide sexual crimes of Catholic priests...............................................20
1.1 USA...........................................................................................................................20
1.2 Ireland .....................................................................................................................22
1.3 Germany .................................................................................................................23
1.4 Canada.....................................................................................................................24
1.5 Australia ..................................................................................................................25
1.6 Africa........................................................................................................................25
1.7 Prominent perpetrators ........................................................................................25
2. The cover-up strategy.............................................................................................28
2.1 The pontifical secret ..............................................................................................28
2.2 The practice of cover-up .......................................................................................29
2.3 The preferential treatment and reinstatement of the perpetrators ...............32
2.4 No end in sight .......................................................................................................35
2.5 A crime against humanity.....................................................................................38
2.6 The criminal responsibility of Dr. Ratzinger .....................................................41
IV. On the Admissibility of the Proposed Charge...............................................44
V. Summation ..............................................................................................................46
In the name of and on behalf of
1) ……………………………..
2) ……………………………….
3) ………………………………
4) ………………………………..
5) ………………………………..
We hereby bring charges against Dr. Joseph Ratzinger and apply to the
prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to initiate investigations against
the accused and to examine him regarding the facts presented.

G r o u n d s


The charges are directed against three worldwide crimes, which until now have not been denounced merely because they stemmed from an institution headed by the “highest
dignitaries,” who appear to be far above criminal acts. The traditional reverence toward “ecclesiastical authority” has clouded the sense of right and wrong.
If, by way of massive psychological pressure, a new religious group were to force its
members to integrate their newborn into the group, in order to finance the latter its
whole life long and to orient itself in everything according to the directives of the group, it would be called a “sect.” It is possible the state would dissolve the group and punish the “sect leaders” on grounds of coercion and extortion, even more so, if the group would
not tolerate anyone leaving, instead hindering this under threat of severest punishment,
thus giving rise to serious emotional disturbances and impairment of the freedom of
development in many of its members.
Under the same facts and circumstances, can this be any different merely because it
concerns an organization that acts in the same way not only toward a few, but worldwide,
calling itself the “Roman Catholic Church” and constantly referring to religious
freedom, while setting “sect commissioners” onto those of different faith? It is not
different, but people have simply become accustomed to it. However, since July 1, 2002,
this inurement is no longer admissible. On this day, the statute for the International
Criminal Court came into effect, making crimes against humanity a punishable offense.
If a coercive sect of the kind described above were widespread in present-day Africa and
its members were forbidden the use of condoms under threat of severe punishment,
transmission of the HIV-AIDS virus and the deaths caused by this would be attributed
to the sect leaders, and charges would be brought against them. Can this be any different
simply because the coercive sect calls itself a “church” and its head claims to be
If, in a worldwide coercive sect, hundreds of thousands of children were sexually abused
and the crimes covered up and prosecution called off at the behest of the sect leader, this
criminal organization and its leader would be put on trial. Can this be any different
merely because this organization calls itself a “church” and the command to be silent
about the crimes does not come from a mafia boss, but is pronounced by the pope? It is
no different, but it is simply centuries of becoming inured to a pedophile priesthood and
the power of its high priests. Since the statutory offense of crimes against humanity
exists, this “looking the other way” is no longer admissible.
In the following, charges are brought against three crimes committed against humanity,
for which Dr. Joseph Ratzinger, as former cardinal and present-day pope, is criminally
1. the preservation and leadership of a worldwide totalitarian regime of coercion, which
subjugates its members with terrifying and health-endangering threats,
2. the adherence to a fatal forbiddance of the use of condoms, even when the danger of
HIV-AIDS infection exists, and

3. the establishment and maintenance of a worldwide system of cover-up of the sexual
crimes committed by Catholic priests and their preferential treatment, which aids and
abets ever new crimes.

I. The Terrifying Church Regime

There is strong suspicion that Dr. Joseph Ratzinger, as cardinal and as pope,
caused severe impairment to the mental and physical health of an unknown
number of people in the meaning of Art. 7(1)(k) ICCSt., in any case, provoking
corresponding health hazards.

1. Compulsory membership

The Roman Catholic Church acquires its members through a compulsory act,
namely, through the baptism of infants that do not yet have a will of their own,
as determined in Can. 96 of the Code of Canon Law (C.I.C. [Codex Iuris

“By baptism one is incorporated into the Church of Christ ...”

As a rule, baptism takes place during infancy. Catholic parents must believe that
their newborn child is burdened with the taint of original sin, from which it can
be freed solely through baptism. In the current Catechism of the Roman Catholic
Church, it literally says the following about this:

“Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also
have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of
darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God,
to which all men are called. … The Church and the parents would deny a
child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer
Baptism shortly after birth.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1250)

And in the Code of Canon Law, it says in Can. 867, para. 1:

“Parents are obliged to take care that infants are baptized in the first few
weeks; as soon as possible after the birth or even before it, they are to go to
the pastor to request the sacrament for their child and to be prepared
properly for it.”

In case the child is in danger of dying, the baptism should even take place
against the will of the parents. Can. 868, para. 2 C.I.C. determines the following
regarding this:

“An infant of Catholic parents or even of non-Catholic parents is baptized
licitly in danger of death even against the will of the parents.”
Most Catholic parents defer to this statement and have their children baptized as
early as possible, usually a few weeks after birth. According to prevailing
opinion, their right to care for and raise their children is sufficient for this, even
though, according to Catholic doctrine, baptism binds the baptized child in a
way that amounts to living in servitude. The Catholic Catechism states the
following about this:

“Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no
longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is
called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church,
and to ‘obey and submit’ to the Church's leaders, holding them in respect
and affection.” (Catechism, No. 1269)

The incorporation of the baptized child in the Catholic Church is irrevocable (cf.
von Campenhausen, Hdb. d. Staatskirchenrechts der Bundesrepublik Deutschland,
2. Ed., Berlin 1994, p. 759 f.), due to which the church also refuses to delete
people who have left the church from the baptismal records.

According to the binding doctrine of the church, leaving the church leads to the
eternal punishment of hell. This is what it says, for instance, in the book by Josef
Neuner and J. Dupuis, “The Christian Faith in the Doctrinal Documents of the
Catholic Church,” 2001. Margin Note No. 1005, p. 421:
“The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that ‘no
one remaining outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans’ but also Jews,
heretics or schismatics, can become partakers of eternal life; but they will go
to the ‘eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels,’ unless before the
end of their life they are joined to it (the Church).”
According to Can. 1364, in conjunction with Can. 751 of the Corpus iuris
Canonici (C.I.C.), to leave the church leads to excommunication, which, in turn,
according to No. 1463 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, represents a
“particularly grave sin” that, according to No. 1861 of the Catechism, results in
the “eternal death of hell.”

2. Psycho-terror

Among other things, the following applies to members of the church (Neuner, J.
and Roos, H. “The Teaching of the Catholic Church as Contained in Her
Documents,” Mercier Press Ltd., 1967, Margin Note No. 91, p. 63):

“If any one shall not receive as sacred and canonical the Books of Holy
Scripture, entire with all their parts, as the Holy Synod of Trent has
enumerated them, or shall deny that they have been divinely inspired –
anathema sit.”

“Anathema sit” literally translated from the Greek-Latin formulation means:
“may he be damned.”

According to this, anyone who does not acknowledge the threats of punishment
in the Old Testament as the word of God is also “damned.” For example:

“If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the
adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death …” (Lev. 20:10)

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed
an abomination; they shall surely be put to death …” (Lev. 20:13)

“The man who acts presumptuously by not obeying the priest who stands
to minister there before the LORD your God, or the judge, that man shall
die …!” (Dt. 17:12)

“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of
his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will
not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him
and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he
lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn
and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’
Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. ...” (Dt.

At first glance, such things may seem like something from the Stone Age that
has been obsolete for thousands of years. The Roman Catholic Church, however,
views it differently. In 1965, its highest body, in the form of the Second Vatican
Council, declared the following in its “Dogmatic Constitution on Divine
Revelation [Dei Verbum]”:

“… For holy mother Church, relying on the belief of the Apostles, holds
that the books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with
all their parts, are sacred and canonical because written under the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been
handed on as such to the Church herself. … Therefore, since everything
asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be
asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be
acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth

(Die Verbum, Chap. III,11.
Accordingly, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church held to be valid until
today, it says:

“The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books
are divinely inspired … Christians venerate the Old Testament as true
Word of God …” (No. 121 & 123)

If this is so, it is possible that only the limits imposed by secular law are keeping
the church from carrying out the threats of death that the Old Testament holds
ready for adulterers, homosexuals, heretics and disobedient children.

