SNAP seeks charges against the pope, Vatican at The Hague

Details, from the AP:

Clergy sex abuse victims upset that no high-ranking Roman Catholic leaders have been prosecuted for sheltering guilty priests brought their claims Tuesday to the International Criminal Court, seeking an investigation of the pope and top Vatican cardinals for possible crimes against humanity.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based nonprofit legal group, requested the inquiry on behalf of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, arguing that the global church has maintained a “long-standing and pervasive system of sexual violence” despite promises to swiftly oust predators.

The odds against the court opening an investigation are enormous. The prosecutor has received nearly 9,000 independent proposals for inquiries since 2002, when the court was created as the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal, and has never opened a formal investigation based solely on such a request.

Instead, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has investigated crimes such as genocide, murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers in conflicts from Darfur to this year’s violence in Libya. Such cases have been referred to the court by the countries where the atrocities were perpetrated or by the United Nations Security Council.

Also, the Holy See is not a member state of the court, meaning prosecutors have no automatic jurisdiction there, although the complaint covers alleged abuse in countries around the world, many of which do recognize the court’s jurisdiction.

However, attorneys for the Survivors Network argued that no other national entity exists that will prosecute high-level Vatican officials who failed to protect children. In the U.S., no Roman Catholic bishop has been criminally charged for keeping accused clergy in parish jobs without warning parents or police. Within the church, only the pope can discipline bishops. The few who have been publicly punished by the Vatican have been sanctioned for molesting children, not for negligence in supervising priests.

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Comments

  1. “Within the church, only the pope can discipline bishops. The few who have been publicly punished by the Vatican have been sanctioned for molesting children, not for negligence in supervising priests”

    I’m neither a Civil nor a Canon Lawyer, but it seems to me that one can be sent to jail after being convicted of a crime but that action has to be so codified as a crime in either Civil or Canon Law in the first place. AND our US Constitution prohibits convicting anyone of a crime which was not even “on the books” when it was performed.

    If I read their complaint correctly, they are not charging “failure to report child abuse” (which had been codified as a crime in many jurisdictions) so much as their are charging the bishops — and even the Pope — with “culpable negligence” in failing to properly supervise their subordinates.

    To my knowledge, “negligence” — even “culpable negligence” — in performing assigned employment duties is not a formal civil crime and may not be a crime under Canon Law as well. Maybe an educated lawyer can comment here?

  2. Hopefully this will help people to see how out of touch with reality SNAP really is. They apparently are totally unaware of everything that the Church has done ,especially over the past decade, to prevent the rape of children. To say we could make further improvements would be one thing but to pretend that we have done nothing and are maintaining a system of abuse is either totally dishonest or insane.

  3. Perhaps you could go to the Catholic League site to see a very recent report on SNAP’s recent convention. Seems their agenda is more about destroying the church than healing vistims. Unreal.

  4. I believe RomCath has it right. If you investigate SNAP, you will discover that their agenda IS DEFINITELY to destroy the Church……nothing is ever said about healing victims. Their entire purpose is the destruction of the Catholic Church.

  5. When I read the report “Snap exposed” on Catholic League I was appalled.

  6. Hopefully people will write to their representatives and request there be an investigation of them, and the lawyers who have sued the Church.

  7. Wonder where the SNAP orgainization is within the Islamic community? SNAP lost its sanity years ago. It seems now much more about bringing down the Catholic Church than in doing anything to help protect kids.

  8. Richard Johnson says:

    You know, folks…if you are upset at the traction these accusations from SNAP are receiving, perhaps it is time to get your church leadership to actually start taking the abuse issue seriously.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/07/us/07brfs-CATHOLICDIOC_BRF.html

    “The Roman Catholic Diocese of Crookston has agreed to pay $750,000 to settle a lawsuit with a 21-year-old woman who said she was sexually molested as a teenager by a priest from India who was serving parishes in the diocese. The victim, Megan Peterson, said the Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul sexually abused her when she went to speak to him about becoming a nun. As part of the settlement, the diocese will contact the priest’s home diocese in India and express “grave concern regarding the suitability for ministry of Father Jeyapaul.” The diocese said the $750,000 would be covered by insurance.”

    Does it really take a lawsuit to get the US Church to notify the Indian Church that there are some concerns surrounding accusations against a priest? Why is this not happening as a matter of standard procedure?

    Greta, SNAP may well have lost their sanity. But the Church seems yet to have found its common sense with regards to this issue. And until that happens accusing SNAP of being involved with the Islamic community not only sounds reactionary, it sounds like a cover-up.

  9. mortimerzilch says:

    You all (y’all?) are missing the point. The point is – like the entire canon of pro-homosexual discourse rampant nowadays -
    they have an audience. There IS some chance that the court will subpoena the Pope. Justice, or legality, are not important anymore. It’s all ideology. The final persecution has begun, and God is on the OUTS. It’s really that simple. Do you think Jesus was tried on valid grounds? What is Truth? It’s who you know, not what you know. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Interpol puts out an arrest warrant on the Pope. Wake up.

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