Lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights have filed a complaint on behalf of SNAP, a survivor support group, at the International Criminal Court (ICC) alleging that senior Vatican officials – including the current Pope – have committed crimes against humanity on the basis that “Vatican officials tolerate and enable the systematic and widespread concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world.”
The 84-page complaint is available here (PDF) and makes for interesting, if not depressing, reading. Included in the complaint as part of the factual background is an overview of the abuse that has occurred in Canada, Ireland and the United States.
A New York Times story about this filing suggests, perhaps correctly, that it is “unlikely the complaint against the Vatican would fit the court’s mandate to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.”
Nonetheless, the allegations raise serious issues and it will be interesting to see if the ICC will assume jurisdiction and open a file and investigate the allegations.