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Group Wants To Investigate Pope For Crimes Against Humanity

Illustration for article titled Group Wants To Investigate Pope For Crimes Against Humanity

The Catholic Church has been dealing with sexual abuse allegations for years now, but the scandal has reached a new height: a nonprofit is asking the International Criminal Court in the Hague to investigate the Pope.

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According to the BBC, the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, with the support of victims in four different countries, has submitted thousands of pages of evidence of sex abuse and coverups. The CCR is petitioning the court to investigate Pope Benedict and three senior cardinals for crimes against humanity. Says the group's lawyer Pam Spees,

Crimes against tens of thousands of victims, most of them children, are being covered up by officials at the highest level of the Vatican. In this case, all roads really do lead to Rome.

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The ICC's chief prosecutor will have to determine whether the court has the necessary jurisdiction to consider the matter. Regardless, even suggesting that the Pope be investigated by the same body that tried Slobodan Milosevic and other war criminals elevates accusations against the Church to a new level of seriousness. A lawyer for the Vatican, however, dismisses the CCR's request, calling it a "ludicrous" stunt and a "misuse of international judicial processes."

In other Church news, former Irish bishop Dr. Edward Daly has called for an end to the celibacy requirement for priests. Says Daly,

There will always be a place in the church for a celibate priesthood, but there should also be a place for a married priesthood in the church. I think priests should have the freedom to marry if they wish. It may create a whole new set of problems but I think it's something that should be considered.

The Vatican does not appear to be considering it — a spokesman said only, "Bishop Daly was speaking in a personal capacity." Given the CCR's recent request, the Church's PR folks may have bigger things to deal with.

Sex Abuse Victims Urge ICC Pope Investigation [BBC]
Father D'Arcy's Delight At Bishop Daly's Call On Celibacy [BBC]
Vatican: Sex Abuse Case At Hague "Ludicrous" Stunt [AP]

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DISCUSSION

I agree that priests should be allowed to marry but i do not like it that it gets linked to child abuse. So man which do not get to sleep with women all end up abusing kids? So the way to stop people like this is to give them more legal sex? I do not know but this somehow does not sit well with me. Sometimes i have the feeling we are supposed to see men like vampires out of a bad movie. They need their regular sex and when they do not get it then they turn in some sort of sexrage in which they lose control over themselves until they get sex again.

There are alot of men out there not getting any sex and still not abusing kids.

This story in general saddens me alot. A chuch should be a sanctuary. A place you can go to when you have no place left to go. To rape and abuse in that setting is one of the most horrible things i can imagine (not that rape and abuse would be any better in any other setting). It confuses me too cause i grew up with the church beeing a nice place to be as a kid. Ok they have weird attituted but they never lived it out in my presence. Now these days i first of all have to hear about their bigotry and their hate against causes i full support and then on top of this crimes like that. I do not want to give up on church but they are giving me a hell of a hard time. I hope that the catholic church will end up beeing more transparent and will finally pursue people which do such horrible crimes.