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#328085 - 04/12/10 11:41 AM United Nations Judge calls for Pope's arrest
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5942
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA

Geoffrey Robertson, a renowned human rights lawyer and United Nations jurist, wants to see Pope Benedict put on trial for allegedly protecting predator priests.

In a Guardian UK piece making its rounds this week in Catholic circles, Robertson demanded the pope be "put in the dock" so that the church might "feel the full weight of international law" over its thousands of pedophilia scandals.

The pope's conduct, he said, "amounted to the criminal offence of aiding and abetting sex with minors," making Benedict a justifiable target for either the International Criminal Court or a British court acting under the legal principal of universal jurisdiction.

Other international figures who've recently been pursued by various courts under universal jurisdiction include several former Bush administration attorneys and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for the torture of terror war prisoners, along with Israeli officials who helped launch the 2008 Gaza offensive.

"Universal jurisdiction — a concept in international law — allows judges to issue warrants for nearly any visitor accused of grievous crimes, no matter where they live," the Associated Press reported. "British judges have been more open to the concept than those in other countries."

"In legal actions against Catholic archdioceses in the US it has been alleged that the same conduct reflected Vatican policy as approved by Cardinal Ratzinger (as the pope then was) as late as November 2002," Robertson wrote. "Sexual assaults were regarded as sins that were subject to church tribunals, and guilty priests were sent on a 'pious pilgrimage' while oaths of confidentiality were extracted from their victims."

He continued: "The UN at its inception refused membership to the Vatican but has allowed it a unique 'observer status', permitting it to become signatory to treaties such as the Law of the Sea and (ironically) the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to speak and vote at UN conferences where it promotes its controversial dogmas on abortion, contraception and homosexuality. This has involved the UN in blatant discrimination on grounds of religion: other faiths are unofficially represented, if at all, by NGOs. But it has encouraged the Vatican to claim statehood – and immunity from liability."

"Robertson insisted that the ICC could be used as long as the Pope’s sovereign immunity was waived and as long as jurists can show that the sex abuse scandal was carried out on a 'widespread or systematic scale,' the way that child soldiers were used in the wars in Sierra Leone and the way that sex slaves are traded internationally," The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute added.

The Catholic League of Australia was quick to launch a spirited defense of the pope, suggesting that Benedict's accusers have no evidence.

"Robertson is a Human Rights lawyer who should know better than to suggest that charges of crime should be levelled without any evidence," they opined. "Unfortunately for Mr. Robertson his desire to create controversy and his own gossip does not constitute as a source of law. Mr. Robertson also bizarrely suggests that the Vatican is not a country. He conveniently 'forgets' that 179 countries recognise the Vatican as a sovereign state. Mr. Robertson’s effort to create controversy and create publicity for himself has blinded his judgement."

For its part, The New York Times reported Saturday that as a Cardinal, Ratzinger seemed to be resisting efforts to defrock a priest who molested children, waiting six long years before any action was taken.

"The matter was one of several recently reported instances in which documents have indicated that Benedict or his subordinates failed to act strongly against abuser priests — a failing that Vatican officials, cardinals and many bishops have heatedly rejected," the paper added. "The reports have surfaced amid a wave of disclosures about past sexual abuses by Roman Catholic priests around Europe."

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0410/judge-calls-prosecution-pope-benedict/

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#328109 - 04/12/10 04:03 PM Re: United Nations Judge calls for Pope's arrest [Re: SamV]
Trucker51 Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
In a perfect world, the rule of established international law would easily prevail in a case such as this. Unfortunately, the Catholic church and its spiritual leader enjoy the protection of an international boundary, and they have the option to withdraw within that boundary and ignore international law. If the recent allegations of managing a longtime cover-up of ongoing serious felony behavior can be proved, my own feeling is that the nations of the world would have every right to at the minimum restrict the outlaw pope's movement to the Vatican, and give him about the same amount of respect as a war criminal.

I am starting to wonder whether the Catholic church maintained a policy of sexual molestation of young boys by priests in the hope that some of the young victims would grow-up and then choose the priesthood as an adult occupation. What other reason could be given for the maintenance of a longtime ongoing cover-up that allowed abusive priests continued access to more victims, often such priests were just relocated to other unsuspecting parishes. Then when both the pope and his brother are separately accused in different countries of a pattern of knowingly covering-up such serious felony behavior, and allowing the behaviors to continue, most often unabated and without meaningful sanction, there is no question under both US and German law that they were aiding and abetting a felonious criminal conspiracy, which could involve many thousands of victims all over the world.

Fact: In many US States if you know that someone is perpetrating a felony and you don't turn them into authorities, you can be prosecuted for allowing felony behavior. In Ohio this law has been used against drug addicts that chose not to turn-in their drug dealer. It is a low-grade felony, which often is plea-bargained down to a misdemeanor in most lesser cases. Would the pope's decision to handle serious felony accusations against so many of its priests internally by covering them up, then knowingly allowing the felony behavior to continue, subject the pope to criminal sanction and/or open up the church to civil damage litigation from the many victims whose victimization occurred because of the policy of cover-up and unsanctioned relocation of the perpetrators?

There are two ways to handle these allegations. #1, The Catholic Church should responsibly distance itself from its chosen spiritual leader until the allegations are resolved, perhaps choosing a temporary replacement, and itself vigorously work to prove or disprove the allegations, or, #2, Try to change the subject, blame the media, and conduct a harassment campaign against anyone that questions the pope's spiritual cleanliness, anyone that questions the Church's sovereignty, or anyone who makes accusations.

I'm afraid that the Catholic Church has chosen the latter path, and the consequence of being proved wrong could and will have catastrophic effect on the future of the Catholic Church as an unquestioned institution. I'm afraid that I see Mr Robertson's position as the correct position, at the very least the concerned nations of the earth need a vigorous investigation and if warranted a vigorous prosecution for culpability for allowing a pattern of ongoing crimes against humanity with potentially many thousands of victims. Should the Catholic Church choose to withdraw behind its international boundary as a result, I might favor an armed incursion if an international extradition request went un-respected. Sorry, but these allegations are very, very serious, and if true, the Catholic Church will not prosper in its present form trying to protect a serious felony criminal from prosecution, no matter who he is.

Just the way that I see it, thanks for posting the story Sam,

Mark

PS: As a devout Democrat and supporter of human rights law for all peoples regardless period, I especially like this paragraph too:

"Other international figures who've recently been pursued by various courts under universal jurisdiction include several former Bush administration attorneys and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for the torture of terror war prisoners, along with Israeli officials who helped launch the 2008 Gaza offensive".

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#328112 - 04/12/10 05:00 PM Re: United Nations Judge calls for Pope's arrest [Re: Trucker51]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
This story out of the London Times was written just a few hours ago, by a woman who says that she is a Catholic. I think that her writing sheds more light on the story, and she is also advocating prosecuting the Pope, even arresting him on his upcoming visit to the UK using the same law that General Pinochet was arrested on years ago. This story is a very good read.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/libby_purves/article7094757.ece

A long list of public comments follow the article.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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