Among other things, the God of the Old Testament, the words of which the
church still considers valid today as “the true Word of God,” calls upon one to:
“Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to
which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. You shall tear down
their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim [sacred
poles].” (Ex. 4:12-13)

Paul, who is venerated by the church as the “apostle to the nations,” even goes a
step further, by writing the following about heretics or followers of other cults:
“They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness,
malice … They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. …
they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to
die…” (Rom. 1:29, 32)

How seriously the church takes such calls, when secular law does not hold it in
check, was demonstrated, for instance, by its missionary work in Latin America.
And should a nation rebel against the cruel God of the Old Testament, with
whom the church identifies, it is threatened anew with terrible things:
He “shall eat up the nations, his adversaries, and shall break their bones in
pieces and pierce them through with his arrows.” (Ex. 24:8)
Even if a contemporary with common sense is not at all inclined to connect this
with God, according to church opinion, this, too, is the “true word of God,” and
anyone who claims differently is considered one of the false teachers, against
whom the church hurls the following words in the second Letter of Peter:
“But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught
and destroyed … They are blots and blemishes …” (2 Pet. 2:12-13)
There is no freedom of faith or of conscience. Instead, the following holds true:
“Furthermore we declare, state and define that it is absolutely necessary for
the salvation of all men that they submit to the Roman pontiff.” (Neuner &
Roos, op.cit., Margin Note 342)


The decisions of the pope are “irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church. But if any one – which God avert – presume to contradict this Our definition – anathema sit.” (=damned) (Neuner-Roos, op.cit., Margin Note 388)
“To be damned” means to be damned to the eternal torments of hell. Karl
Jaspers, one of the great German philosophers of the past century, writes the
following about these sanctions: “There are the eternal torments of hell: the
Church relentlessly spurned the teachings of Origin, who regarded the punishments
of hell as limited in time by the restoration of all things (apokatastasis
panton) … through this, the souls remained in its hand. Nietzsche pointed out …
that the Church seized the widespread concept of eternal punishment as the ‘most fertile egg of its power’ … Because the priest penetrates into the inmost of the soul – on the strength of his office, not as mere mortal – he can put unheard of pressure on the believer. Parents may be held liable and threatened with purgatory, for failing to keep their grown children in the Church.” (Jaspers, “Philosophical Faith and Revelation,” New York, 1967, p. 43.) In the official documents of the Roman Catholic Church, about “The Last Things,” it says among other things:

“… in accordance with God’s universal ordinance the souls of those who die
in actual mortal sin descend immediately after death to hell where they are
tormented by eternal punishment.” (Neuner & Roos, Margin Note 822)

“But whoever dies in mortal sin without penance will without any doubt suffer for ever in the fires of eternal hell.” (Neuner & Roos, Margin Note 815)

Thereby, it is brought again and again to the believer’s attention that this involves
not only mental-emotional torments, but also terrible physical tortures, with which Jesus Christ allegedly will punish the evil ones at the Last Judgment: “Jesus Christ … will come at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, to render to each according to his works, to the rejected and to the elect, who will all arise with their own bodies which they now have so that they may receive, according as their works were good or bad, either perpetual punishment with the devil or eternal glory with Christ.” (Neuner & Roos, Margin Note 813)


At the same time, the church threatens the faithful, by way of the alleged statements of Jesus found in the Gospel text authorized by the church: “When the Son of man comes in his glory … he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats to his left … Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ … And they will go away into eternal punishment …” (Matthew 25:31,32,41,46)

The social psychologist Franz Buggle writes about the eternal torments of hell, with which the church makes threats in its own documents with the help of the alleged words of Jesus; among other things: “… a threat of punishment, which
disastrous, psychologically devastating effect on countless people in the history
of Christendom cannot be at all overstated. Try to free yourself from all inurement
caused by religious education and to realize what psychological significance
a threat of eternally lasting torments must have. All otherwise known
tortures and punishments pale in the face of this, because they are at least
limited by time. … there is hardly any other psychological phenomenon like the
threat of eternally lasting torments, which very much deserves the name psychoterror!”
(Buggle, Denn sie wissen nicht, was sie glauben, [For They Know Not
What They Believe] 1992, p. 98)
In many people, not lastly in children and youth, the results of this terror are
fear of sinning, chronic bad conscience, hypochondria, and a myriad of manifestations
of “ecclesiogenic neuroses,” which can imply bondage to the church,
and which is still effective even in those who, over the course of their life, tried
to free themselves from the details of the church message of threat. Karl Jaspers
writes concerning this: “To the hour of death, the priest may bring comfort or
torment; to this day, Catholics who have ceased to believe are seen to turn back
then, as if held by an inner chain …” (Jaspers, op.cit., p. 43) It is the mental
agony that shackles church members from a very early age, expressed in one of
the most important writings of the papal church, in which it says: “It is a fearful
thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb.10:31)
3. A crime against humanity
The coercion of faith and of conscience that goes out from the Roman Catholic
Church, practiced against members recruited and held under compulsion, and
enforced with threats of the severest evil imaginable in the eternal torments of
hell, is a grave impairment of the personal freedom of development and of a
person’s emotional and mental integrity. That church members thereby do not
collectively collapse mentally and emotionally can only be due to the fact that
many do not take a large part of the church’s message of threat seriously.
However, this inner emigration does not change anything about the inhumanness
of the system and its goal of the total emotional and mental subjugation of
church members. And it literally presumes the following: “She must therefore
with painstaking care remove and eradicate anything that is contrary to faith …”
(Neuner & Roos, Margin Note 352)
How seriously this is meant can be seen by the trail of blood left by the
Crusades, the Inquisition and the witch burnings. That the church presently
cannot put its spirit of violence into practice in physical acts of violence does not
change a thing about the fact that its system of mental subjugation is contrary to
human rights. The constantly repeated threat, issued in different variations: “If
you do not believe what I tell you, you will suffer the eternal torments of hell,”
occurs towards people whom the church expects to take this threat seriously.
And many do so and therefore become ill, either now and then, or even
chronically: With their first sexual contact, young people suffer under the
anxiety of having sinned; married couples allow themselves to be forbidden the
use of birth control measures; non-Catholics who marry Catholics must, at the
time of marriage, pledge to raise the children as Catholics; mentally ill people
have “evil spirits driven out” by church exorcists, and in the process, parents
even risk the death of their child. Children abused by priests and their parents
feel obliged to remain silent about the crimes; African Catholics become infected
with HIV, because according to Catholic sexual “morals,” the use of condoms is
not allowed.
Ultimately, the damages caused by church coercion do not need to be determined,
because, with the crimes committed against humanity via the threats that
are under consideration here, a serious threat to the victim’s health is already
sufficient (cf. Werle, Völkerstrafrecht, 2.Ed., 2007, Margin Note 343). In any case,
it concerns the mental use of force, which is similar to other crimes against
humanity, such as “coercion into prostitution” [Art. 7(1)(g) ICCSt.] or deportation
(d) or – ”remove and eradicate anything” – apartheid (j). Compared to the
threats of the eternal torments of hell, the temporal suffering connected with
these is nigh on harmless. The church system of coercion thus falls under the
elements of an offense of “other inhuman acts of a similar kind” in the meaning
of Art. 7(1)(k) ICCSt.
The fact that the church system of coercion has been in existence for about 1500
years and is an established religion in the countries of the western hemisphere
does not change this, either. This establishment did not take place through the
free recognition of the church system, but through compulsory membership,
mental oppression and bloody violence. The outcome of this historical process,
which led to the “worldwide church,” was accepted with the help of tradition
and inurement, nolens volens (like it or not), even though, throughout the
centuries, resistance of a philosophical and religious kind took place. Over and
over again, these were successfully quelled, in part, in an extremely bloody way
and with state help.
This state help also consisted of the fact that no legal limits were set regarding
the preservation of this church system of coercion. This has changed since the
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 1, 2002 came into effect.
With this, the statutory offense of crimes against humanity was created as an
international law. It protects not only against murder and manslaughter, but also
has in mind human rights that go beyond this, such as protection against racial
discrimination, expulsion and deportation and “other inhuman acts of a similar
kind.” In this respect, it is a cultural turn for mankind initiated through the
international criminal law. Health-endangering psycho-terror consisting of
coercion of faith and of conscience by way of inhuman threats is no longer
tolerated, but is, instead, punishable, insofar as it is inflicted upon a “civilian
population” through an “extensive or systematic” act (Art. 7(1) p. 1 ICCSt.). The
coercive system of the church is equal to such an attack, for the threats made by
the church take place “pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organization
policy,” namely that of the church, “to commit such an attack,” [Art. 7 (2)(a)
ICCSt.] in order to enforce its doctrine worldwide against the “civilian population.”
4. The criminal responsibility of Dr. Ratzinger
The accused may very well not have initiated the church system of coercion;
however, as pope, he is responsible for its preservation and enforcement and, as
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of his church, he was
jointly responsible, being in a decisive position as the representative of the
former pope. He was head of the church’s Inquisition authority and felt
accordingly. In a radio interview in March 2005, he said: “Grand Inquisitor is a
historic definition. Somewhere, we stand in a line of continuity.” And he added
that one “must indeed say that the Inquisition was progress, because nothing
could be condemned anymore without ‘inquisitio’ [a hearing].”
Today, the accused bears the final responsibility for all his church’s doctrines
and threats. Therefore, he is also responsible for the fact that the church system
of coercion, installed before his election as pope, continues to exist. He could
revoke the threats of eternal torments of hell. As long as he does not do this, he
fulfills the above-indicated statutory offense of Art. 7(1)(k) ICCSt. by way of
omission (cf. also Werle, op.cit., Margin Note 472 f.).
II. The Murderous Forbiddance of Condoms
There is strong suspicion that, as pope, Dr. Joseph Ratzinger has caused an
undetermined number of people severe impairment of their physical health or
even their death, in the meaning of Art. 7(1)(a) and (k) ICCSt.
1. The conflict
According to UN figures, more than 22 million people in Africa are presently
infected with HIV-AIDS; approximately 30 million have already died of the
epidemic. In South Africa, every fifth person is affected by it. There are about
500,000 new infections annually. Many millions of Catholics also live in the areas
The transmission of the HIV virus occurs through the exchange of bodily fluids.
For this reason, one of the most important measures for the containment of the
epidemic consists in urging people in the endangered areas to use condoms
during sexual intercourse.
According to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, proclaimed via the
encyclical Humanae Vitae by Pope Paul VI in 1968, contraceptives, however, are
strictly forbidden. And nothing changed regarding this when the number of
persons infected with HIV skyrocketed during the 1980s and 1990s and the HIV
virus led to millions of deaths, which continues until today. When Pope John
Paul II visited Uganda in February 1993, he omitted the burning question concerning
a change in the life-endangering forbiddance of condoms. He preferred
to accept the spread of the epidemic rather than to change the “moral” doctrine
of the Vatican. In a “Vademecum for Confessors,” which the same pope commissioned
in 1997, Cardinal Alfonso Lopéz Trujillo, president of the “Pontifical
Council for the Family,” emphasized the absolute validity of the old determination:
“The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that
is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be
held as definitive and irreformable.”
Members of the Catholic Church who live in the areas of Africa threatened by
HIV-AIDS, that is, primarily south of the Sahara, are faced with a terrible
alternative: If they protect themselves with condoms during sexual intercourse,
they become grave sinners; if they do not protect themselves out of fear of the
punishment of sin threatened by the church, they become candidates for death.
In 1989, a Catholic moral theologian – Carlo Caffarra, who today is the Archbishop
of Bologna – called for ending all sexual activities, even within marriage,
if one of the partners is HIV positive. Forbidding the use of condoms not only
led to fatal infections among Catholics, but at the same time also abetted in the
contraction of this disease among non-Catholics.
For years, resistance to this unworldly and life-endangering “moral” has been
expressed, also from within the ranks of the church. According to Spiegel Online
on April 4, 2010, Kevin Dowling, the Catholic Bishop in Rustenburg, South
Africa, already charged his church on World AIDS Day 2003, with being “blind
toward the reality of life of millions of poor people.” The people in Africa “live,
suffer and die because of this disease.” In his bishopric, the Bishop has
experienced firsthand, how people in the workcamps die of AIDS by the dozens.
“I believe that people living with HIV must be invited and challenged to use a
condom in order to prevent the transmission of potential death to another
person, or to protect themselves from infection, especially in abusive and destructive
relationships,” declared the Bishop.
2. Obedience with fatal consequences
But the present ruling pope also closes his ears to the moral dilemma of his
priests and believers. Even worse: During his first trip to Africa in March 2009,
when many African Catholics hoped for a redeeming word, he intensified the
dilemma during a conversation with journalists aboard the airplane that took
him to Africa. He stated: “The scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms;
quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem.” He said that the
solution lies in a “spiritual and human renewal” and in “true friendship, above
all, for those who are suffering.”
( [cf. nachrichten. from March 18, 2009])
All the aid organizations with no ties to churches, such as the United Nations
International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), reacted with incomprehension
to so much ignorance. For the pope’s statement occurred two years after
the publication of the sensational book “Gott, Aids, Afrika” (God, AIDS, Africa)
by Grill und Hippler, in which the years-long leader of the German Congregation
in Cape Town (Hippler) reported about the terrible moral dilemma
and the mortal dangers associated with it for the Catholic population of South
Africa. Among other things, he wrote: “How can we justify the death of people
even if they do not live up to our church’s strict moral code? Shouldn’t the
teenager who sleeps with his girlfriend protect himself – and her? It’s literally a
question of life and death. In that light, long discussions about whether the
authorization of condoms might lead to an increase in promiscuity are
irrelevant. Indeed, the debate has already been settled. Studies conclusively
show that the use of prophylactics has no influence on the numbers of sexual
partners or frequency of sexual acts. Isn’t it high time that empirical studies –
facts – should be integrated in the study of moral theology?
But then, there is also concern that obedience to the church’s teaching authority
might take a knock if moral theology is altered.”
How right the author was about this became evident after the publication of his
book. His contract in Cape Town was not renewed by his church. Book-signing
tours in Germany or participation on talk shows was forbidden him by the
German Bishops’ Conference.
In 2009 another report about the fatal conflict between church doctrine and
fighting AIDS effectively was published in the book “Das möge Gott verhüten”
(“May God Prevent This”) by the former nun Majella Lenzen. Among other
things, the nun reported: “For 33 years, I have helped people, particularly sick
people, so that they could lead a life in dignity. The people have suffered from
cholera, malaria, HIV, AIDS – their misfortune has made me courageous. Until it
came to the final scandal. I was stigmatized as the ‘condom nun,’ because I –
against the orders of the church – espoused contraceptives as a possibility for
preemptively counteracting the immune deficiency AIDS. For me, this was a
necessity, because I have experienced the misery in the huts of the orphaned
children in East Africa, I have seen the terribly emaciated bodies of the women
marked by the disease, I have held their feeble hands and seen their anxious,
sunken eyes.” In the end, she had to leave her order. In the epilogue of her book,
she writes, among other things: “The fact that the church preaches so
vehemently against condoms makes it jointly responsible that on Kilimanjaro,
every third person is now HIV positive. The number of dead continuously
3. A crime against humanity
This report from an eyewitness did not change anything in the Vatican, either.
The same is true of an extensive expert report, which the pope has and which
raises the question of a revision of the church’s life-endangering doctrine on
sexual relations.
Instead, in an interview with the journalist Peter Seewald, which led to the book
“Light of the World,” the pope casually commented on the problem of preventing
AIDS with condoms. He said: “There may be justified individual cases,
for instance, when a prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step
toward moralization.” But, of course, the church does not view this as a real and
moral solution. “… in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention
of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different
way, a more human way, of living sexuality.” (
world-europe-11804798) This remark made the global public prick up its ears. In
reality, however, it did not initiate a change. In a report by the German Press
Agency on Dec. 22, 2010, the following is stated about this:
“Church Clarifies:
Condoms Are Still Forbidden for Catholics
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome has stated the
position of the Catholic Church on condoms more precisely. It states that to
interpret the pope’s statements as permission to used contraceptives is
Despite Pope Benedict XVI statements being frequently greeted as loosening
the condom forbiddance, his Church keeps to its rejection of contraceptives.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated in a so-called note that
in reality, Benedict’s words changed neither the moral doctrine nor the
pastoral practice of the Catholic Church. ... In its extensive note, the
Congregation, formerly led by Ratzinger, especially countered deliberate
wrong interpretations of these pontifical statements: ‘The idea that anyone
could deduce from the words of Benedict XVI that it is somehow legitimate,
in certain situations, to use condoms to avoid an unwanted pregnancy is
completely arbitrary and is in no way justified either by his words or in his
thought.’” (
This kind of thinking is an accessory to death.
4. The criminal responsibility of Dr. Ratzinger
It is true that the accused did not initiate the strict forbiddance of contraceptives;
however, as pope, he is responsible for the fact that it continues to exist, for he
could revoke it.
Due to the fact that he does not do this, he is – by omission – responsible for the
fact that in regions threatened with AIDS Catholics abstain from the protection
by condoms out of fear of punishment for their sins. The church’s coercive
system and the threat of the eternal torments of hell associated with it for committing
grave sins has, in this case, a fatal effect in hundreds of thousands, that is
to say, millions, of cases. The pope’s moral reservation about revoking the forbiddance
of condoms is no justification for accepting the risk of infection or the
death of countless people and the misery of countless orphaned children that go
with this forbiddance. In any case, saving human lives is the greater good, it is
mandatory according to international law and prevails over the church doctrine
that is contrary to human rights.
III. Joseph Ratzinger’s Patronage of the Sexual Crimes of the Clergy
Finally, there is the strong suspicion that Dr. Joseph Ratzinger, as Prefect of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of his church and as pope, has up to
the present day systematically covered up the sexual abuse of children and
youth and protected the perpetrators, thereby aiding and abetting further sexual
violence toward young people in the meaning of Art. 7(1)(g) ICCSt.
1. The worldwide sexual crimes of Catholic priests
Meanwhile, it is known that during the last decades, thousands of Catholic
priests have sexually abused and raped tens of thousands of children and youth.
The following account is limited to the sexual crimes committed in the countries
most affected and some examples of the cover-up by the church. It is mainly
based on the compilation by Geoffrey Robertson QC, THE CASE OF THE POPE,
2010 (enclosed) and the reports of German and English media. In addition,
reference is made to the website and the encompassing compilation
“Sexual Violence in the Catholic Church During the Years 1993 to 2011”
found there.
1.1 USA
The complete magnitude of the crime first became known through a series of
reports by the Boston Globe in 2002. The newspaper reported that since the mid-
1990s, 130 victims of a Bostonian priest reported their terrible childhood experiences.
As school children, they had been abused and raped over a period of
three decades. The cardinal in charge, Bernard Law, was well aware of the fact
that it wasn’t one specific priest, but a number of his priests who were sexually
molesting young boys, but his only reaction to the accusations of their victims
was to transfer the priests to different parishes where their past was unknown.
The cardinal himself was transferred to the Vatican where he received honorable
tasks while his diocese had to pay over $100 million in damages to the victims of
the priests he was covering up for. (cf., Robertson, op.cit. p. 16)
In all of the United States, countless victims of ecclesiastic child molesters have
now spoken up. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled with the victims there to
the tune of $660 million in damages. It also became known that the bishop of
Portland, William Levada, had learned of the danger of pedophile priests in his
diocese as early as 1985, but undertook nothing against it. The tolerance of these
wrongs and their resulting damage almost plunged his diocese into bankruptcy
from which it could emerge only by agreeing to pay $75 million in damages to
the victims. Today, Levada succeeds the pope as Prefect Cardinal of the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith. Other dioceses resorted to bankruptcy in
order to escape child abuse lawsuits filed by victims of sexual crimes by the
clergy. The Vatican, from which came all instructions on how to deal with the
problem of pedophiles in the worldwide church, did not step in to save them
from bankruptcy, although it receives millions in annual contributions (Peter’s
Pence) from the dioceses. In the end, the total bill for the crimes of the church’s
child sex abusers could amount to 5 billion dollars, as Forbes magazine predicts.
(cf. Robertson, op.cit. pp. 16-17)
Sex abuse crimes committed by Catholic priests have become known in almost
every state of the United States. When it was no longer possible to transfer the
perpetrators from parish to parish or from one diocese to the other, the bishops
in New York started sending them to other countries (instead of prison). “Recent
investigations have indicated a traffick in pedophile priests to and from the US
with Ireland, Rome, Mexico and Africa.” The minimal number of sexual abuse
cases was given in a report conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in
New York and commissioned by the US Catholic Bishops Conference (in 2002):
10,667 persons concerned “had made plausible allegations against 4,392 priests.”
While in 2002, Cardinal Ratzinger wanted to reduce the number of perpetrators
to one percent of the priesthood, it now became clear that the number amounts
to 4.3 percent. The worst case was that of Father Lawrence Murphy, who, over a
period of twenty years, sexually abused 200 deaf-mute boys in Wisconsin – a
case which will be dealt with again in connection with Cardinal Ratzinger’s
actions. (cf. Robertson, op.cit., pp. 18-23)
1.2 Ireland
While Pope John Paul II sought to downplay the massive amount of child
molesting done by Catholic priests as a particularly American problem,
(Robertson, op.cit., p. 20) in Ireland, a commission chaired by Sean Ryan, Justice
