Skip to comments.Pope Has Immunity In Abuse Trials: Vatican
Posted on 04/01/2010 7:55:47 AM PDT by Biggirl
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) Pope Benedict, accused by victims' lawyers of being ultimately responsible for a cover-up of sexual abuse of children by priests, cannot be called to testify at any trial because he has immunity as a head of state, a top Vatican legal official said on Thursday. The interview with Giuseppe dalla Torre, head of the Vatican's tribunal, was published in Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper as Pope Benedict began Holy Thursday services in St Peter's Basilica and Catholics marked the most solemn week of the liturgical calendar, culminating on Sunday in Easter Day.
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This will outrage the anti-Catholics here, but it’s true: the pope has immunity.
Who couldn’t see this one coming. Any one who makes it to that position can basically rape kids and be immune.
Let’s be clear here: yes or no, is Pope Benedict XVI a child molester?
I do not have enough knowledge to say so, either way. You don’t, either.
cannot be called to testify at any trial because he has immunity as a head of state, just like Richard Nixon and Wiggling-Willy Clinton, eh?
Corruption and the idea of officials being above the law is nothing new in that particular church.
Sweet! Let’s all become heads of state!
Anti-Catholics will, in fact, argue like liberals at the drop of a hat. Of course they’ll imply that the Pope is a child molestor even though there’s no reason at all to believe he is.
Stupidity and lying are nothing new among the Church’s enemies either.
In the spirit of cooperation, I will rephrase my prior comment:
Who couldnt see this one coming. Any one who makes it to that position can basically have sex with kittens and be immune.
I don’t think that about the Pope, but I am uncomfortable about any head of state being above the law.
I think laws have to apply to everyone or they are unjust.
In other words, the pope is above the law.
We wouldn't want any heads of state to be above the law ...
And, just for comparison purposes, perhaps we should ask if Jesus, the son of God (or God the Son) put himself above the law.
It's sad that the Pope's only defense for such crimes is that he "has immunity." As the so-called "Vicar of Christ" on Earth, one would expect a little more integrity than that.
All heads of state are immune to foreign civil suits (and probably criminal actions too).
I am speaking of criminal law.
A President ordering a military strike doesn’t break any law that I know of.
“And, just for comparison purposes, perhaps we should ask if Jesus, the son of God (or God the Son) put himself above the law.”
He fulfilled it and it was no longer applicable. So, yes, in the end, He was above the law. He made Himself a servant of it out of humility. Once He accomplished His task it was fulfilled and it fell away. If He wants to eat pork He can.
“It’s sad that the Pope’s only defense for such crimes is that he “has immunity.””
It’s wonderful that the pope’s only needed defense from all accusations of crimes in this regard is that he is innocent.
“As the so-called “Vicar of Christ” on Earth, one would expect a little more integrity than that.”
Innocence is integrity.
I bet he breaks some laws in the country being stuck ...
War crime charges are possible. And the president would insist on his immunity on that score.
That somebody also happens to be Catholic.
Funny thing, that.
No laws of his own country, no.
Do you seriously think that, if the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan, they wouldn't love to prosecute George Bush for every war crime they can dream up?
Ok so we now have confirmation that the pope, the head of a church, is above the law.
As an aside, I do not believe that the pope is or ever supported child molestation.
“Do you seriously think that, if the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan, they wouldn’t love to prosecute George Bush for every war crime they can dream up? “
Well, that would be in Afghanistan, wouldn’t it? Not here. I don’t think a powerful Taliban in Afghanistan could prosecute a President of another country.
Flipping the coin, do you want Presidents etc. to be able to evade taxes, shoplift, rape, steal cars, abuse their kids?
I think they should be prosecuted for criminal activity just like everybody else.
“Who couldnt see this one coming. Any one who makes it to that position can basically have sex with kittens and be immune”
HEY YOU CAN’T ACCUSE THE POPE OF BEASTIALITY!
I hope you're appropriately scandalized.
But this is why accusations against priests, rabbis, or moral conservatives are irresistible: Even in unproven or unproveable cases, the accusation itself is as damaging as a conviction.
Yes, I do know, and I am scandalized.
Some embassy personnel get away with actual murder.
It's actually a good thing. Consider some of the places we send diplomats.
And ALL heads of state, including the President of the United States enjoy that immunity. For good reason. It inhibits prosecution and frivolous lawsuits being used as political tools and weapons. (Prosecution as war carried out by other means)
Seems that the Pope asserts the same position he did in 1164 regarding the trial of criminous clarks.
I am not in favor or frivolous lawsuits and once again am speaking of criminal law.
Hey, you can accuse anyone of anything but having a little proof makes you look less like a deranged fool.
Are you claiming that criminal law cannot be misused as a political tool or "war carried out by other means"?
Please don't be absurd.
But the rest of us don't have "immunity." We all go to court and are tried to determine our guilt or innocence. Even heads of state are required to be tried... such as Milosevich.
