Proceedings against Pope & Vatican possible

“Less than one percent of priests are guilty of this…” ( Ratzinger)

When visit of pope Benedict is coming closer in UK a wide debate has started about possibility to put pope in court due protecting paedophile priests. George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian how the case against pope rests on international law’s potential to judge all alike. A quote:

Over the weekend, the authors Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens announced that they’ve asked lawyers to prepare a case against the pope. Recently, in the Guardian, Geoffrey Robertson, the barrister they are consulting, explained that senior churchmen who protected paedophile priests, swore their victims to secrecy and allowed the perpetrators to continue working with children, committed the offence of aiding and abetting sex with minors. Practised on a large scale, this becomes a crime against humanity recognised by the international criminal court. This is the general Vatican policy over which the then Cardinal Ratzinger is accused of presiding. When Benedict comes to the UK in September he could, if Dawkins and Hitchens get their warrant, be arrested.

An article “The pope should stand trial by Richard Dawkins – a scientist and writer – was most viewed in the Guardian and gives more reasons for case.

From my viewpoint not only the Pope but Vatican as state and some its institutions should put on trial for crimes against humanity. And not only due the spreading paedophile scandal but WWII crimes too. With later I have in my mind especially Vatican’s role in holocaust and preserving war criminals from justice. These issues are dealt in my earlier article “Jasenovac – Holocaust promoted by Vatican” but the crucial questions were following:

During WWII Croatia’s Ustashe leaders declared that they would slaughter a third of the Serb population in Croatia, deport a third and convert the remaining third from Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism. 3rd biggest extermination center – behind Auschwitz and Treblinka – created by Nazis was Jasenovac in Croatia. The death toll is estimated to be 300,000 to 700,000, some 80 % of them Serbs the rest Jews and Romas. While for Nazi-Germany Jasenovac was more a tool for ethnic cleansing for Ustashe religious aspect played crucial role. The religious motivation may be the explanation to the extreme brutality of butchers in Jasenovac. 743 Roman Catholic priests personally murdered Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. Jasenovac was for a time, run by Fr. Filipovic-Majstorovic, a Catholic priest. The Jasenovac system of Croatian camps also included a camp for children run by Catholic nuns who used toxic soda to save bullets.

As the war ended, the Vatican Bank helped to and transfer funds Franciscans in Rome helped smuggle and launder the Ustasha Tresury, which was looted from victims of Jasenovac. The Vatican not only hoarded the gold the Croats looted, it also helped Ustasha war criminals in escaping justice in what is now nicknamed the “Vatican Ratline”.

Today a class action law suit against the Vatican Bank to recover $100 million in damages for the Vatican’s participation in these war crimes and money laundering the proceeds from their Serb, Jewish and Roma victims is still ongoing. Vatican lawyers have three times tried to get this case thrown out of court. The Supreme court has rejected their claims. In US District Court the case against the Vatican Bank (but not the Franciscan Order) was dismissed on grounds the Vatican Bank is an organ of a sovereign entity, the Vatican, which is immune from lawsuits. The just filed appeal however argues that the Vatican Bank is not sovereign and engages in commercial activity in the United States and therefore should be held accountable in a United States Federal Court.

In principle I think that these kind of issues should be handled in international court like International Court of Justice (ICJ) or The International Criminal Court (ICC) both in Hague or in some maybe new International Criminal Tribunal (like ICTY for Yugoslavia and Ruanda). The second option could be trial in national courts like now ongoing against Vatican in US and now planned in UK. Third possibility could be solving case outside courtroom with money and compensations but I prefer more formal procedure or at least that Vatican would really confess its guild for events during WWII and after that.

4 Responses to Proceedings against Pope & Vatican possible

  1. […] Proceedings against Pope & Vatican possible […]

  2. Initiating legal proceedings against the Pope is a good thing, and it’s something the world should have done long ago. It’s time to make the clergymen who may be guilty of crimes accountable to Justice. Not heavenly Justice, mind you, but that of the countries they live in and International Law.

    Doing things, or not doing them, based on the “good of the universal church” is something the Church has always done. The victims and Justice are never part of the equation. At the height of the German genocidal campaign against the Jews during WWII Cardinal Faulhaber approached his colleague Cardinal Bertram and proposed they compose a manifesto protesting the murder of Jews. Bertram’s response reflected the typical Catholic attitude toward the subject, namely that the Church should limit its influence to matters “of greater importance in the long term.” But an indictment against the Church would have gone much further than an accusation of apathy. It could have included charges of defamation, incitement, complicity in human rights violations, accessory or complicity in crimes against humanity, failure to warn/act, obstruction of justice, profiting from stolen property, abuse of diplomatic privileges, and crimes against humanity.

    Gabriel Wilensky
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  3. nellie says:

    Oh, stop! This nonsense has nothing to do with justice, everything to do with money! I would like to see what these accusers would do if the Catholic church and the Pope were not as wealthy as they are. Restitutions, money–that’s all these swindlers are after. They should be ashamed of themselves! Clearly some pedophile priests abused their positions of authority, but to blame the entire Catholic religion and the Pope is nothing but greed and corruption. These supposedly “abused” boys are alive and apparently abuse did not prevent them from growing up greedy and demanding.

  4. JOHN says:

    It is not just abused boys ;it is abused boys and girls for time immemorial .I believe my mother may have been abused or even raped by a priest .The Catholic Church have done a lot to wreck my parents life and mine .
    You obviously have no idea what peadophile abuse does to wreck a childs life for ever ,or you may be an abuser .I know the signs , working with them in a secure unit , was my job .
    Being abused by a priest is almost the most evil thing that could happen to anyone .
    Many abused children will be unable to try to claim compensation because of the guilt and confusion they feel and the fact that their mental health is about wrecked .
    May the almighty bless and heal them .
    Their abusers the Bible says will go to Hell ,and I trust the Almighty,s judgement .
    But we have a responsibility to protect children ,as does any Church professing to be Christian .Every person matters ,and the Almighty knows every hair on our head ;he cares for every child and every person .
    We are debating whether the Pope cares about every child .The evidence seems to show that he puts pomp ,vanity ,wordly power and money first .He appears to be an hypocrit .
    We also have a duty under the law of my country to report those who break the law ,for instance by hiding a crime .
    I hope the Pope stands trial in England if evidence can be found for him to be arrested .He would get a fair trial ,and could be found not guilty .That is better than no trial at all.

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