of the High Court, became active in 2001 to work out the rules of compensation.
Their report was published in 2002, after having undertaken the first inquiries
into sexual abuse in Catholic educational facilities. An extensive report was
published in 2009, drafted by the “Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse,”
again chaired by Justice Ryan. (The “Ryan Report”). He described the sexual
abuse in Catholic facilities as “endemic.” Witnesses reported that their feelings
of shame, the superior physical force of the abusers, the practice of silence, the
isolation and the fear of physical punishment, all these prevented them from
exposing this abuse. (Volume III, Chapters 7, 9 pp. 13-18, “Knowledge and
Disclosure”). Furthermore, the following is written in the report:
“It is impossible to determine the full extent of sexual abuse committed in boys’
schools … Cases of sexual abuse were managed with a view to minimising the
risk of public disclosure and consequent damage to the institution and the
congregation. This policy resulted in the protection of the perpetrator. When lay
people were discovered to have sexually abused, they were generally reported to
the Gardai (police). When a member of a congregation was found to be abusing,
it was dealt with internally and was not reported to the Gardai (police). …
The recidivist nature of sexual abuse was known to religious authorities. The
documents revealed that sexual abusers were often long-term offenders who
repeatedly abused children wherever they were working. Contrary to the congregations’
claims that the recidivist nature of sexual offending was not understood,
it is clear from the documented cases that they were aware of the propensity
for abusers to re-abuse. The risk, however, was seen by the congregations
in terms of the potential for scandal and bad publicity should the abuse be
disclosed. The danger to children was not taken into account. When confronted
with evidence of sexual abuse, the response of the religious authorities was to
transfer the offender to another location where, in many instances, he was free to
abuse again.” (Ryan Report. Conclusions: 19-22).
In November 2009, under the chairmanship of Judge Yvonne Murphy, a report
was drafted, which dealt with the situation in the Diocese of Dublin. The scope
of the report encompassed the years 1975 to 2004. Again, a large number of
witnesses were heard and corresponding documents evaluated. 14,500 victims
were ascertained. Based on the abundance of evidence, the commission came to
the following conclusion, in summary:
“The Commission has no doubt that clerical sexual child abuse was covered
up by the Archdiocese of Dublin and other Church authorities over much of
the period covered by the Commission’s remit. The structures and rules of
the Catholic Church facilitated that cover-up. The State authorities facilitated
the cover up by not fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure that the law was
applied equally to all and allowing the Church institutions to be beyond the
reach of the normal law enforcement processes. The welfare of children,
which should have been the first priority, was not even a factor to be
considered in the early stages. Instead the focus was on the avoidance of
scandal and the preservation of the good name, status and assets of the institution
and of what the institution regarded as its most important members
– the priests. In the mid-1990s, a light began to be shone on the scandal and
the cover up. Gradually, the story has unfolded. It is the responsibility of the
State to ensure that no similar institutional immunity is ever allowed to
occur again. This can be ensured only if all institutions are open to scrutiny
and not accorded an exempted status by any organs of the State.”
1.3 Germany
And in Germany, the wall of silence concerning the abuse of children in church
facilities on a massive scale was also impenetrable for a long time. It was broken
through in 2010 by the leader of the Canisius College of the Jesuit Order.
Investigations were made after several cases of abuse during the 1970s and 1980s
became known to him. They revealed that for years on end, 50 priests sexually
abused over 200 children and youth at the Canisius College. Further child abuse
crimes in many other bishoprics soon became known. Until then, everything had
been kept secret. (cf. Der Spiegel 6/2010) Now, much came to light. In Bavaria
alone, at least 280 perpetrators were determined, who, since 1945, had become
sexually abusive towards children and youth in church facilities. (cf. Süddeutsche
Zeitung, Oct. 22, 2010). These investigations brought to light that also in the
Archbishopric of Munich and Freising sexual child abuse cases had been
systematically covered up. In at least one case, the then acting cardinal in
Munich, Joseph Ratzinger, was responsible: When in 1979 a pedophile priest was
transferred from Munich to Essen, he was once more appointed to pastoral care
there without being reported to the police. Later, he became a recidivist and was
finally sentenced by a German court (cf. Robertson, op.cit., p. 29; sü
from Mar. 26, 2010; Der Spiegel 48/2010). An investigative report commissioned
by the bishopric in 2010 determined that relevant files had, in part, been
destroyed or were filled with gaps. When priests were transferred to other
bishoprics, the grounds were not mentioned. If it was about sexual offenses,
these were played down. In the Süddeutsche Zeitung the result of the report was
reflected in the headline of the article: “Abuse Systematically Covered Up By
Church.” The newspaper summarized: “No matter whether the cardinals were
Döpfner, Ratzinger or Wetter – the victims of sexual violence did not find a
sympathetic ear, the perpetrators, on the other hand, did, all the way to the brink
of the obstruction of justice.” (Süddeutsche Zeitung from Dec. 4-5, 2010)
1.4 Canada
In Canada, the first large child molester scandal occurred in 1990: Nine Christian
Brothers, a lay organization of the Catholic Church, were gaoled for repeated
sexual assaults on boys in an orphanage. In 2001 it was revealed that a Catholic
school in Montreal had become a den for sexual abuse, covered up repeatedly by
compensation payments for the crimes of priests who were never reported to
police. In 2003 police discovered that a bishop had hidden handwritten confessions
from one priest whom he had transferred to another parish without
calling attention to the priest’s criminal record. The man was eventually con-
victed of abusing 47 girls. Canada’s biggest scandal is the sexual, physical and
emotional violence that took place in residential schools for aboriginal children,
also run by the Catholic Church. A national compensation agreement required
the church to pay $80 million dollars and the government had to pay $2.2 billion.
The Pope has apologized, but here, too, there have been concerns that the church
did not fully cooperate with the government Commission that had investigated
the crimes. (cf. Robertson, op.cit., p. 33 f.)
1.5 Australia
Practically no country where the Catholic Church is active was spared. In
Australia 90 priests have been convicted for sexual abuse, but many more have
been protected from the criminal justice process, because the church has kept
allegations secret and made confidential settlements. In 2010 it became known
that a commissioner of the church ordered payments in respect of the sexual
molestation of children by 300 priests, only one of whom had been defrocked. In
one case, a child molester was transferred to another parish, where he transgressed
again. (cf. Robertson, op.cit, pp. 32-33)
1.6 Africa
The church proceeded to transfer its child abuse criminals more and more, not
only from parish to parish, but to Africa in droves. In May 2010, the first reports
about the intense trafficking of child-molesting priests from Germany, Italy,
Ireland and the USA to Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique and the Congo
became known. The head of the South African Bishops Conference complained
that the continent had been sent priests who were “wolves wearing sheepskin.”
(cf. Robertson, op.cit., p. 30 with endnote indicating Legal Brief Africa, Issue No.
379, May 3, 2010)
1.7 Prominent perpetrators
Meanwhile it is becoming known more and more that sexual perversion is by no
means limited to the simple priesthood, but reaches into the highest ranks of the
Catholic Church. At the same time, the sex scandals involving bishops and arch-
bishops frequently opened the door to deeper insight into the immorality of the
Catholic clergy. For example, in April 2010 the Bishop of Bruges (Belgium)
resigned from his office, because the fact that he had sexually abused his
nephew for years came to light. He waited to confess his crime until the 10 year
limitation-period had elapsed and he could therefore no longer be punished. His
case led to the appointment of an investigative board of inquiry of the Belgian
Bishops Conference, whose investigations revealed that over the course of past
decades at least 488 cases of abuse had occurred. A state investigation of the
cases did not take place. (cf. Süddeutsche Zeitung from Sept. 14, 2010 and NY
Times July 12, 2010, “Abuse Took Years to Ignite Belgian Clergy Inquiry”).
In Norway, Archbishop Mueller admitted to abusing a 12-year-old altar boy in
the early 1990s. The worst case of a church spiritual leader is the case of the
former Cardinal Hans-Hermann Groer from Austria, who had molested an
estimated 2,000 boys in his twenty-year passage to a bishopric. He was never
punished for this; instead, Pope John Paul II even permitted him to withdraw
undisturbed to a monastery. Some of his victims received compensation and
were bound to silence. These events took place in the 1980s and 1990s when
Joseph Ratzinger was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
In 2000, he and John Paul II were also informed that the Polish Archbishop Julius
Paetz was abusing trainee priests. They ignored this information at the time and
did not ask Paetz to resign until the truthful allegations became public, several
years later. (cf. Robertson, op.cit., pp. 29-30).
In Latin America people became aware of the crimes of ecclesiastic child abuse,
primarily committed by a friend of Pope John Paul II, Padre Marcial Maciel
Degollado. The pope received him in 2004, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of
his ordination as priest and to thank him for “a ministry full of the gifts of the
Holy Spirit.” (
10-04.html) In Mexico Maciel had founded the Order Legionaires of Christ, an
organization similar to the notorious Opus Dei. In its issue of Oct. 16/17, 2010,
the Frankfurter Rundschau reported the following about this man:
“If there were an internal-church ranking list of the gravest sinners, Maciel
would take top place. For decades, the founder of the order, who died in
2008, was not only inclined to worldly vices like intoxicants. He was also not
particularly serious about celibacy and fathered three children with two
women, as the Order itself has now admitted. But what weighs heaviest, is
the fact that Maciel is said to have abused 20 to 100 children, including his
own children. According to statements from the victims, his excuse for this
was a ‘stomach ailment’ that could be relieved only by means of ‘massage.’
After the completed ‘treatment,’ he heard the victims’ confession and swore
them to secrecy, as required by the regulations of the order. The accusations
against Maciel were known in the Vatican for decades. Already at the end of
the 1970s, a victim had described his torments and sent the letter, annotated
with the assertions of fellow sufferers, to Rome. Nothing happened. It was
only in 1997 that eight former Mexican seminarians dared to go public.
Shortly thereafter, they filed a complaint with the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith; the investigation, however, was soon discontinued. …
Only when John Paul II was on his deathbed, did Ratzinger initiate a new
investigation; what the chief prosecutor of the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith, Charles Sciculuna, learned from Maciel’s victims was so
shocking that in 2006 Rome ordered the founder of the order to lead ‘a
retiring life of prayer and penance.’ No legal action was taken against him.
Maciel died at the age of 87 undisturbed in the USA.”
In Argentina, as well, a prominent church leader, the Archbishop of the archdiocese
of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, was the object of serious accusations. 47
young seminarians accused him of sexually abusing them. In February 1995, the
bishop traveled to Rome and managed to have Pope John Paul II suspend the
investigation and ratify his post. Only when the Argentinean journalist Olga
Wornat made the case public in 2002 in the book “Our Holy Mother” (“Nuestra
Santa Madre”) and a former seminarian filed charges against the bishop, did he
resign his post. At the end of 2009, he was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment,
which he is serving under house arrest.
In Nigeria, the Archbishop of Benin City, Richard Anthony Burke was accused
of maintaining a sexual relationship with a minor girl and of having lived in
concubinage. On May 31, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI accepted his resignation.
(Wikipedia, Sexueller Missbrauch in der römisch-katholischen Kirche, 2.8.1.)
There is nothing known about a legal case against the bishop.
2. The cover-up strategy
2.1 The pontifical secret
Before his election to the papacy in 2005, Dr. Joseph Ratzinger had been the
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1981. It consists of
three departments. One of them is the “Department of Discipline,” which deals
with offenses against morals. From 1962 on, the treatment of such offenses is
based on a confidential pontifical decree entitled “Crimen solicitationis.” In cases
of sexual offenses committed by priests, it obligated every perpetrator, every
victim and every witness to keep absolute secrecy under the threat of excommunication.
At first, even the decree itself remained a secret. Responsibility for
the administrative channel and litigation procedure was exclusively in the hands
of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office. On April 30, 2001, by way of a
Motu Proprio (Apostolic Letter) entitled “Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela,”
Pope John Paul II superceded the policies of “Crimen solicitationis” from 1962.
The announcement of the new regulations took place by way of the letter “de
delictis gravioribus” (on serious delicts) of May 21, 2001, from the then head of
the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger, to all bishops
of the Catholic Church. Among other things, it says:
“A delict against morals, namely: the delict committed by a cleric against the
Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue with a minor below the age of 18
years … is reserved to the apostolic tribunal of the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith.” “As often as an ordinary [i.e.,bishop] or hierarch has
at least probable knowledge of a reserved delict, after he has carried out
preliminary investigation he is to indicate it to the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith, which unless it calls the case to itself because of special
circumstances of things, after transmitting appropriate norms, orders the
ordinary or hierarch to proceed ahead through his own tribunal.... When the
trial in the tribunal is finished in any fashion, all the acts of the case are to be
transmitted ex officio as soon as possible to the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith. … Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical
secret.” (Robertson, op.cit., pp. 199, 200).
2.2 The practice of cover-up
Even just considering this canonical situation, one has to assume that the head of
the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was always informed about all the
sexual crimes that were committed by Catholic priests worldwide. Furthermore,
one has to assume that he was also basically informed on how the local bishops
handled the investigations or the settlement of the cases known to the local
bishops and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. He knew
that, as a rule, the church did not inform the police and that punishment of the
perpetrators thus remained within the church, whereby the maximum punishment,
even for the worst sexual crimes, is merely excommunication and dismissal
from office. Furthermore, he knew that such dismissals not only occurred
very rarely, but that in many cases the priests were re-assigned and often abused
children again. Of course, he also knew when state investigative commissions
were appointed (for example, in Dublin and Massachusetts), to investigate the
sexual crimes of his priests, and how these commissions were hindered in their
investigations by the church. In November 2009, the Murphy Commission not
only determined that for decades the Catholic bishops of Ireland had kept secret
the rape and mistreatment of minors, involving a total of 14,500 victims, but that
the cover-up also continued toward the commission itself, as was also done
during the investigation by the Attorney General of Massachusetts. The latter
spoke of a “culture of secrecy” and the John Jay study (cf. Above 1.1) reached the
shocking finding that 76 per cent of child sex abuse allegations made against
priests had never been reported to law enforcement authorities. (Robertson,
op.cit. p. 22) The Murphy Commission wrote in its report that, in Massachusetts
as in Dublin, secrecy “protected the institution at the expense of children.”
(Murphy Report, Chapter 1, No. 28;
201.pdf/Files/Part%201.pdf). Recently, it has been discovered via Wikileaks that
it was the Vatican itself that put obstacles in the way of the investigative com-
mission when it requested information from Rome. It was rejected, because the
request for information was not done via the Irish government but went directly
to the Vatican, which infringed upon its right to sovereignty (cf. Welt online,
“Vatikan verweigerte Mitarbeit an Missbrauchsbericht,” from Dec. 12, 2010; The
Guardian, WikiLeaks cables: “Vatican refused to engage with child sex abuse
inquiry,” from Dec. 11, 2010).
Secrecy was the highest precept, not only legally, as written in the letter from
Cardinal Ratzinger in 2001, but also in actual fact, cover-up was the order of the
day. A particularly crass confirmation of this is very dramatically provided by
an event from 2001, which just recently became known: On Sept. 8, 2001, the
Vatican congratulated the French Bishop Pierre Pican of Bayeux for a very
special deed. Even though according to French law, he would have been obligated
to report the sexual abuse committed by priests to the police, he did not do
so, and at that, despite it being an especially grave case: the priest René Bissey
had repeatedly raped a boy and molested ten others. He was finally sentenced to
18 years in prison. Bishop Pican was sentenced to three months probation for
infringing against the obligation to disclosure. In the letter of commendation
from Rome, it says: “You have acted well and I am pleased to have a colleague in
the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and of all other bishops in the world,
preferred prison to denouncing his son and priest.” The letter was signed by the
Prefect of the Congregation of the Clergy, Dario Castrillón Hoyos and, with the
approval of the pope and of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith, that is, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a copy was sent to all Bishops
Conferences. (cf. Washington Post from April 23, 2010;
AR2010042205304.html; Robertson op.cit., p. 42).
This fits right in with similar behavior patterns of the Vatican in other cases.
When in view of the increasing child molesting scandals, the American Bishops
Conference suggested a strategy of zero-tolerance, wanting the perpetrators
reported to the police and demanding more frequent defrocking of guilty
priests, a resounding veto came from Rome: The then Secretary of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger and today
Cardinal Secretary of State Bertone stated in February 2002:
“In my opinion, the demand that a bishop be obligated to contact the police
in order to denounce a priest who has admitted the offense of pedophilia is
unfounded. Naturally civil society has the obligation to defend its citizens.
But it must also respect the ‘professional secrecy’ of priests ... If a priest
cannot confide in his bishop for fear of being denounced, then it would mean
that there is no more liberty of conscience.” (John L. Allen, Jr., “All the
Pope’s Men,” 2004, p. 242) And the Prefect of the Congregation of the
Clergy, Castrillón Hoyos, “defended the church’s preference for ‘keeping
things within the family’.” (Allen, op.cit., p. 245; cf. also Robertson, op.cit., p.
19 f., which cites even more cardinals with similar statements).
That this was also done in previous years becomes apparent from a letter that
recently became known, written by the Papal Nuntio in Dublin in 1997. As the
New York Times reported, the papal representative warned against the fact that
the Irish church leadership had issued an order for complete collaboration with
the law enforcement agencies. Literally, the newspaper wrote: “The letter from
the papal representative rejected a 1996 decision by Dublin church leaders to
respond more candidly to the suppressed scandal in Ireland by ordering that
child-abuse allegations be referred for criminal investigations. The ‘strictly
confidential’ letter from Rome – leaked in January amid continuing inquiries
into the Irish scandal – emphasized the priority of in-house handling of pedophilia
cases under church, not civil, law.” (New York Times, January 31, 2011)
How strongly the church obstructs a legal accounting of the sexual crimes of its
priests was directly experienced by one of the signatories in the case he handled
of a victim of abuse. The victim was a woman who averred to having been
sexually abused and raped as a child and young girl by a priest over several
years. She became so traumatized by this that, for decades, she repressed these
occurrences. Based on a clinical-psychological expert assessment of a scientist at
the Catholic University of Eichstätt, her allegations were deemed reliable. In
consideration of this, the deputy president of the diocesan tribunal in Eichstätt
turned to the Würzburg bishop, Dr. Hofmann, responsible for the perpetrator –
now deceased – with the indication that this was a “particularly grave and

