An organization calling itself the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) is alleging that Pope Benedict XVI resigned from his position in order to escape a potential arrest for helping cover up child abuse and is seeking the protection of the Italian government.
Pope Benedict, Joseph Ratzinger, has scheduled a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano for Saturday, February 23 to discuss securing protection and immunity from prosecution from the Italian government, according to Italian media sources.
Ratzinger’s meeting follows upon the apparent receipt by the Vatican of a diplomatic note from an undisclosed European government on February 4, stating its intention to issue an arrest warrant for Ratzinger, who resigned from his pontificate less than a week later.
In response to the February 23 meeting, the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS), through its field Secretary, Rev. Kevin Annett, has written to President Napolitano, asking him to refrain from assisting Ratzinger in evading justice.
The ITCCS letter states, in part,
“I need not remind you, Mr. President, that under international law and treaties that have been ratified by Italy, you and your government are forbidden from granting such protection to those like Joseph Ratzinger who have aided and abetted criminal actions, such as ordering Bishops and Cardinals in America and elsewhere to protect known child rapists among their clergy.
“Your obligation to the Vatican through the Lateran Treaty does not negate or nullify the requirements of these higher moral and international laws; nor does it require that you give any protection or immunity to a single individual like Joseph Ratzinger, especially after he has left his papal office.”
Now, I have no idea if this is credible. The ITCCS may be a bunch of nuts for all I know. And the fact that they describe themselves this way doesn’t scream credibility to me:
On this basis, our Tribunal has been established to enforce common law and try and convict the institutions and their officers responsible for such historic and ongoing crimes against humanity. We therefore constitute a de jure Court under common law, with full power of arrest, conviction and enforcement.
This sounds a lot like those “citizen grand juries” going on around the country to “indict” President Obama for being a Kenyan Muslim illegal alien communist. So I’m going to take this with a grain of salt until I see some information from an actual court or government body.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: