Court vetoes criminal case against Benedict XVI
Abuse victims aimed to charge Vatican's top officials
Pope Emeritus Benedict picture:Jeffrey Bruno/Shutterstock
- Brian Roewe for National Catholic Reporter
- June 19, 2013
A prosecutor of an international court has opted not to pursue a case against multiple Vatican officials for crimes against humanity related to the widespread clergy sex abuse of minors within the Catholic church.
The case was brought to the International Criminal Court at The Hague in the Netherlands in September 2011 by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the abuse victims advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who made public the decision Thursday.
In a 71-page complaint accompanied by more than 22,000 pages of supporting materials, the two organizations sought charges brought against four Vatican prelates for "enabling and concealing sexual violence worldwide": Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone; former Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano; Cardinal William Levada, former prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
According to the letter, dated May 31, the prosecutor determined that the case fell outside the court's jurisdiction because it did not satisfy several preconditions necessary for examination. Those included issues with "temporal jurisdiction" and "subject-matter jurisdiction."
Source: National Catholic Reporter