serious case of sexual abuse,” and the diocese should pay an appropriate compensation.
When the diocese rejected this demand and tried to resolve the case
with the payment of a kind of “hush money,” the diocese was taken to court.
During the proceedings, the bishop then put in a plea based on the statute of
limitations. Following, the signatory turned to the President of the German
Bishops Conference, Archbishop Dr. Zollitsch, with the request that the latter try
to get the accused bishop to drop the plea. This was denied. Once the court had
signalized that the victim’s claim for compensation appeared to be justified, but
that a complete resolution failed due to the bishop’s plea of the statute of
limitations, the signatory turned to the pope and wrote letters on April 27, 2004
and September 1, 2008, requesting the pope to help see that the resolution of the
case and the compensation of the victim by the diocese not be further obstructed
by the legal trick of a plea based on the statute of limitations. Both letters
remained unanswered and the abuse victim lost in court because the church
continued to entrench itself behind the plea of the statute of limitations.
The following is to be recorded as an interim finding: During the years from
1981 to 2005, Joseph Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith, and, since then, as pope, directed a worldwide cover-up system, which
exempted ecclesiastical child abusers from criminal prosecution through state
courts, confronting them instead with only the measures of canon law, which
did not hurt at all and led to the fact that, as a rule, the child abusers remained in
office and obtained further opportunity to commit sexual offenses, which they
did. Robertson summarizes as follows: “The evidence establishes that at the
direction of the Vatican, wrongdoers were dealt with in a manner that protected
them from exposure, silenced their victims, aided and abetted some to move on
to commit further offences, and withheld evidence of their serious crimes from
law enforcement authorities. In effect, the church has been running a parallel
system of criminal justice in many countries, unbeknownst to and deliberately
hidden from the public, police and parliaments, in which the guilty went
unpunished and the lips of their victims were sealed – by forced oaths and
confidential legal settlements.” (cf. Robertson, op.cit., p. 2)

