Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Geoffrey Robertson vs Pope Benedict XVI

Geoffrey Robertson would like to see Pope Benedict XVI be made accountable for years of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
The Australian-born QC's new book, The Case of the Pope, says the Pope is morally responsible for a crime against humanity.

click to listen to audio

"What we're dealing with is tens of thousands of rapes of children. When you investigate the particular areas in Ireland three judicial reports have said endemic in Catholic intuitions - wide spread and systematic.

"That happens to be the definition of a crime against humanity."

He believes the Vatican have caused the widespread nature of the abuse.

"They were moving paedophile priests from one country to another and covering up paedophilia in the church by a medieval process of canon law, where bishops don't hand over priests to the police to prosecute. They deal with them in private, where the punishment is to go and do penance."

Mr Robertson wants to see the system of canon law changed.

The QC refutes the claims from various publications and commentators that the numbers of priests sexually abusing children have been sensationalised.

"The Church itself accepts up to five per cent which is twenty thousand. A paedophile priest throughout their life will molest dozens of children. An Austrian Cardinal is said to have molested thousands of children in a sixty year life."

While Mr Robertson doesn't blame the Pope for any actual abuse personally.

"All I'm saying is that the Vatican should comply with the convention of the Rights of the Child, which every country except America has ratified.

"The Vatican must adopt a zero tolerance attitude towards the abuse of a child and a mandatory reporting policy, handing over evidence of abuse to police and a protection for whistle blowers."
He thinks the Pope will make these changes.

"He's come along way. In Easter he was passing this off as petty gossip. Last week in England he apologised for what he called 'the unspeakable crimes of my clergy'.

"I'm pushing at an open door."

article link: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2010/10/05/3030034.htm

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