THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The victims of pedophile priests were sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Tuesday, demanding an investigation against the pope and other Vatican officials for possible crimes against humanity.
The victims say they are frustrated to find that those who protected pedophile priests have never had to answer for their acts before justice.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, a nonprofit organization New Yorker, called the survey on behalf of the Survivors Network, which includes hundreds of victims. The center describes a “system firmly established and widespread sexual violence,” which would have continued to exist despite the promises made to counteract fast predators.
The Vatican declined to comment on the complaint, which targets including Pope Benedict XVI, in part for his former role as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees the alleged assault cases since 2001, the current director of the Congregation, Cardinal William Levada, the former Secretary of State of the Vatican under Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and his successor, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
The victims’ lawyers argue that rape and sexual violence are crimes against humanity. The complaint also accused the Vatican of having adopted policies that allowed the situation to continue, which would constitute an attack against a civilian population.
The president of Survivors Network, Barbara Blaine, said the petition to the ICC is a measure of last resort. The chances of the ICC to launch an investigation, however, are exceedingly slim.
Vatican officials have already apologized repeatedly to victims in addition to their pay compensation totaling 3 billion USD in the United States only.