Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Victims' groups file charges against Vatican for 'crimes against humanity'

Catholic World News - September 13, 2011

An international coalition of sex-abuse victims has lodged charges with the International Criminal Court at the Hague, charging Pope Benedict XVI and other leading Vatican officials with crimes against humanity.

Leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), assisted by the Center for Constitutional Rights, filed an 80-page complaint, accompanied by over 20,000 pages of supporting evidence, claiming that the Holy See bears "direct and superior responsibility for the crimes against humanity of rape and other sexual violence committed around the world." The charges were directed against Pope Benedict and three Vatican officials: Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of State; his predecessor, Cardinal Angelo Sodano; and Cardinal William Levada, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Experts in international law said that it is extremely unlikely the Hague court will take up the case. The court does not have jurisdiction over the Holy See, and the charges raised in the complaint fall well short of the standards required for an international trial. Similar charges against the Vatican had been lodged in the past, and no prosecution ensued.

However, legal experts said that the SNAP case could serve the group's purposes by "raising awareness" of their cause. In other words, the case will generate publicity.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($18,045 to go):
$35,000.00 $16,955.48
52% 48%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Don Vicente - Sep. 13, 2011 3:53 PM ET USA

    "Awareness" is not the only thing SNAP is trying to raise. Try "Funds."

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Sep. 13, 2011 3:24 PM ET USA

    SNAP should be careful: publicity is a two-edged sword.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20