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Tags Goeffrey Robertson , human rights abuses , Pope Benedict

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Old 16th February 2013, 06:41 PM   #1
Brainache
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What to do with an ex Pope?

Has anyone here read this book?:http://www.penguin.com.au/products/9...3846/case-pope
Quote:
The Case of the Pope
Author: Geoffrey Robertson

THE CASE OF THE POPE delivers a devasting indictment of the way the Vatican has run a secret legal system that shields paedophile priests from criminal trial around the world.

Is the Pope morally or legally responsible for the negligence that has allowed so many terrible crimes to go unpunished? Should he and his seat of power, the Holy See, continue to enjoy an immunity that places them above the law?

Geoffrey Robertson QC, a distinguished human rights lawyer and judge, evinces a deep respect for the good works of Catholics and their church. But, he argues, unless Pope Benedict XVI can divest himself of the beguilements of statehood and devotion to obsolescent Canon Law, the Vatican will remain a serious enemy to the advance of human rights.
Will there be a prosecution now that Ratzinger is no longer a head of state?

How would anyone go about arresting him?

Has Robertson got it wrong and old Popey Pants has nothing to answer for?

Should I have put this in Gawd's thread about insulting Catholics?

Any thoughts?
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Old 16th February 2013, 06:53 PM   #2
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Has anyone here read this book?:http://www.penguin.com.au/products/9...3846/case-pope


Will there be a prosecution now that Ratzinger is no longer a head of state?

How would anyone go about arresting him?

Has Robertson got it wrong and old Popey Pants has nothing to answer for?

Should I have put this in Gawd's thread about insulting Catholics?

Any thoughts?
There's only one precedent, Celestine V in 1294. Here's how the situation was handled then, from wiki.
Quote:
Having divested himself of every outward symbol of papal dignity, he retired to his old solitude ... The former Celestine, Pietro Angelerio, was not allowed to remain in solitude. Various parties had opposed his resignation and the new Pope Boniface VIII had reason to worry that one of them might install him as an antipope. To prevent this he ordered Pietro brought to Rome. Pietro escaped and hid out in the woods before returning to Sulmona to resume monastic life. This proved impossible and Pietro was captured after an attempt to flee to Dalmatia. Boniface imprisoned him in the castle of Fumone near Ferentino in Campagna, where Pietro died after 10 months. His supporters spread the allegation that Boniface had treated him harshly and ultimately executed Pietro.
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Old 16th February 2013, 07:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
There's only one precedent, Celestine V in 1294. Here's how the situation was handled then, from wiki.
It will be interesting to see how much the RCC has changed in the last 700 years, if at all.

I guess Benedict/Ratzinger is hoping for a peaceful retirement, but I hope he is hounded and prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
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Old 16th February 2013, 08:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
No. But sounds interesting.

Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Will there be a prosecution now that Ratzinger is no longer a head of state?
Unlikely. Nobody has even tried to put bishops on trial, let alone the Pope. But hope springs eternal.

Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
How would anyone go about arresting him?
That's easy. The Pope has announced he will spend some time at Castel Gandolfo:
Quote:
Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi announced that Benedict would retire to Castel Gandolfo after his resignation, but would eventually take up residence in a cloistered monastery within the Vatican
And for that he has to pass Italian territory. If there were a prosecutor with balls within the EU, he could issue a European Arrest Warrant:
Quote:
The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is an arrest warrant valid throughout all member states of the European Union (EU). Once issued, it requires another member state to arrest and transfer a criminal suspect or sentenced person to the issuing state so that the person can be put on trial or complete a detention period.
So the Italian police would be required to arrest him.

Alternatively, a secret service could kidnap him (see: Eichmann, Vanunu). Once he's in your court, the illegality of how he got there is utterly irrelevant. Well, it would be a diplomatic row, but there's no legal need to let him leave the country again. And he wouldn't be the first ex-head of state against which prosecution was initiated (see: Pinochet).

Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Has Robertson got it wrong and old Popey Pants has nothing to answer for?
For an answer to that question, you'd have to read the book. But from what has been reported in the press, my definite impression is that the pope has criminal responsibility for the child sexual abuses complex.
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Old 16th February 2013, 08:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
It will be interesting to see how much the RCC has changed in the last 700 years, if at all.

I guess Benedict/Ratzinger is hoping for a peaceful retirement, but I hope he is hounded and prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
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Old 16th February 2013, 08:27 PM   #6
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On what to do with the Pope:

Bronze him (they should have started this ages ago - could sell indulgences for paying part of the bronzing cost - or having pilgrims pay to touch or kiss the bronzed figure. Could work for saints too - maybe even higher charge for them!!!
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Old 16th February 2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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Orrrr: preserve him and put him in Acrylic or similar - do same otherwise.
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Old 16th February 2013, 08:37 PM   #8
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If he is at all responsible for any of the coverup it would seem natural that he'd be arrested. Perhaps his retirement has to do with his desire for this outcome? He would be immune if he didn't retire and I can't imagine that the possibility of his arrest hadn't crossed his mind.
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Old 16th February 2013, 08:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
On what to do with the Pope:

Bronze him (they should have started this ages ago - could sell indulgences for paying part of the bronzing cost - or having pilgrims pay to touch or kiss the bronzed figure. Could work for saints too - maybe even higher charge for them!!!
Could we say 'polish the knob'?
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Old 16th February 2013, 08:56 PM   #10
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He's the head of his country (retired Good try at extraditing him.
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Old 16th February 2013, 09:06 PM   #11
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How detached from reality can one get? There is nothing to prosecute or arrest him for.
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Old 16th February 2013, 09:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
How detached from reality can one get? There is nothing to prosecute or arrest him for.
I was under the impression that there was some involvement in his past with the shielding of pedophile priests. I don't know it to be so. It could simply be rumors.
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Old 16th February 2013, 09:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
How detached from reality can one get? There is nothing to prosecute or arrest him for.
Quite so. The offending priests are the ones who will be arrested. It seems incredible that the ex-Pope will be bundled into a police car soon as he sets foot outside the Vatican.
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Old 16th February 2013, 10:57 PM   #14
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Much as I'd love to see the Church brought to justice, I don't think going after the Rat is the best way about it. Should we punish him, it sends the signal that he was the problem rather than the problem being an organization which is corrupt on all levels. The Church itself needs to face punishment for its crimes.

Besides, given his age and health we'd probably have to go all Courtroom Trial at Bernie's anyway.
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Old 16th February 2013, 11:10 PM   #15
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For some reason I'm reminded of the song Drunken Sailor.
What shall we do with a papal failure?
What shall we do with a papal failure?
What shall we do with a papal failure?
Early in the morning.

Hoorah! And up she rises.
Hoorah! And up she rises.
Hoorah! And up she rises.
Early in the morning.

Put him in the long-boat and make him bale her.
Put him in the long-boat and make him bale her.
Put him in the long-boat and make him bale her.
Early in the morning.

Hoorah! And up she rises.
Hoorah! And up she rises.
Hoorah! And up she rises.
Early in the morning.

What shall we do with a papal failure?
What shall we do with a papal failure?
What shall we do with a papal failure?
Early in the morning.

Hoorah! And up she rises.
Hoorah! And up she rises.
Hoorah! And up she rises.
Early in the morning.

Put him in the guardroom till he gets sober.
Put him in the guardroom till he gets sober.
Put him in the guardroom till he gets sober.
Early in the morning.

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Old 17th February 2013, 12:18 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
How detached from reality can one get? There is nothing to prosecute or arrest him for.
Apart from the letter he wrote to all the Bishops when he was head of the Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith (AKA The Inquisition), which told them not to go to the Police and to deal with abuse of children as an internal Church matter?