2.3 The preferential treatment and reinstatement of the perpetrators
However, the cover-up of the crimes was not enough for Dr. Ratzinger. Insofar
as there were church internal condemnations, he intervened again and again in
favor of the perpetrators. He halted proceedings already in progress, revoked
condemnations or provided for the perpetrators in other ways.

An example of this is given in the case of the priest Lawrence Murphy from
Wisconsin, who, from 1950 to 1974, had abused hundreds of deaf-mute children.
When in 1996 his crimes became known to the bishop in charge of him, the
Archbishop of Milwaukee, the latter wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger and asked for
his advice on what he should do with the priest. The letter remained unanswered.
The archbishop again inquired and again received no answer. After
eight months, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who, as mentioned, was the secretary of
the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, initiated a secret
canonical process that could lead to Murphy’s dismissal. However, this process
was suddenly brought to a stop again. The child molester had personally written
to Cardinal Ratzinger and requested his “kind assistance.” The perpetrator was
not dismissed; he died several years later and was buried in his priestly
vestments. (cf. Robertson, op.cit., p. 23; The New York Times on March 24, 2010,
“Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys”;
Cardinal Ratzinger had reacted similarly in 1981, the year he assumed the office
of Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Bishop of
Oakland had urgently recommended that the priest Steffen Kiesle be dismissed
from his office after he had actually been convicted in a criminal court for
molesting two young boys. Ratzinger procrastinated for four years, despite
anxious and repeated requests on part of the bishop. In the end, because of the
priest’s ‘youth’ – he was 38 – he was allowed to continue his work with children.
He was convicted again in 2004 for molesting a young girl; earlier acts had
meanwhile come under the statute of limitations. (cf. Robertson, op.cit., p. 23;
The Times from April 10, 2010: “Signature on letter implicates Pope in abuse
cover-up”). The Times wrote: “Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger resisted pleas from a

Californian diocese to defrock a priest with a record of molesting children,
putting ‘the good of the universal Church’ above other considerations, according
to the 1985 letter.”
Further cases can be found in the Irish Murphy Commission report, which
determined that two pedophile priests who had abused children and were
therefore dismissed from the priesthood, appealed to Rome and in June 2002 had
their dismissal revoked by Rome. (Chapter 4.60;
And in Australia, such behavior pattern from the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith led by Cardinal Ratzinger also became known. In one case, Rome
intervened at the request of a priest from a family that had contributed heavily
to the church. After the priest was suspended for assaulting six women, the
Vatican pardoned him and directed that he be sent to another parish which was
not told of his transgressions – and he transgressed again. (Robertson, op.cit., p.
33; cf. more similar cases on, “Rome backed sex-case priest”
by Martin Daly, 6 July 2002)

Regarding this behavior pattern, the Murphy Commission ascertained:
“... It is clear that the suffering and the stress of victims was often related to
the fact that their abuser was still functioning as a cleric and might therefore
be a threat to other children … In practice, it appears to the Commission that,
for a significant part of the period covered by the Commission, canon law
was used selectively when dealing with offending clergy, [until the end of
2008] to the benefit of the cleric and the consequent disadvantage of his
victims. The Commission has not encountered a case where canon law was
invoked as a means of doing justice to victims.” (Murphy Report, Chapter
4.2, 4.3;
The cases presented are only the tip of the iceberg, which proves to be a gigantic
colossus consisting of the cover-up of crimes committed by the clergy, of
favoring the criminals to the injury of their victims. Robertson aptly summarized
the atrocities that took place under the governance of Joseph Ratzinger, as
Archbishop of Munich, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith and as Pope, as follows:

a) “Tens of thousands, perhaps even a hundred thousand children and
teenagers, mainly boys, have been sexually abused by the clergy, and
most have been caused serious and long-term psychological damage.
b) Thousands of clergy, known to be guilty of very grave crimes of a kind
which most perpetrators have a propensity to commit again, have not
been defrocked. They have been harboured by the church, moved to
other parishes or countries and protected from identification and from
temporal punishment – usually a prison sentence – under Canon Law
protocols that offer them forgiveness in this world as well as the next.
c) The Holy See, a pseudo-state, has established a foreign law jurisdiction in
other friendly states pursuant to which, in utter secrecy, it has dealt with
sex abusers in a manner incompatible with, and in some respects contrary
to, the law of the nation in which it operates, and has withheld evidence
of their guilt from law enforcement authorities.”
(Robertson, op.cit., p. 164)

2.4 No end in sight
Nothing has changed regarding this either, as a result of the prevailing norms on
serious crimes (“Normae de gravioribus delictis”) made known by the Vatican in
July of 2010. As the press agency reported on July 15, 2010, with this,
“for the first time, the complete regulations on how the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith deals with cases of abuse” were published. “These were
formerly based on unpublished pontifical mandates and internal rules. Some
points of the already existing norms have been changed and stated more precisely,
however, according to statements by the Vatican, they are, on the whole,
largely in agreement with the procedures to date.” The period of limitation was

changed, and in addition, the possession and distribution of child pornography
and the sexual abuse of the mentally handicapped were now identified as
serious delicts. The relevant Article 6 of the published norms literally reads:

§ 1:
“The more grave delicts against morals which are reserved to the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith are:

1. the delict against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue committed by
a cleric with a minor below the age of eighteen years; in this case, a person
who habitually lacks the use of reason is to be considered equivalent to a

2. the acquisition, possession, or distribution by a cleric of pornographic
images of minors under the age of fourteen, for purposes of sexual
gratification, by whatever means or using whatever technology;”

§ 2:
“A cleric who commits the delicts mentioned above in § 1 is to be punished
according to the gravity of his crime, not excluding dismissal or deposition.”
This rule signifies nothing more than the reinforcement of the legal situation
existing up until now. In particular, the obligation to maintain secrecy as stated
in the letter from Cardinal Ratzinger on May 18, 2001 (“De gravioribus delictis”)
still applies. Thus, sexual crimes committed by priests will still be kept under
cover and the police will not be called in. In Article 30 of the published norms,
the course of action to be taken in cases of abuse is expressly stated:

§ 1:
“Cases of this nature are subject to the pontifical secret.”

§ 2:
“Whoever has violated the secret, whether deliberately (ex dolo) or through
grave negligence, and has caused some harm to the accused or to the witnesses,
is to be punished with an appropriate penalty by the higher turns at the
insistence of the injured party or even ex officio.”
(Robertson, ob.cit., pp. 202, 204)

As the Vatican spokesman Lombardi explained, collaboration with the civil
authorities has been the subject of discussion in recent times, but was not dealt
with in the norms that have now been made public. He stated that “the Norms
being published today are part of the penal code of canon law, which is
complete in itself and entirely distinct from the law of States.” (Lombardi, “ON
SIGNIFICANCE OF NEW NORMS,” zenith, 15 July 2010, http://www. As much as he attempts to weaken this
autonomy by saying that in the “Guide to Understanding Basic CDF Procedures
concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations” it says that “Civil law concerning
reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed,” it
does not help to advance things. For one thing, because often there is no legal
duty to give notice of criminal offenses (as, for instance, in Germany), and for
another, because in countries where such a duty exists (as, for instance, in
France), the church does not abide by this, as demonstrated by the abovementioned
Vatican laudatory letter to a French bishop, who refused to inform
the civil authorities.

