Sex abuse victims urge Hague court to investigate Pope

Rights group says it lodged more than 20,000 pages of reports, evidence that Catholic clergy committed crimes against children, vulnerable adults.

September 13, 2011 16:48
2 minute read.
Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican City

Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

AMSTERDAM - Lawyers for victims of sexual abuse by the clergy have asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Pope Benedict XVI and three top Vatican officials for crimes against humanity for allowing rape and child sex crimes.

Together with New York-based rights group Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) filed a complaint with the ICC alleging that Vatican officials have tolerated and enabled sex crimes.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

'Holocaust Museum gains access to Vatican archive'
'ICC should revoke PA’s acceptance of court’s jurisdiction'

"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," CCR attorney Pam Spees said.

The Catholic Church has been rocked by a series of sexual abuse cover-up scandals in both Europe and the United States in recent years.

A Vatican spokesman said there would be no immediate comment. An ICC official referred inquiries to the prosecutor, whose office was also not immediately available for comment.

It is unlikely, however, that the Hague-based ICC, the world's first permanent war crimes court, will take on the case as it lacks jurisdiction over the Vatican, which has not ratified the ICC's founding treaty.

Countries such as Italy, the Netherlands and Germany are signed up to the court, however, and prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is likely to at least assess whether he has jurisdiction over the case.

CCR said it had lodged more than 20,000 pages of reports, policy papers and evidence of crimes by Catholic clergy committed against children and vulnerable adults and that SNAP members from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United States traveled to The Hague to lodge the filing.

The ICC is the world's first permanent war crimes court. It has issued an arrest warrant against Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and has jurisdiction over the crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It lists rape, sexual violence, assault and torture as crimes against humanity.

It has received multiple requests for investigations in the past, such as a filing from Syrian human rights groups in June calling on the court to investigate the killing of civilians in Syria, but the court also lacks jurisdiction in Syria.

Related Content

U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russian President Vladimir Putin
July 20, 2018
Trump invites Putin to Washington despite U.S. uproar over Helsinki summit