Here is the transcript of a BBC Documentary "Sex Crimes and the Vatican":
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programme...ma/5402928.stm

There is an option to watch it there, but my comp is a bit too old and slow. But if you do watch it, I think the bombshell is at about 15 minutes in.

Then there's this from the Huffington Post:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0..._n_512483.html
Quote:
...But he has yet to say anything about his handling of an abuse case in Germany.

In that case, Ratzinger approved the 1980 transfer of Rev. Peter Hullermann to a psychological treatment center to receive treatment for pedophilia. Ratziner, then a cardinal, was the archbishop of Munich and did not report Hullermann's alleged abuse of boys to German police...
Do you still say he has nothing to answer for?

ETA: The name of the document from Ratzinger to the Bishops is "Crimen Sollicitationis". http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Crimen_sollicitationis
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Old 17th February 2013, 03:31 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
Could we say 'polish the knob'?
We certainly could - not sure if church officials would though - except young boys perhaps.
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Old 17th February 2013, 07:13 AM   #18
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Will there be a prosecution now that Ratzinger is no longer a head of state?
Vatican City and the Holy See can do with its citizens whatever the sitting Pope pleases. Assuming that there is an abdiication agreement (which is routine), then Ratzinger presumably will remain an employee of the Church assigned to the Vatican, retain his Vatican City ciitizenship, and most crucially, hold a Holy See diplomatic passport.

As long as he travels on that, avoids territory that has no diplomatic relations with the Holy See, and the new Pope doesn't extradite him, he should be golden.

Apart from that, he's a non-voting cardinal in indifferent health. There's no pressing need to do anything at all with him. Let go and let God, so to speak.
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Old 17th February 2013, 08:25 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Apart from the letter he wrote to all the Bishops when he was head of the Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith (AKA The Inquisition), which told them not to go to the Police and to deal with abuse of children as an internal Church matter?
This is wrong. The "Epistula de delictis gravioribus", written and distributed by Ratzinger in the name of Pope John Paul II in 2001, did not tell them not to go to the police. The secrecy was about the church internal trial process instead. A person who found out about sex abuse and is involved in such a trial must not reveal the trial, but can report the crime to the police.
Quote:
ETA: The name of the document from Ratzinger to the Bishops is "Crimen Sollicitationis". http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Crimen_sollicitationis
No. The name was "Epistula de delictis gravioribus", and it replaced "Crimen Sollicitationis". EDDG put child abuse in the same category as eucharistic desecration, and it obliged church officials to centrally report cases of child abuse to prevent local cover ups.

Btw, this would have been a great opportunity for you to demonstrate skepticism. Instead, you took a claim at face value just because it nicely fits your preconceived world view.

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Old 17th February 2013, 09:33 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
How detached from reality can one get? There is nothing to prosecute or arrest him for.
Father Marcial Maciel was the founder and leader of the powerful Legion of Christ order in Mexico and later in other countries. In 1999, Alberto Althié (now a former priest) prepared a letter documenting several cases of sexual abuse done by Maciel against teen-aged seminarians. The bishop of Saltillo, CarlosTalavera, delivered the letter to cardinal J. Ratzinger then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Ratzinger's answer was: '' Regretfully, we can not open Father Maciel's case because he is a person beloved by the holy father (John Paul II), and has done the Church much good.''

An internal investigation in 2006 proved the accusations to be true. Benedict XVI ordered Maciel to leave the leadership of the Legion and to dedicate his remaining years to '' prayer and penance.''

Ratzinger knew the facts in 1999 and decided not to act. The 2006 investigation resulted in merely disciplining Maciel within the Church.

ETA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcial_Maciel
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Old 17th February 2013, 09:53 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
This is wrong. The "Epistula de delictis gravioribus", written and distributed by Ratzinger in the name of Pope John Paul II in 2001, did not tell them not to go to the police. The secrecy was about the church internal trial process instead. A person who found out about sex abuse and is involved in such a trial must not reveal the trial, but can report the crime to the police.

