The Pope has been charged with Crimes Against Humanity
Posted by Ethan Clow on February 25, 2011
Will the Pope End up Behind Bars?
I was shocked when I saw this story. Two German lawyers have filed charges against Pope Benedict XVI for crimes against humanity.
“Christian Sailer and Gert-Joachim Hetzel, based at Marktheidenfeld in the Pope’s home state of Bavaria, last week submitted a 16,500-word document to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the Hague, Dr Luis Moreno Ocampo.” – quote from The Irish Times.
Specifically mentioned in the lawsuit is that Pope Benedict leads and is “responsible for the preservation and leadership of a worldwide totalitarian regime of coercion which subjugates its members with terrifying and health-endangering threats”
What health endangering threats do they mean? The article mentions forbidding condom use, even for the purpose of preventing HIV-AIDS infection. The article also mentions the creation of a world-wide conspiracy to cover up the sexual abuse of minors.
Also listed, is that the Catholic Church inducts members through a “compulsory act”, meaning baptism while still an infant. They claim the act is irreversible and enforced by excommunication.
The entire 16,500 word document can be read here.
The case has been submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague, however; this is no guarantee the court will accept the case or even pursue any of the charges.
I checked the official website of the Vatican and Holy See and so far, nothing has been posted about these charges.
I also checked the website of the ICC and found nothing. The latest report, for the week of February 21st, didn’t mention any charges being laid against Benedict XVI, but that may not matter. Perhaps they’ll mention in next week’s report or it might not be the place where new cases are reported.
The legal document is filed under Article 7 of the ICC Rome Statute, which refers to Crimes Against Humanity, under the official document that includes issues of:
(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of
fundamental rules of international law;
(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced
sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political,
racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph
3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under
international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph
or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;
(j) The crime of apartheid;
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
It sounds like those would easily fit the allegations the lawyers are placing at Pope Benedict XVI. I’m not sure I can agree with notions of compulsory membership that’s backed up with the threat of excommunication. Well, I mean, yes that is true, as an infant, you can’t refuse baptism, and if you believe in the church’s doctrine, excommunication is a very bad thing. However, based on what we know about the universe and (I assume) the nature of a court, one would have a hard time proving the existence of such a reality. Meaning, is the threat of excommunication even credible enough to be considered in court?
If I threatened someone with a magic curse, would that be grounds for a lawsuit? If I told someone to “watch out, or my unicorn will get you…” is that something to build a criminal case around?
Of course, I’m not a lawyer and I have no legal experience in anything like this. Perhaps they can make the case on the grounds of psychological suffering caused by threats of damnation and eternal suffering.
Can the charges be laid on the Pope, who is the Head-of-State of the Vatican and Holy See? In section IV of the document charging the Pope, it states:
” 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)” – Criminal Charges against Dr. Joseph Ratzinger, Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, page 47
The authors seem confident that the Pope will not be immune to such charges. Whether or not the ICC will agree, is another matter.
Regardless of what happens to this effort to find justice, it is a starting point. The Pope should not be allowed to sidestep international law because he lives in a palace and thinks he’s God’s wing man on Earth. I will be watching this case very closely.