View Poll Results: Who think one should sue the pope

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Thread: Who think one should sue the pope

  1. #1
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    Who think one should sue the pope

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ernational-law

    Put the pope in the dock

    Legal immunity cannot hold. The Vatican should feel the full weight of international law.

    Well may the pope defy "the petty gossip of dominant opinion". But the Holy See can no longer ignore international law, which now counts the widespread or systematic sexual abuse of children as a crime against humanity. The anomalous claim of the Vatican to be a state – and of the pope to be a head of state and hence immune from legal action – cannot stand up to scrutiny.

    The truly shocking finding of Judge Murphy's commission in Ireland was not merely that sexual abuse was "endemic" in boys' institutions but that the church hierarchy protected the perpetrators and, despite knowledge of their propensity to reoffend, allowed them to take up new positions teaching other children after their victims had been sworn to secrecy.

    This conduct, of course, amounted to the criminal offence of aiding and abetting sex with minors. 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. 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.

    In the US, 11,750 allegations of child sex abuse have so far featured in actions settled by archdioceses – in Los Angeles for $660m and in Boston for $100m. But some dioceses have gone into bankruptcy and some claimants want higher level accountability – two reasons to sue the pope in person. In 2005 a test case in Texas failed because the Vatican sought and obtained the intercession of President Bush, who agreed to claim sovereign (ie head of state) immunity on the pope's behalf. Bush lawyer John B Bellinger III certified that Pope Benedict the XVI was immune from suit "as the head of a foreign state".

    Bellinger is now notorious for his defence of Bush administration torture policies. His opinion on papal immunity is even more questionable. It hinges on the assumption that the Vatican, or its metaphysical emanation, the Holy See, is a state. But the papal states were extinguished by invasion in 1870 and the Vatican was created by fascist Italy in 1929 when Mussolini endowed this tiny enclave – 0.17 of a square mile containing 900 Catholic bureaucrats – with "sovereignty in the international field ... in conformity with its traditions and the exigencies of its mission in the world".

    The notion that statehood can be created by another country's unilateral declaration is risible: Iran could make Qom a state overnight, or the UK could launch Canterbury on to the international stage. But it did not take long for Catholic countries to support the pretentions of the Holy See, sending ambassadors and receiving papal nuncios in return. Even the UK maintains an apostolic mission.

    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.

    This claim could be challenged successfully in the UK and in the European Court of Human Rights. But in any event, head of state immunity provides no protection for the pope in the international criminal court (see its current indictment of President Bashir). The ICC Statute definition of a crime against humanity includes rape and sexual slavery and other similarly inhumane acts causing harm to mental or physical health, committed against civilians on a widespread or systematic scale, if condoned by a government or a de facto authority. It has been held to cover the recruitment of children as soldiers or sex slaves. If acts of sexual abuse by priests are not isolated or sporadic, but part of a wide practice both known to and unpunished by their de facto authority then they fall within the temporal jurisdiction of the ICC – if that practice continued after July 2002, when the court was established.

    More.
    Maybe Bush can't help this time.

  2. #2
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    If the pope is the one doing the abuse himself, then yes, otherwise sue the one doing the abuse
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucec View Post
    If the pope is the one doing the abuse himself, then yes, otherwise sue the one doing the abuse
    Well, some from the Vatican now equates "bad press" to the Holocaust, in their defence, so as for youre post along the Vaticans own comparison; was Hitler the one doing the "abuse" himself?

  4. #4
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    The Pope could never be sued sucessfully. I would much prefer that he step down and be replaced with someone of moral decency. The Vatican these days is their own worst enemy, and certainly complaining about "bad press" and comparisons to the holocaust is proof of how self-centered and out of touch they really are. Their concern is about the effect this is having on the church, and little to do with the thousands of victims. Personally I think the Pope should hang up the lace dress, take off the red Prada's, and go to jail for facilitating the abuse of children.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    The Pope could never be sued sucessfully. I would much prefer that he step down and be replaced with someone of moral decency. The Vatican these days is their own worst enemy, and certainly complaining about "bad press" and comparisons to the holocaust is proof of how self-centered and out of touch they really are. Their concern is about the effect this is having on the church, and little to do with the thousands of victims. Personally I think the Pope should hang up the lace dress, take off the red Prada's, and go to jail for facilitating the abuse of children.

    Amen Eileen, Those red Prada's are ridiculous for someone who is supposed to take a vow of poverty.
    The aide that we have also works at a nursing home run/owned(?) by Catholics. Their insurance will not pay for birth control or "tube tying"-but will pay for Viagra. She has 4 kids and works hard. Is the pope ging to come and help her change shitty diapers, wipe noses, get up in the middle of the night etc?
    I'd better stop and look out for the bolt of lightening that will be striking me soon!

  6. #6
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    seems something needs to be done. are they just going to wait for one of those poor molested boys to grow up and start picking off priests for revenge of what was stolen from him without any consequences? too many people getting away with this kind of theiving.

  7. #7
    I wish he would grow some balls and say "The buck stops here."

  8. #8
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    You guys seem ignorant of the fact... that Catholism is a "corporation" it has assets worth "who knows how much"... The pope is just a servant as such, not a shareholder/single proprietor... He doesn't own the business... "Heck", he doesnt even own himself. He has physical and legal rights of ownership to anything he cant draw a blank check and tell you to bugger off... The Question is "Why would you want to sue the pope"? The dude has nothing, the "Catholic Church" has a shitload. As a corporation the have physical rights to well, all the land, all the churchs, bassillicas and other castles. Physical ownership of tangible items that the rest of us gives it a monetary value which equals a shitload... The pope, has nothing. Sue the Church/organization/legal entity - again, it owns a shitload.

  9. #9
    Outside the Vatican, the Pope is a civilian. In suing the Pope, you'd be suing the Vatican, which is the hierarchy. However, many of these cases may need to be settled in smaller sectors in which archdioceses can be sued and compensate the victims for pain and suffering according to their jurisdiction.

    The Pope could possibly be brought upon charges by International Criminal Court. That seems highly unlikely.


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Leif View Post
    Well, some from the Vatican now equates "bad press" to the Holocaust, in their defence, so as for your post along the Vaticans own comparison; was Hitler the one doing the "abuse" himself?
    Great point.

    Or who's legally responsible for preventing sexual harrassment in the workplace? The employer.

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