No. The name was "Epistula de delictis gravioribus", and it replaced "Crimen Sollicitationis". EDDG put child abuse in the same category as eucharistic desecration, and it obliged church officials to centrally report cases of child abuse to prevent local cover ups.

Btw, this would have been a great opportunity for you to demonstrate skepticism. Instead, you took a claim at face value just because it nicely fits your preconceived world view.
The church official reports the case to other church officials. IOW a cover up

In addition, the document lists one offence of a moral character, not directly connected with administration of the sacraments, as reserved in the same way as these to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, namely, the offence of a cleric (a bishop, priest or deacon) who commits a sexual sin with someone under 18 years of age.

Reservation of these offences to the Congregation does not mean that the Congregation itself tries those accused of committing them. It requires instead that, if a preliminary investigation shows that it is at least probable that the offence was committed, the ordinary (in the Eastern Catholic Churches called the hierarch) is to consult the Congregation on the manner in which his own tribunal is to proceed. In addition, any appeals from the verdict of that tribunal are to be made to the Congregation, instead of the usual appeals tribunal.

In the case of criminal actions brought before an ecclesiastical tribunal against someone accused of offences reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, prescription normally limits to ten years from the date of commission of an offence the time within which the prosecution may be initiated;[11] but the document De delictis gravioribus lays down that, in the case of a sexual offence against a minor, the period of ten years begins to run only when the minor reaches 18 years of age.
See also


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_delictis_gravioribus
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Old 17th February 2013, 09:59 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
This is wrong. The "Epistula de delictis gravioribus", written and distributed by Ratzinger in the name of Pope John Paul II in 2001, did not tell them not to go to the police. The secrecy was about the church internal trial process instead. A person who found out about sex abuse and is involved in such a trial must not reveal the trial, but can report the crime to the police.
Here is an English translation of the letter.

You're absolutely right the letter says nothing explicitly about reporting to the secular authorities. But what is the implicit message when the internal church process is veiled in secrecy and the bishop has to ask permission of the Vatican to proceed with his investigations? From the letter:
Quote:
As often as an ordinary or hierarch has at least probable knowledge of a reserved delict, after he has carried out the preliminary investigation he is to indicate it to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which unless it calls the case to itself because of special circumstances of things, after transmitting appropriate norms, orders the ordinary or hierarch to proceed ahead through his own tribunal.
Moreover, what is the further message when it may take 18 months to get a reply from the Vatican?

Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
No. The name was "Epistula de delictis gravioribus", and it replaced "Crimen Sollicitationis". EDDG put child abuse in the same category as eucharistic desecration, and it obliged church officials to centrally report cases of child abuse to prevent local cover ups.
Yes, it's really great that the Vatican considers child sexual abuse as serious as ecumenical communion.
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Old 17th February 2013, 10:03 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by eight bits View Post
Vatican City and the Holy See can do with its citizens whatever the sitting Pope pleases. Assuming that there is an abdiication agreement (which is routine), then Ratzinger presumably will remain an employee of the Church assigned to the Vatican, retain his Vatican City ciitizenship, and most crucially, hold a Holy See diplomatic passport.

As long as he travels on that, avoids territory that has no diplomatic relations with the Holy See, and the new Pope doesn't extradite him, he should be golden.
Seriously, he retains a diplomatic passport? And why should that he honoured when he obviously has no diplomatic role? (Serious question: what is being done with "diplomats" who are merely spies?)

