Sunday, September 18, 2011
The Pope - in the Hague accused - seeks asylum in the German Reichstag.
Why the Pope must submit himself to the jurisdiction of the International Court in The Hague
We survivors of clergy sex abuse have brought our evidence to the ICC so that the Vatican might finally account for its cover-up.
Why the Pope must face justice at The Hague - Barbara Blaine - guardian.co.uk
When it comes to holding the Catholic Church accountable for sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy, all roads lead to Rome. That is what my organisation, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (Snap), concluded after years of seeking justice in other venues and being turned away. On 13 September, we travelled to the Hague to file an 84-page complaint and over 20,000 pages of supporting materials with the International Criminal Court, documenting our charge that the Pope and Vatican officials have tolerated and enabled the systematic and widespread concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world.
Holding childhood photographs that tell a wrenching story of innocence and faith betrayed, and joined by our attorneys from the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, we stood up and demanded the justice that has so long been denied. The New York Times called the filing "the most substantive effort yet to hold the pope and the Vatican accountable in an international court for sexual abuse by priests". No doubt, many people of faith are shocked that we would accuse a world church leader of crimes against humanity – a man considered by many to be infallible.
But the man who is infallible must also be accountable. By the Vatican's own account, "only" about 1.5-5% of Catholic clergy have been involved in sexual violence against children. With a reported 410,593 priests worldwide as of 2009, that means the number of offending priests would range from 6,158 to 20,529. Considering that many offenders have multiple victims, the number of children at risk is likely in the tens, or even hundreds, of thousands.
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