Thus, the fact remains that, as a rule, clerical sex criminals merely face proceedings
according to canon law, which puts child abuse in the same category of
criminal offenses as “host desecration” or breaching the confessional secret or
holding an unauthorized celebration of mass. In all these cases, it is foreseen in
number B3 of said “Guide” that “In cases where the accused priest has admitted
to his crimes and has accepted to live a life of prayer and penance, the CDF
authorizes the local bishop to issue a decree prohibiting or restricting the public
ministry of such a priest. … Administrative recourse to the CDF is possible
against such decrees.” (See:

What then happens has already been described: Dismissals are rescinded and
priests are reinstalled in office. Robertson therefore correctly states in summary
that the Vatican works with a “parallel, para-statal jurisdiction,” which forgives
“sins that host states punish as crimes.” In reference to the “ratlines” that the
Vatican made available to Nazi criminals for making their escape to South

America, he writes: “… but the real ‘ratline’ that it has been offering is an escape
route for child sex abusers – not so much as a ‘get out of gaol free’ card, as a
freedom never to be at risk of gaol. Through a mixture of arrogance, negligence
and recklessness borne of belief in its state immunity and its overweening desire
to be a political actor on the world stage, the Pope and his army of cardinals,
nuncios, archbishops and officials have run a church in which children have
been suffering widespread and systematic abuse.” (Robertson, op.cit., p. 166)

2.5 A crime against humanity

According to Art. 7(1)(g) (of the ICC Statute) included therein are “rape, sexual
slavery … or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity”
[“individual acts”], provided that they are “committed as part of a widespread
or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of
the attack [‘multiple commission of acts’].”

2.5.1 As presented above, child abuse often took place in the form of rape.
Insofar as other variations of sexual abuse of children by priests are involved,
they are, in any case, to be attributed to the definitional elements of “any other
form of sexual violence of comparable gravity.” The superior force of the priest,
based on his authority on the one hand, and the young age of the victim on the
other, makes it equal to the term “violence,” even when it does not involve “vis
absoluta” (absolute violence). The victim, a child who looks up to the priest as a
man of God, is, when it has been placed in a home from which it cannot flee, and
for all practical purposes, defenselessly at his mercy, round the clock.

2.5.2 Concerning the “gravity” of violence, one should bear in mind that sexual
abuse of children and youth by a priest, no matter whether committed with
compulsive or absolute violence, leads to the gravest impairment of the mental
and physical health of the victims. They are often severely traumatized for years
and decades and seriously impaired in the development of their personality for
their whole life. Sexual abuse of children is a kind of soul murder. At the same
time, it is an “attack on human dignity or grave humiliation” in the words of the
explanatory memorandum of the International Criminal Court. (cf. also
Robertson, op.cit., p. 137 f;

The abuse is also especially infamous because it is committed by members of an
institution that bases itself on Jesus of Nazareth, who, as is known, said: “Let the
children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom
of God.” (Luke 18:16) This creates a very special trust, within which children
were sexually abused.

2.5.3 As extensively described above, the sexual abuse of children took place not
only in individual cases, but also in a large number of countries over decades,
committed on thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of victims. Thus,
these attacks were “widespread” in the meaning of the penal provision.
This alone would already be sufficient to have to assume a “multiple commission
of acts” in the meaning of Art. 7 of the ICC Statute. The attacks, however,
also occurred “systematically.” According to more recent jurisdiction, no
plan or political element is necessary for this. (cf. Werle, Völkerstrafrecht [Principles
of International Criminal Law],

2. Ed., in reference to Yugoslavia Criminal
Court from Feb. 22, 2001 [Kuranac, TC, para. 429]). Child abuse was
committed by many priests at the same time through ever recurring abusive acts
in certain church facilities on the same or on varying victims and under the
protection of a systematic cover-up and preferential treatment of the perpetrators
by the Vatican.

2.5.4 The definitional element of an “attack against any civilian population” is
also fulfilled. According to the legal definition of Art. 7(2)(a) ICCSt., as explained
above, this is then the case when it is the “course of conduct involving the
multiple commission of acts referred to in paragraph 1 against any civilian
population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to
commit such attack.”

(1) The civilian population in the meaning of this provision is every body of
persons that is connected via common characteristics, which makes them the
target of the acts which, in their totality, amounts to an attack (cf. Werle, op.cit.,

Margin Note 756 in reference to May 7, 1997 [Tadic, TC, para. 644]). In the
present case, the body of persons with common characteristics is children and
youth, above all of the male gender, who became the preferred victims of serial
sexual crimes committed by pedophilic Catholic priests.

(2) The large number of individual acts also constitutes an “attack” in the
meaning of the statutory offense. The fact that the statute understands this to
mean the “course of conduct” which occurs “pursuant to or in furtherance of …
organizational policy”… does not mean that a literal, programmatic determination
of the target of an attack must exist. Here, too, we may refer to the Tadic
decision of the Yugoslavian Criminal Court (Hereafter YCC):

“(s)uch a policy need not be formalized and can be deduced from the way
in which the acts occur. Notably, if the acts occur on a widespread or
systematic basis that demonstrates a policy to commit those acts, whether
formalized or not.”

Thus, it depends on the circumstances as a whole under which the acts were
committed. Above all, when they were committed on a “widespread or
systematic basis,” this indicates a “policy to commit these acts.” This policy can
also consist of the toleration of the acts (cf. Werle, op.cit., Margin Note 777 in
reference to international jurisdiction): YCC, judgment of January 14, 2000
(Kupreskic et al., TC), para. 552 (“at least tolerated”); YCC, judgment of July 15,
1999 (Tadic, AC), para. 145; likewise Art. 2 para. 11 Draft Code 1954; UN
Doc.S/1994/674/Add.2 (Vol.I), Annexes to the Final Report of the Commission
of Experts Established Pursuant To Security Council Resolution 780 (1992) v.
Mai 31, 1995, Annex II: Rape and Sexual Assault, para. 33: “It also has proven ...
that the state is involved. This can be concluded from state tolerance.”

The organization that tolerated the crimes is the church. However, it has not
only tolerated, but facilitated them, through canon law and its implementation,
which led to the fact that child abusers were not seriously punished. The broad

basis for the act, which is referred to in the decision of the Yugoslavia Criminal
Court, is the worldwide assignment of priests to pastoral care, during which
they come into contact with children and youth and abuse them. The pastoral
assignment was directed by the local bishops; the sexual abuse during this
assignment that took place ten thousandfold to one hundred thousandfold was
directed by the Vatican: after the act, by way of cover-up and the transfer of the
perpetrators, before the act, by way of cover-up and the transfer of previous
perpetrators, which virtually promised subsequent perpetrators immunity from
prosecution and encouraged them to new acts. A regular “management” of
sexual crimes took place: With their workplace, the perpetrators were provided
with a place to commit the crime; after the act, instead of being charged by the
state prosecutor, they received “priestly words of comfort,” and if need be, were
provided, for good measure, with a getaway spot to go underground. This, too,
is “policy” in the meaning of the penal provision, for here, with the help of a
central leadership function, circumstances are created, designed and promoted,
under which the many individual acts are committed, which then amount to the
multiple commission of acts of worldwide abuses of children committed by

2.6 The criminal responsibility of Dr. Ratzinger

When priests working worldwide on behalf of their church commit sexual
crimes, the situation is similar to that of soldiers who run amok and whose
crimes then go to the account of their commander-in-chief, even when he did not
want such crimes and was thousands of kilometers away. In this connection,
Robertson correctly points out a decision of the US Supreme Court in a case
involving General Yamashita, the Japanese general whose troops ran amok in
the Philippines. The objection of the general that “he was a hundred miles away
from the scene and had no wish for and was outraged by the rapes and other
atrocities” committed by his soldiers was met by the Supreme Court with the
statement that a person in a superior position is responsible when he neglected
to prevent the unlawful behavior of his subordinates, when he knew that his
inferiors had committed or were in the process of committing such, and when he

did not take the necessary steps to prevent this or to punish those who
committed the offenses. Literally:

“A person in a position of superior authority should be held individually
responsible for giving the unlawful order to commit a crime, and he should
also be held responsible for failure to deter the unlawful behaviour of
subordinates if he knew they had committed or were about to commit crimes
yet failed to take the necessary and reasonable steps to prevent their
commission or to punish those who had committed them.”
(Robertson, op.cit., p. 139)

This responsibility is also expressed in Art. 28 of the ICC Statute, which, according
to para. b, also applies to civilian superiors. According to this, a superior is
criminally responsible for crimes, which were “committed by subordinates
under his or her effective authority and control, as a result of his or her failure to
exercise control properly over such subordinates, where:

i) The superior either knew, or consciously disregarded information
which clearly indicated, that the subordinates were committing or
about to commit such crimes;

ii) The crimes concerned activities that were within the effective
responsibility and control of the superior; and
iii) The superior failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures
within his or her power to prevent or repress their commission or to
submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation and

2.6.1 It is true that the individual priest is not formally in service to the Vatican,
but to his bishopric. In fact, however, the following applies: When he commits a
sexual delict and his bishop learns of this, then, according to the above described
hierarchical structures between the Vatican and the bishoprics, the act has to be
reported to the Vatican and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
respectively. It is then in charge of the proceedings, by which it either conveys a
sanctioning of the act to the bishop or, what usually occurs, claims jurisdiction
over the case. In the case of a sexual crime, the initially only indirect relationship
between the priest and the church as a whole proves to be a direct superiorsubordinate
relationship. The bishop, who has to report the criminal offense to

Rome, no longer has any discretionary power concerning the priest’s fate; this
will be determined directly from Rome, via binding instructions to the bishop.
And in Rome, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and
the pope, respectively, bear the responsibility.

