June 16, 2013 Comments Off on Hague Court Declines Inquiry Into Church Abuse Cover-Up
Pope Benedict XVI International Criminal Court Investigation Requested By Clergy Sex Abuse Victims Rejected
AP By RACHEL ZOLL 06/13/2013
NEW YORK — The International Criminal Court has rejected a longshot request by clergy sex abuse victims to investigate former Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican cardinals for possible crimes against humanity.
The tribunal, based in The Hague, told attorneys for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests that “there is not a basis at this time to proceed with further analysis.”
“The matters described in your communication do not appear to fall within the jurisdiction of the court,” a court official wrote in a May 31 letter to the Center for Constitutional Rights, the nonprofit legal group that represents the victims. The legal organization released the letter Thursday.
Jeffrey Lena, the U.S. attorney for the Vatican, had called the 2011 request to the court a “ludicrous publicity stunt.”
“The common thread running through all these cases is the mistaken idea that ‘everything is controlled by Rome,'” Lena said Thursday.
Pam Spees, senior staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, said her group was confident it could collect enough evidence as new abuse victims come forward to press the tribunal to reconsider.
The odds against the court opening an investigation have been enormous. The prosecutor has received more than 9,700 independent proposals for inquiries since 2002, when the court was created as the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal, and has never opened a formal investigation based solely on such a request….
Int’l court case against ex-pope fizzles
By RACHEL ZOLL AP Religion Writer Thursday, 06.13.13
Hague Court Declines Inquiry Into Church Abuse Cover-Up
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN June 13, 2013
The International Criminal Court in The Hague has decided not to investigate or prosecute the former pope and other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church on allegations of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests.
Victims of sexual abuse filed a complaint in 2011 asking the court to prosecute Benedict XVI, then the pope, and three other Vatican officials for what they called an international and systemic cover-up of sexual abuse that amounted to “crimes against humanity.”
The court responded in a letter dated May 31 that after analyzing the complaint, it had determined that the matters “do not appear to fall within the jurisdiction of the court.” The letter said that “some of the allegations” fell outside the court’s jurisdiction, which is to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
In addition, the case did not appear to meet the court’s time limits. For the most part, the court may prosecute only crimes committed after it was constituted in July 2002, and even though the cases submitted by the victims involved more recent allegations, some of the supporting material predated 2002….