Pope Immunity: Abuse Case

April 2, 2010

Victims in the trials involving priests of the Catholic Church going on in the United States are accusing the head of the Catholic Church of covering up the crimes in the church, the Vatican is granting the Pope Immunity. Abuse claims in the church are emerging seemingly daily, and this move by the Vatican will ensure that its patriarch is unaffected by any and all convictions. Check out the full story, as well as pictures and video below!

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The argument put forth by the lawyers of the victims is that the papal position is that of a CEO in a multinational corporation, and therefore he can be subpoenaed to court like any CEO could. The Vatican however, would disagree.

Giuseppe Dalla Torre, head of the Vatican’s tribunal, explained the basic defense that would grant the Pope immunity. Abuse cases in the States could not call to trial any person that is the head of a foreign state.

“The pope is certainly a head of state, who has the same juridical status as all heads of state,”

What defines the Vatican as a sovereign state? Well, apparently it’s the communal agreement of other sovereign states. Over 170 countries around the world have diplomatic relations with The Vatican, and recognize it as a sovereign state and the papal position as that state’s sovereign head.

Reuters’ Vatican Correspondent Phillip Pullella gives a good example showing why he cannot be called to a foreign court.

“It’s not like if there’s a defect in a car, then the chief-executive officer can be held ultimately responsible and negligent. He’s a head of state, so calling the pope to testify in a U.S. court would be like an Italian lawyer asking the Queen of England to come and testify in a trial here in Italy. It’s just not going to happen.”

What do you think of the Vatican (and inadvertently other countries) granting the Pope immunity? Abuse in the church is allegedly wide spread and extremely damaging, should the head of the church be held accountable? Voice your opinion in the comment section! And don’t miss the pictures and video below!

Pope BenedictPope Benedict  6 Pope Benedict  2 Pope Benedict  7 Pope Benedict  5 Pope Benedict  4

Photos: www.wenn.com, Robert Wallace

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