Originally Posted by eight bits View Post
Apart from that, he's a non-voting cardinal in indifferent health. There's no pressing need to do anything at all with him. Let go and let God, so to speak.
Why? Justice should be done. The world also still chases Nazis, even though they're in their 80s or 90s now.
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Old 17th February 2013, 10:28 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
... Why? Justice should be done. The world also still chases Nazis, even though they're in their 80s or 90s now.
Can we retain a sense of proportion? Please, this is absurd. The Pope is not going to be arrested. Nor should he be. That is how things were in the Church, and it is condemned to the infamy which its conduct deserves. In Ireland there are these sexual scandals, and even this week the revelations about the Magdalene Laundries, and how the Irish State abetted this monstrous exploitation. The immediate perpetrators of this and of the sexual crimes are or ought to be punished, and the Church is to be punished institutionally by civil action by the victims, and by paying appropriate compensation. But to arrest the ex-Pope is superfluous, and it won't happen anyway. I'd like it to be able to happen to that scoundrel, but let's not be ridiculous.
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Old 17th February 2013, 11:05 AM   #25
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Seriously, he retains a diplomatic passport? And why should that he honoured when he obviously has no diplomatic role? (Serious question: what is being done with "diplomats" who are merely spies?)
I don't know what's in his abdication agreement. I assume he had a lawyer, and it is in the Holy See's gift. The passport isn't diplomatic because its holder is a diplomat, but rather its honor is a courtesy one sovreign extends another, for reciprocity if nothing else.

Of course, I fully agree with Craig B that arresting the ex-Pope is a tad far-fetched, but...

American and other former heads of states have some continuing concern about arrest on foreign soil, based on possible criminal construction of actions taken while in office. The problem may be especially acute for American Presidents, heads of government as well as of state who, like a Pope, actually do things in office. Any country at all might assert ius gentium jurisdiction over "W" Bush, say for operating Gitmo. An ex-Pope really wouldn't be unique in this regard.

Generally, diplomats who really are spies are expelled, if the host sovreign wishes to be rid of them (reciprocity is a wonderful thing though). Immunity for offenses committed while in the country during service, as espionage by a diplomat would typically be, is a different matter from extending courtesies to a visitor as a favor to another sovreign.

Quote:
Why? Justice should be done. The world also still chases Nazis, even though they're in their 80s or 90s now.
Justice should be done, to be sure. Reasonable people can differ what justice requires. I'd be more interested in selling the Vatican's art and manuscript collections to compensate their victims than a symbolic personal retribution against an individual. If I was interested in a symbol, then I'd extradite Cardinal Law, if American authorities still wanted him.

Yet another reason why I suspect the upcoming conclave isn't going to elect me Pope .

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Old 17th February 2013, 11:13 AM   #26
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Of course it is highly unlikely that Ratzinger would be prosecuted. But he should be.
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Old 17th February 2013, 01:04 PM   #27
Verklagekasper
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Originally Posted by yomero View Post
An internal investigation in 2006 proved the accusations to be true. Benedict XVI ordered Maciel to leave the leadership of the Legion and to dedicate his remaining years to '' prayer and penance.''

Ratzinger knew the facts in 1999 and decided not to act. The 2006 investigation resulted in merely disciplining Maciel within the Church.
Ratzinger started an internal investigation in 1999. In 2002 he stopped his investigations, probably because John Paul II told him to do so. In 2005, briefly before John Paul II's death, Ratzinger started another internal investigation, announcing that he was about to remove "filth" from the Church. Maciel was requested to withdraw from his ministry in lieu of further investigation and prosecution. In May 2006, Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, disciplined him: the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asked Maciel to live "a reserved life of penitence and prayer, relinquishing any form of public ministry”; a canonical trial was ruled out because of his advanced age and poor health. Further sanction came in 2007, when the order was told to remove obedience vows requiring religious never to criticise superiors and to inform on any dissent within the order.
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Old 17th February 2013, 01:20 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
You're absolutely right the letter says nothing explicitly about reporting to the secular authorities. But what is the implicit message when the internal church process is veiled in secrecy and the bishop has to ask permission of the Vatican to proceed with his investigations? From the letter:
The "Epistula de delictis gravioribus" does not suggest that crimes should be kept secret from secular authorities. Period.
At best, one could say that it is not clear about what to do with regard to secular authorities. But then again, it is not a FAQ for handling abuse cases. It regulates the trials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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Old 17th February 2013, 02:17 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
The "Epistula de delictis gravioribus" does not suggest that crimes should be kept secret from secular authorities. Period.
At best, one could say that it is not clear about what to do with regard to secular authorities. But then again, it is not a FAQ for handling abuse cases. It regulates the trials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Really, you don't see the incompatibility of secrecy in church investigations with reporting to the secular authorities?