The Catholic Church has been racked with child molestation cases. It has paid out billions in settlements because not only did priests molest little kids, but also the Church let them continue to be priests. One would think that the LEAST the Catholic Church owes to the world is for its own pope to testify in a single trial...if for no other reason than to show the world that the Roman Catholic Church is serious about purging child molestation from its priesthood.
The "Holy Church" is supposed to be the "Kingdom of God" hence the pope being the "head of state." The Kingdom of God is when God's will is done on earth as it is in Heaven. God's will isn't even being done in His "church" if there are still priests molesting children. If the pope was really serious about getting rid of this horrible practice, he would prove it by testifying at the trial.
The Pope is the head of state of "another country"; he's not an American citizen.
Flipping the coin, do you want Presidents etc. to be able to evade taxes, shoplift, rape, steal cars, abuse their kids?
The issue is not whether a chief of state has sovereign immunity over the law of his own country, but whether he has it over the laws of another country. That's why the Bush/Afghanistan example is applicable.
This has to do with lawyers in Kentucky and elsewhere who are making the (completely false) argument that every Catholic cleric is an employee of the Vatican, and the Vatican can therefore be sued for any act they commit.
But they resk being declared
persona no grata. As I see it, a foreign governmental body that purposely avails itself of conducting business in the host jurisdiction (accepts donations) submits itself to the laws and their administration by the courts of the jurisdiction. While the Pope may be immune, a sanction of forefiture may be within the asenal of a court with jurisdiction.
That remark rather assumes the guilt of the pope, does it not. Fact is that the pope is not an autocrat and puppet who pulls the strings on every priest in the world. The irony of this situation is that after Vatican II, there was a kind of rebellion against papal authority. The moral laxity that has produced this scandal may be attributed to the ignoring of that authority by laity and clergy alike. The most famous example is the rejection of humanae vitae, the papal encyclical upholding the traditional Christian teaching against artificial contraception. The majority of Catholics rejected the holding of the pope, and many bishops and priests did also. Pope Paul VI, the author of the encyclical, famously said, even before that, that “the smoke of Satan” has entered the Church. The encyclical predicted what would happen if the people rejected his rulings, including the collapse of the traditional family. he did not see the collapse of morale among the clergy which led the bishops to tolerate moral laxity among their subordinates, or even to succumb themselves to such things.
Here is a pretty standard test that is applied to determine whether the wrongful acts, here lets say the failure of a Bishop to turn in a known molesting priest, will be the responsibility of the “prinicpal” of the Bishop or whether the Biship’s acts are those of an”independent contractor”:
(2) In determining whether one acting for another is a servant or an independent contractor, the following matters of facts, among others, are considered:
(a) the extent of control which, by the agreement, the master may exercise over the details of the work;
(b) whether or not the one employed is engaged in a distinct occupation or business;
(c) the kind of occupation, with reference to whether, in the locality, the work is usually done under the direction of the employer or by a specialist without supervision;
(d) the skill required in the particular occupation;
(e) whether the employer or the workman supplies the instrumentalities, tools, and the place of work for the person doing the work;
(f) the length of time for which the person is employed;
(g) the method of payment, whether by the time or by the job;
(h) whether or not the work is a part of the regular business of the employer;
(i) whether or not the parties believe they are creating the relation of master and servant; and
(j) whether the principal is or is not in business.
Restatement (Second) of Agency § 220 (1958).
So the question is, what is the evidence either side will proffer, and how will a jury decide the issue. Perhaps you should rethink your certitude that an agency relation exists between Rome and Bishops and Preists is “completely false.”
If "the world" were actually interested in the truth, "the world" would already know that. But "the world" is not interested in the truth. "The world" is following the dictates of its master, who is a liar and the father thereof, and was a murderer from the beginning. The Church would be ill advised to jump through hoops for its enemy.
Oh let them start pulling their panties out of their butts. I no longer care what lies they listen to.
Wow I knew Christ rode into Jerusalem on a jackass, but never thought I’d meet that beast personally.
There is no argument that the Pope has immunity in any court situation - none of us, not even the Pope have immunity from God’s judgement. It is only through the mediation of our Lord Jesus, made possible by His death and ressurection, that we are eligible for God’s grace.
Well, I am talking about sovereign immunity over the law in his own country.
Presumably child molestation is against the law in the Holy See.
I don’t really think the Pope molested anybody.
But if there is evidence I don’t think he should be above persecution.
I am not trying to be absurd. Are you saying that if you are elected or imposed into office, you can engage in any criminal activity you like, without fear of prosecution? That is absurd.
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There's a very simple test for whether a bishop is an employee of the Vatican or not.
Does the Vatican pay him?
The answer, of course, is no.
"Sovereign immunity" applies only to the laws of another country. These lawyers are trying to compel the Pope to testify in an American courtroom.