Charges pressed against pope

TWO GERMAN lawyers have initiated charges against Pope Benedict XVI at the International Criminal Court, alleging crimes against humanity.

Christian Sailer and Gert-Joachim Hetzel, based at Marktheidenfeld in the Pope’s home state of Bavaria, last week submitted a 16,500-word document to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the Hague, Dr Luis Moreno Ocampo.

Their charges concern “three worldwide crimes which until now have not been denounced . . . (as) the traditional reverence toward ‘ecclesiastical authority’ has clouded the sense of right and wrong”.

They claim the Pope “is responsible for the preservation and leadership of a worldwide totalitarian regime of coercion which subjugates its members with terrifying and health-endangering threats”.

They allege he is also responsible for “the adherence to a fatal forbiddance of the use of condoms, even when the danger of HIV-Aids infection exists” and for “the establishment and maintenance of a worldwide system of cover-up of the sexual crimes committed by Catholic priests and their preferential treatment, which aids and abets ever new crimes”.



Brilliant idea. Those guys have balls of steel. This should have been done a long time ago but I guess some degree of fear still remains in society regarding criticizing the Church. Not too long ago, if you said anything against the Church, or Heaven forbid, against the Pope, you were burned at the stake (or worse, forced to go to church).

Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens were at the forefront of a movement that called for the pope’s arrest when he visited the UK in September last year. The allegations were similar: Crimes against humanity and endemic cover-ups thereof by the RCC. I’m not entirely sure why their initiative failed because it did enjoy considerable support from various powerful quarters. It could be that the pope was conveniently recognised as a head of state and therefore qualified for diplomatic immunity, disallowing arrest under British law. The International Criminal Court is not bound by any such restraints, so it’ll be revealing to see how this will be handled.