Loading
Vatican lawyer not surprised by court's refusal to hear abuse case
St. Peter's Basilica. Credit: David Uebbing/CNA.
St. Peter's Basilica. Credit: David Uebbing/CNA.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A dismissed request that the International Criminal Court investigate U.S. clergy sex abuse as a crime against humanity misunderstands the nature of the Catholic Church, the Vatican’s U.S. lawyer has said.

“It’s no surprise, as the claims against Benedict are based on a fictitious theory of how the Catholic Church works,” said Jeffrey Lena, the Holy See's attorney in the U.S., told CNA June 17.

“It’s not a monarchical structure. The monarchical structure is a convenient fiction that plaintiffs use in order to tie local problems to the Holy See.”

The International Criminal Court said in a May 31 letter to the Center for Constitutional Rights that there is not presently a basis to proceed with a request for an investigation of former Pope Benedict XVI and other Vatican leaders for crimes against humanity, the Associated Press reports.

“The matters described in your communication do not appear to fall within the jurisdiction of the court,” a court official’s letter said.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, together with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, had brought the claims before the global court based in The Hague, Netherlands.

They contended that then-Pope Benedict had “direct and superior responsibility for the crimes against humanity of rape and other sexual violence committed around the world.”

The court only had jurisdiction from the year 2001 onwards. It is the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal. It has received more than 9,700 independent proposals for inquiries since 2002.

Before he was elected to the papacy in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI served as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. That congregation only had limited responsibility over abuse cases until 2001, when it took responsibility for the cases from the Roman Rota.

On June 14 Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNA the Holy See always thought the international court would reject the request, “given the unfounded accusation.”

Tags: Clerical Abuse, Benedict XVI

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Nov
1

Liturgical Calendar

November 1, 2014

All Saints

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

Gospel
Date
10/31/14
10/29/14
10/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Phil 1: 1-11
Gospel:: Lk 14: 1-6

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/31/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

Homily
Date
10/31/14
10/29/14
10/28/14