Bishop N. Aive hears accusations that priest K. Fiddler has been sexually abusing children. The accusations sound credible to him, so he reports it to the Inquistion Congregation for Doctrine in Faith, and he reports it to the police. Next day, the paper runs an article:
Quote:
Pastor Kiddy F. arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse of children. A police spokesman said the accusations were reported to the police by the bishop.
But the paper may not run an article:
Quote:
Bishop N. Aive has initiated church investigations against pastor Kiddy F. because of alleged sexual abuse of children. The pastor may be defrocked as a result of this.
Sorry, that does not compute. No bishop would be so naive to think that was the intention of the secrecy.
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Old 17th February 2013, 02:29 PM   #30
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What to do with an ex Pope?

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Old 17th February 2013, 02:35 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Really, you don't see the incompatibility of secrecy in church investigations with reporting to the secular authorities?
No. Because there is no such incompatibility. The Vatican does not, and should not publish decrees universally demanding reporting of crimes to state authorities. Because not every state in the world guarantees fair trials and adequate punishments. Collaboration with state authorities has to be regulated on national level. For example, the German catholic bishop conference officially adviced church officials to report every abuse case immediately to public prosecutors.

Last edited by Verklagekasper; 17th February 2013 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 17th February 2013, 03:13 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
No. Because there is no such incompatibility. The Vatican does not, and should not publish decrees universally demanding reporting of crimes to state authorities. Because not every state in the world guarantees fair trials and adequate punishments.
Did you not read the part of my post you didn't quote? The church trial must be kept secret - so you said yourself - but church authorities are free to report to the police?

Let's turn again to pastor K. Fiddler and bishop N. Aive, who reports him to the police. The paper reads next morning:
Quote:
Police have arrested pastor Kiddy F. on charges of sexual abuse against minors. A police spokesman said that bishop N. Aive had reported the pastor to the police.
And this journalist has done his homework, so he continues:
Quote:
According to the Vatican rules laid out in the "Epistula de delictis gravioribus", there must also be church proceedings against the pastor, possibly leading to his defrocking.
Not so secret anymore, that church trial, hmm? And more general, what sense does it make to keep the church trial a secret, or try to do that, while the accused is in jail awaiting (secular) trial?

Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
Collaboration with state authorities are to be regulated on national level. For example, the German catholic bishop conference officially adviced church officials to report every abuse case immediately to public prosecutors.
[ citation needed ]

A bit of honesty is in place, really. For one, name the year. From 2002:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zum_Vor...chofskonferenz:
Quote:
Abschnitt IV befasst sich mit der Zusammenarbeit mit den Strafverfolgungsbehörde: „In erwiesenen Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger wird dem Verdächtigten zur Selbstanzeige geraten und ggf. das Gespräch mit der Staatsanwaltschaft gesucht. [...] In erwiesenen Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger wird dem Verdächtigten - falls nicht bereits eine Anzeige vorliegt oder Verjährung eingetreten ist - zur Selbstanzeige geraten und je nach Sachlage die Staatsanwaltschaft informiert.“
Or in English: the church authorities would advice the perpetrator to report himself to the police, and maybe, maybe have a chat with the DA. Only in 2010, this was changed to the policy you say: always report (unless the victim objects).

