The Dangers of Political Instrumentalization of International Judicial Organs
– The Case of Pope Benedict XVI
The child abuse scandal has rocked the Catholic church and has triggered a strong response by the church leadership, first and foremost by Pope Benedict XVI. Yet, there are some who still complain that the church has not yet done enough. One reason for this, in my view, incorrect, perception is the fact that the church often remains low key when taking care of the need of victims rather than dragging them into the spotlight. This approach could be seen (or rather, not) in the very private meetings Pope Benedict XVI.
A complaint which is said to have been brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague on 13 September 2011 by individuals associated with the Center for Constitiutional Rights and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests now accuses Pope Benedict XVI and three other Vatican officials of “crimes against humanity”. Among those bringing the complaint are persons from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United States who are associated with the CCR and SNAP.
Despite the fact, that one might, as does Prof. Dr. Christian Pfeiffer, one of Germany’s preeminent criminologists, even argue that there are indicators that Catholic priests are actually less likely to commit child abuses than are other men of a comparable age, the currently prevailing political climate in Germany leads to unjustified suspicions against Catholic priests in general. While child abuse is a very serious crime but the current general suspicion levelled at Catholic priests is unwarranted and uncalled for. It is hardly a coincidence that this complaint comes only a few days before an official state visit by Pope Benedict XVI to his native country Germany.
 RA Stefan Kirchner, MJI, is a Human Rights Lawyer admitted to the bar in Germany. www.humanrightslawyer.eu.
 Hereinafter: ICC.
 Laurie Goodstein – Hague Is Asked to Investigate Vatican Over Abuse, in: New York Times (Online Edition),
13 September 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/world/europe/14vatican.html?_r=1&ref=benedictxvi.
 Hereinafter: CCR.
 Hereinafter: SNAP.
 Goodstein, op. cit.
 no author named - Clergy Sex Victims File International Criminal Court Complaint Case Charges Vatican Officials with ‘Crimes Against Humanity’, 13 September 2011, http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/clergy-sex-victims-file-international-criminal-court-complaint-case-charges-vatican-officials-%E2%80%98crime.
 no author named – Missbrauchstäter: Katholische Priester sind unterrepräsentiert, 14 July 2011, http://www.kath.net/detail.php?id=32320.
- Quote paper
- Rechtsanwalt Stefan Kirchner (Author), 2011, The Dangers of Political Instrumentalization of International Judicial Organs , Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/178608