UN Judge Says Pope Should be Prosecuted at International Criminal Court
By Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D.
(NEW YORK – C-FAM) In London last Friday, a high ranking United Nations (UN) jurist called on the British government to detain Pope Benedict XVI during his upcoming visit to Britain, and send him to trial in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for “crimes against humanity.”
Geoffrey Robertson touted his status as a UN judge in an article he published last week claiming that jurists should invoke the same procedures that have been used to indict war criminals such as Slobodan Milosevic. To try the Pope as head of the Roman Catholic Church who is ultimately responsible for sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.
Robertson is one of five select jurists in the UN’s internal justice system responsible for holding UN officials accountable for corruption and mismanagement. His article was published in both the United States and Britain and reported on by the Associated Press.
Professor Hurst Hannum of the Fletcher School at Tufts University told the Friday Fax that it would be a “real stretch” to use the ICC since that court’s jurisdiction is mainly reserved for crimes during war. More likely, Hannum said, is that Robertson and likeminded experts would invoke the principle of “universal jurisdiction” so that national courts all over the world could detain the pope whenever he stepped foot on their soil. Critics say the principle, already used in practice, is a violation of sovereignty as it is enshrined in the UN Charter.
Yet Robertson insisted that the ICC could be used as long as the Pope’s sovereign immunity was waived and as long as jurists can show that the sex abuse scandal was carried out on a “widespread or systematic scale,” the way that child soldiers were used in the wars in Sierra Leone and the way that sex slaves are traded internationally.
Robertson, a tort lawyer, argued that prosecution at a higher level of the Church is necessary to get more money for victims of clergy sexual abuse in cases where dioceses have gone into bankruptcy. He specifically pointed out the fact that the diocese of Los Angeles has already paid $660M in damages and Boston has paid $100M.
One prominent law professor told the Friday Fax, “Without in any way minimizing the seriousness of the alleged offenses of Catholic priests, it would be a grave mistake to the laws of human rights to permit a trivializing of the responsibility to protect, and to play into the hands of American contingency-fee lawyers.”
Another human rights lawyer told the Friday Fax that the article could be part of a broader campaign. Robertson has long campaigned to strip the Holy See of its permanent observer status at the UN, and has publicly referred to the Holy See “the world’s largest NGO.”
When a campaign was launched to oust the Holy See from its status in 1999, UN Member States rallied around the Vatican, and in 2004 the General Assembly voted unanimously to expand that status. It is unclear whether UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon knew about Robertson’s leanings before appointing him to his current position.
Jewish Sam Miller on Catholics
Excerpts of an article written by Sam Miller, prominent Cleveland Jewish businessman-- who is NOT a Catholic.
Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States , namely the Catholic Church?
Do you know--the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to that Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. The graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%.
The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students.
The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people--not just Catholics--in the United States today
But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage.
Let me give you some figures that Catholics should know and remember. For example, 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church, 41.8% of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior; 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed.
Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia. 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic Problem.
A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.
The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests that have probably been weeded out by now.
Walk with your shoulders high and you head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental agency in the United States. Then remember what Jeremiah said: 'Stand by the roads, and look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and find rest for your souls'. Be proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions.
Be proud that you're a Catholic.
Reprinted excerpts with permission of the Buckeye Bulletin - courtesy of
Brookside Council #3297, Cleveland Diocese.
Other articles by Sam Miller:
Proud to be Catholic" by Sam Miller, A Jewish businessman
Proud to be Catholic" by Sam Miller,A Jewish businessman 2
Redemption Comes Through The Jews… Jewish Businessman, Sam Miller, Whaps Anti-Catholic Bias in News Media (Full Text)
Redemption Comes Through The Jews… Jewish Businessman, Sam Miller, Whaps Anti-Catholic Bias in News Media (Full Text to print)
Be Proud That You're Catholic