Don't you think there's at least a moral obligation to report crimes to the police? I thought the idea of a church was to provide a moral compass. Some compass this is.
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Old 17th February 2013, 04:36 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
The church trial must be kept secret - so you said yourself - but church authorities are free to report to the police?
Yes.
Quote:
A bit of honesty is in place, really. For one, name the year. From 2002: ...
Only in 2010, this was changed to the policy you say: always report (unless the victim objects).
The Wiki-article confirms what I said. Talking about honesty, you should have mentioned that objection of the victim alone is not the criterion to not report sexual abuse. The abuse may not be reported "if the victim explicitly wishes so, the non-reporting is legal, and no further victims are known". Also, the guidelines explicitly declare that church internal investigations must not hinder secular investigations and that internal investigatons don't have preference over secular investigations.
Quote:
Don't you think there's at least a moral obligation to report crimes to the police?
It depends. Generally, crimes should be reported. On the other hand, for instance, I have no objections to the confessional secret of the catholic church.

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Old 17th February 2013, 05:39 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
Ratzinger started an internal investigation in 1999. In 2002 he stopped his investigations, probably because John Paul II told him to do so. In 2005, briefly before John Paul II's death, Ratzinger started another internal investigation, announcing that he was about to remove "filth" from the Church. Maciel was requested to withdraw from his ministry in lieu of further investigation and prosecution. In May 2006, Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, disciplined him: the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asked Maciel to live "a reserved life of penitence and prayer, relinquishing any form of public ministry”; a canonical trial was ruled out because of his advanced age and poor health. Further sanction came in 2007, when the order was told to remove obedience vows requiring religious never to criticise superiors and to inform on any dissent within the order.
An addition:
In May 2010 the Vatican published a declaration of the Pope to the Legion of Christ, which among other things stated:
"The extreme severe and objectively amoral behavior of P. Maciel, which has been confirmed by undeniable proof, consists at times of real crimes and reveals a ruthless life without real religious meaning."

But yes, Pope Benedict didn't send in a Vatican killer-command to execute Maciel in Bin-Laden-style. Clearly, he must be arrested for that.

Last edited by Verklagekasper; 17th February 2013 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 17th February 2013, 05:59 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
Yes.
You fail again to address the logical impossibility of keeping the church trial a secret and at the same time report to the police so that a criminal trial takes place.

Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
The Wiki-article confirms what I said. Talking about honesty, you should have mentioned that objection of the victim alone is not the criterion to not report sexual abuse. The abuse may not be reported "if the victim explicitly wishes so, the non-reporting is legal, and no further victims are known".
I wrote the victim. The use of the definite article implies there's only one.
Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
Also, the guidelines explicitly declare that church internal investigations must not hinder secular investigations and that internal investigatons don't have preference over secular investigations.
Great. And you fail to mention that this only happened after a wave of abuse cases had become known, begin 2010, and sharp criticism from the Justice Minister.

And then there's the calling off of the scientific investigation last month. The German RCC suddenly cited privacy concerns, though they had contractually obligated openness to all their files to the scientists.

Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
It depends. Generally, crimes should be reported.
Oh, that's a real moral answer. And it took the RCC only about 2,000 years to find out.

Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
On the other hand, for instance, I have no objections to the confessional secret of the catholic church. Nor do I have objections to the policy of the German bishop conference.
I don't see what the confessional has to do with this - except then for those cases where the priest perpetrated the sexual abuse during the confessional. I don't see any secular reason why a priest should be able to call on priveleged communication and, say, a boy scout leader not. They're both just leaders in a club.
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Old 17th February 2013, 06:18 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
For some reason I'm reminded of the song Drunken Sailor.
What shall we do with a papal failure?
What shall we do with a papal failure?
What shall we do with a papal failure?
Early in the morning.

Hoorah! And up she rises.
Hoorah! And up she rises.
Hoorah! And up she rises.
Early in the morning.

