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The Center for Constitutional Rights, a far-left advocacy group for Islamic terrorists, has now chosen to go after the Catholic Church. It is bringing a complaint on behalf of an organization known as the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The intent is to press for an investigation of Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican cardinals for alleged crimes against humanity.
The Center accuses the Catholic Church of a “long-standing and pervasive system of sexual violence.”
Like just about everything else the Center for Constitutional Rights does, it is engaging in pure political grandstanding to embarrass a traditional organization that does immense good in the world. In a Church of over one billion members, the percentage of abuse cases is infinitesimal, and most of these are old closed cases. That is not to excuse the abuses that did happen, as the Church itself has recognized. But to accuse the Pope and cardinals of crimes against humanity evidences an anti-Catholic bias that, for lack of a better term, constitutes Catholic-phobia.
It is highly doubtful that the ICC will take this case, for a number of reasons. First, the ICC does not investigate crimes that occurred before its 2002 creation, which was when the bulk of the molestation claims originated.
Second, national courts with jurisdiction are already addressing the issues raised by the alleged sexual abuses, which normally would be enough to deter the ICC from intervening, since it was established as a court of last resort.
Third, the ICC does not usually get involved in this type of case. “This requires a government policy, a plan, a widespread and systematic attack against a civilian population,” the executive director of the International Bar Association, Mark Ellis, said. “Not to suggest that victims were not harmed, but to meet the level of crimes against humanity you really have to show that there is a policy or a plan to initiate this.”
Fourth, and most importantly, it is difficult to conceive that the ICC would choose to expend whatever political capital it may have to go after the Pope, particularly for simply not being attentive enough to what was happening before he even became the Pope.
If the Center for Constitutional Rights were truly concerned about a gross pattern of sexual abuse, it would be looking at Sharia-governed countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran where flagrant crimes against humanity are pervasive. Women and girls today are being sexually abused, mutilated and killed with impunity in the Muslim world under the cover of Sharia law, without any judicial recourse.
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