National Catholic Reporter Online reports breaking news seeking justice from the Vatican for victims of abuse by Roman Catholic priests.
Lawyers today filed a petition with the International Criminal Court on behalf of clergy sex abuse victims urging an investigation of high-ranking Roman Catholic Church leaders, including Pope Benedict XVI, charging that the widespread sexual abuse by priests in various countries and the handling of those cases by bishops and authorities in the Vatican constitute widespread human rights abuses.
The communication filed with the court in Hague in the Netherlands is comparable to the filing of a complaint with a district attorney’s office in the United States, said Pamela C. Spees, senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York based organization that has its roots in the Civil Rights era and that seeks to use law to effect social change.
The complaint names Pope Benedict XVI, both in his current capacity and as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when he was head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which has responsibility for handling sex abuse cases; the former and current Vatican secretaries of state, Angelo Sodano, who held the office from 1991 to 2006, and Tarcisio Bertone, who was appointed Sodano’s successor; and U.S. Cardinal William Levada, former archbishop of San Francisco, who was appointed by Benedict to succeed him in the doctrine congregation.
h/t to Mary Hunt at WATER