Put him in the long-boat and make him bale her.
Put him in the long-boat and make him bale her.
Put him in the long-boat and make him bale her.
Early in the morning.

Hoorah! And up she rises.
Hoorah! And up she rises.
Hoorah! And up she rises.
Early in the morning.

What shall we do with a papal failure?
What shall we do with a papal failure?
What shall we do with a papal failure?
Early in the morning.

Hoorah! And up she rises.
Hoorah! And up she rises.
Hoorah! And up she rises.
Early in the morning.

Put him in the guardroom till he gets sober.
Put him in the guardroom till he gets sober.
Put him in the guardroom till he gets sober.
Early in the morning.

How synergistic! I was going to post the same sea shanty with the refrain I remember.

Put him in the scuppers with the hosepipe on him and etc.

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Old 17th February 2013, 08:05 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Seriously, he retains a diplomatic passport? And why should that he honoured when he obviously has no diplomatic role? (Serious question: what is being done with "diplomats" who are merely spies?)


Why? Justice should be done. The world also still chases Nazis, even though they're in their 80s or 90s now.
Sorry, but pretty much by definition the ex-Pope would clearly be considered an elder statesman as his authority is now limited but he is still given respect bu parishoners around the world - he still represents the church and Vatican city. Though frankly I see little if any travel in his future.
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Old 17th February 2013, 08:08 PM   #38
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As to the diplomats/spies thing, they are carefully monitored, any contacts are carefully monitored and disposed of/questioned with prejudice. Their effectiveness is quite limited. Diplomatic immunity only goes so far and accidents are easy to arrange if needed.
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Old 18th February 2013, 03:00 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
You fail again to address the logical impossibility of keeping the church trial a secret and at the same time report to the police so that a criminal trial takes place.
I have addressed that. But you fail to realize your misconception of the scope of the secrecy even when confronted with facts that prove your interpretation wrong. Again, the secrecy is about the canonical trial, not the reporting of the crime to secular prosecutors. As already mentioned, German catholic bishops have guidelines demanding to report abuse cases to public prosecutors. These have been applied in practice. For example, in the case of bishop Mixa, the diocese of Augsburg reported suspicions of sexual abuse of a boy to the police. Perhaps you should have told them that this was logically impossible?
Quote:
Great. And you fail to mention that this only happened after a wave of abuse cases had become known, begin 2010, and sharp criticism from the Justice Minister.
Yes, the catholic church took the concerns of the public seriously and reacted. Also, Pope Benedict visited many abuse victims during his travels, publically apologized to them, and did overall more against abuse in the church than any of his predecessors.

Comparing the bad press they receive for that to the indifference towards abuse cases in the potestant church, perhaps they just should have done nothing. Last year, protestant Bishop Maria Jepsen got away with the non-reporting of an abusing pastor. No big deal in the press.

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Old 18th February 2013, 03:51 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
He's the head of his country (retired Good try at extraditing him.
However if he leaves the Holy See.....

Originally Posted by Verklagekasper View Post
How detached from reality can one get? There is nothing to prosecute or arrest him for.
Perhaps. However if a prosecution is launched against him he can be arrested under a EAW to face trial.

Originally Posted by eight bits View Post
Vatican City and the Holy See can do with its citizens whatever the sitting Pope pleases. Assuming that there is an abdiication agreement (which is routine), then Ratzinger presumably will remain an employee of the Church assigned to the Vatican, retain his Vatican City ciitizenship, and most crucially, hold a Holy See diplomatic passport.

As long as he travels on that, avoids territory that has no diplomatic relations with the Holy See, and the new Pope doesn't extradite him, he should be golden.

Apart from that, he's a non-voting cardinal in indifferent health. There's no pressing need to do anything at all with him. Let go and let God, so to speak.
A diplomatic passport does not grant immunity from prosecution. Such status can only be obtained with the consent of the country being visited and is not automatic.
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