This responsibility of a superior for the individual priests who were delinquent
or are in danger of becoming delinquent – for the first time or for repeated times
– is not eliminated on grounds that child abuse is not part of a priest’s actual
tasks, but takes place by malfeasance. Decisive is that, as a rule, he commits this
act within his scope of ministry, which makes it at all possible for him to come
into close contact with children and youth. Significantly, many dioceses in the
United States and Ireland took out liability insurance against impending claims
for compensation from cases of abuse. They started this in the 1980s, when more
and more cases of abuse became known, whereby they did not, in part, reveal to
the insurance companies how many cases already existed at the time the contract
was concluded. In this way, for a premium of approximately 50,000 Euros, the
Irish dioceses received insurance benefits amounting to almost 13 million. (cf. from Feb. 8, 2011; Murphy-Report, section 1.21 M) In the
case of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the insurance company refused to cover
the claims for damages on the grounds that the diocese did not reveal the true
situation at the time the contract was concluded. (cf. from Nov.
23, 2010)

2.6.2 Dr. Joseph Ratzinger was extensively informed regarding the
totality of the worldwide sexual crimes committed by Catholic priests, first as
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1981, and as pope
since 2005. Based on this information, he acted by issuing orders for secrecy, by
seizing jurisdiction over proceedings or by bringing proceedings to a halt, by
repealing convictions of lower instances and by approving the transfer of
delinquent priests into other parishes or other countries. Through his order of
secrecy, he saw to it that the sexual crimes were not reported to the state law
enforcement authorities; he even approved the commendation of a bishop, who
had transgressed against the obligation of disclosure by law in his country and
was therefore punished by a state court. He initiated no effective measures

whatsoever against the continuation of widespread sexual crimes by his priests,
but, on the contrary, legally and in actual fact, created a situation, in which it
was easy for priests to abuse children, because they did not have to expect any
serious punishment, as was already extensively presented above. He upholds
this situation to this very day, thus abetting new sexual crimes on a daily basis,
which continue to be covered up and are uncovered either not at all or only after
several years. To learn the details, the prosecuting authority would have to ask
the Vatican for their records. Normally in such a case, a legal search warrant
would be obtained.

If one takes into consideration the behavior of the accused, past and present, one
would have to even qualify his criminal complicity in the worldwide crimes
committed by his priests as aiding and abetting. In any case, according to Art. 28
of the ICC Statute, as the superior of the perpetrators, he is responsible for them
under criminal law.

2.6.3 He also acted culpably in the meaning of Art. 30 of the ICC Statute, because
he was aware that the cover-up strategy he ordered and continuously condoned
had resulted in aiding and abetting further sexual crimes. In any case, he
approved this to protect the reputation of his institution – at the expense of ever
new victims of his pedophile priests. This kind of behavior requires severe
punishment, which the accused himself also has to acknowledge, since he
constantly uses the words of Jesus, who said, among other things: “…whoever
causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have
a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
(Mathew 18:6)

IV. On the Admissibility of the Proposed Charge

1. According to Art. 27 of the ICC Statute, all persons are subject to the jurisdiction

of the International Criminal Court, regardless of their official capacity.
“In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government … shall in no
case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute …” (para.

1) “Immunities ..., which may attach to the official capacity of a person, whether
under national or international law, shall not bar the Court from exercising its
jurisdiction over such a person.” (para. 2)

Thus, Dr. Joseph Ratzinger cannot exempt himself from the jurisdiction of the
International Criminal Court by indicating he is a Head of State, not to mention
whether this objection would be recognized at all by a court committed to
international law. When bearing in mind that the Vatican’s statehood is based on
a contract with the dictator Mussolini in 1929, this is dubious under international
law. (cf. Robertson, op.cit., p. 63 ff)

2. The further prerequisite, according to which the person accused and to be
charged has to belong to a state that is among the contract parties of the ICC
Statute, is also given. Contrary to the Vatican, Germany has ratified the treaty
pertaining to the International Criminal Court (on Dec. 11, 2002). Dr. Ratzinger is
a German citizen, since he did not give up his German citizenship upon the
acquisition of his Vatican citizenship.

3. According to the Preamble of the ICC Statute, the International Criminal
Court operates not only in a subsidiary role to jurisdiction between states, but
“complements” these.

According to Art. 17(1)(a) ICCSt., the admissibility of a charge before the
International Criminal Court would not be given only if Germany were already
carrying out investigations or if Germany were “unwilling or unable genuinely
to carry out the investigation or prosecution.” Investigations into the crimes
against humanity that have been charged here have not taken place in Germany
and will not take place, either. The German state prosecutors are bound by the
instructions of the Minister of Justice. In a country whose Federal President will
receive the pope on a state visit this year and whose politicians even fulfill the
unusual desire of the pope to speak before Parliament as a guest of the state, no
Minister of Justice will allow a state prosecutor investigations or even a preferral
of charges against the pope. Independent of this, such a charge would also not
be possible, because according to Art. 25 of the German Constitution, the pope is

not subject to German jurisdiction as long as he is considered a Head of State.
Despite the dubiousness of the acquisition of this diplomatic status, no state
prosecutor in Germany would dare to throw doubt on it.

4. Nor can the accused object to the legitimacy of proceedings before the
International Criminal Court on grounds that “the case is not of sufficient
gravity to justify further action by the Court (Art. 17(1)(d) ICCSt.).”
As presented above, the accused is to be charged with the fact that he played
down, covered up and, in a church system parallel to state penal law, largely
detracted from punishment tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of
thousands, of cases of child abuse committed by Catholic priests, thus supporting
this for years. In addition, by forbidding the use of condoms, he is also
charged with contributing to the physical injury and killing of an undetermined
number of African Catholics and abetting them at the same time to infect non-
Catholics, as well. Finally, he is charged with the fact that the terrifying regime
of his church jeopardizes or injures the physical and mental health of a large
number of people worldwide.

The approving acceptance of massive deaths from AIDS as a result of an HIV
infection and the support of massive soul murder by way of sexual violence
committed against children and youth is so grave that their investigation and the
examination of whether these are crimes against humanity, according to the
Preamble of the ICC Statute as well as according to the Policy Paper of prosecuting
authorities, is called for. According to this, the prosecuting authority
should focus their investigations on those who bear the greatest responsibility,
as, for example, the leaders of states or organizations, who are responsible for
crimes against humanity. (Policy Paper II. 2.1).

V. Summation

1. When the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court came into effect
on July 1, 2002, this initiated a turn in the culture of mankind. The times in
which politically and ideologically motivated crimes on a massive scale remained
unpunished, because they were not subsumable under the conventional
statutory offenses of murder, unlawful detention and assault, have come to an
end. The crime against humanity as defined in the Rome Statute not only
pertains to the widespread masses of acts and the criminal responsibility of the
ringleaders, but also expanded the spectrum of objects of legal protection: In Art.
7(1)(k) liable for punishment are “inhumane acts … intentionally causing great
suffering or serious injury to mental health …” provided that these injuries are
similarly grave as, for instance rape, enslavement or abduction. With this,
emotional violence, which can lead to damaging a person’s health, is also
included. Much of the customary violence of this world that was accepted,
because “that’s how it always was,” now also becomes relevant within the
framework of the Rome Statute.

2. The charges at hand come to the conclusion that this applies to the coercive
system of the Roman Catholic Church, which is led by the accused, and to the
terrifying threats of the eternal torments of hell associated with it. These threats
lead countless people into an irrational psychological and mental dependency,
robbing them of the ability to make their own decisions of conscience in all areas
of their life. It is only because of this coercive system that the two other charged
crimes against humanity were made at all possible. A penal evaluation of this
church regime, that exerts utmost psychological pressure, is all the more called
for, since the accused attempts to divert attention from the totalitarianism of his
system by praising freedom of religion all over the place, which his own church
tramples underfoot – as well as by the treatment of his own members and
through the aggressive intolerance toward religious competitors, above all,
when they are religious minorities.


3. In addition, the charge comes to the conclusion that the accused is criminally
and jointly responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions,
of people who died of AIDS, because, despite the rampant epidemic, he adheres
to the church forbiddance of protective measures against the transmission of the
HIV virus, enforcing it with the threats of his coercive system.

4. Finally, the charge comes to the conclusion that the accused is criminally
responsible for the rising escalation of sexual crimes committed by Catholic
priests in recent decades. In public, the accused plays the role of the God-fearing
leader of the church, who apologizes to the victims of clerical child abusers and
wants to prevent further acts. In reality, he acts like the ice-cold patron of a
worldwide cover-up system, which favors the criminals at the expense of their
victims and daily aids and abets new crimes.

Based on the internal means of coercion of the church, it must be assumed that
this system will continue indefinitely and that the worldwide crimes made
possible by it will continue for an unforeseeable time, that the courts in all
countries will be deceived again and again and that the crimes will remain
unpunished, and that new suffering will be inflicted upon thousands and
thousands of children over and over again – if an international court does not
call a halt to these crimes by holding accountable those responsible for them.
Joseph Ratzinger is the principle offender, surrounded by a number of accomplices
whose names have already been partially mentioned. The time is ripe
for the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court to initiate investigations,
and that what was formerly known only fragmentally be comprehensively
clarified and the church sponsors of worldwide child abuse be brought before
the court.

Dr. Christian Sailer Dr. Gert-Joachim Hetzel
Attorney-at-law Attorney-at-law