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September 13th, 2011
07:22 AM ET

Sex abuse victims ask International Criminal Court to prosecute pope

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Victims of abuse by Catholic priests asked the International Criminal Court to charge Pope Benedict XVI and other top Vatican officials with crimes against humanity, a victims' group announced Tuesday.

The pope and other church leaders "tolerate and enable the systematic and widespread concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world," the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and the Center for Constitutional Rights said in a joint statement.

They filed more than 20,000 pages of documents with the international court in the Netherlands to support their charges, they said.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNN he was aware of the filing but had no comment.

The International Criminal Court did not immediately respond to a CNN question about whether it believed it had jurisdiction to prosecute the pope.

But Barbara Dorris, the president of SNAP, said it was the natural venue for the case.

"We are convinced this is the proper jurisdiction," she told CNN. "Who else can investigate violent crimes of a global magnitude? The ICC was created to deal with widespread systematic violent crimes against humanity."

The executive director of the International Bar Association, on the other hand, said it was unlikely the international court would find there was evidence of crimes against humanity.

"This requires a government policy, a plan, a widespread and systematic attack against a civilian population," Mark Ellis said.

"Not to suggest that victims were not harmed, but to meet the level of crimes against humanity you really have to show that there is a policy or a plan to initiate this," he said.

People can be held responsible for crimes if they knew - or should have known - they were occurring, Ellis said.

But the blind eye victims accuse the Catholic Church of turning to abuse of children by priests does not rise to the level of crimes against humanity, he suggested.

"They are crimes and they are serious, but within the jurisdiction of the ICC you have to be very specific. I don't see that you would be able to tick the boxes necessary" to bring a prosecution, he predicted.

That the defendant is the pope - along with three senior cardinals - also raises "jurisdictional hurdles," he said.

But simply filing the request will force the prosecutor to look at the case, Ellis said.

It "might be beneficial to the plaintiffs to force the court to respond," he said, saying the filing was more than just a publicity stunt.

"It raises the profile of these issues," he said.

In addition to the pope, SNAP and the CCF want prosecutions of Cardinal William Levada, the head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State; and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Dean of the College of Cardinals.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Sex abuse • Vatican

soundoff (1,157 Responses)
  1. RayJacksonMS

    This organized pedophile cult enjoys the claim of being a "country" and should be its leaders should be prosecuted in the Hague for crimes against humanity. If this court refused the case then the UN should step in and allow that to happen.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Peter

      Actually the individuals who commited the crimes should be put to trial, not the organization and certainly not the Pope.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Peter

      Then why did we kill Osama?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Peter

      osama organized and ordered the killing of innocents, I dont believe you will find any evidence that the Pope ordered and organized the molestation of any child. If you fiind that proof i will 100% back his being put to trial.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Kevin

      You call the Church names and yet you an atheist. Hate is written over you. The media is an irony; it provides a venue where weevils accuse the wood of violation and the damned sit in judgement over the children of light. It was foreseen and foretold.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • todd

      Actually Peter, there are letters written by Pope Ratzi authorizing the transfer of pedophile priests between different parishes.

      He is at fault. And he deserves to be arrested and jailed.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Skep

      Peter, the proof is all over the place. Just read the article! There are over 20,000 docu.ments proving the Pope is one of the prime movers of child abuse in the Church. What say you now?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Just Sayin

      Peter,

      He is not actually the one who committed the crime or ordered the crimes, but he knew of the crimes and decided to cover them up. If you were a teacher and knew of abuse occuring in a home you would be punished for not contacting the appropriate authorities if you covered it up. I'm wondering if this happened to your own children if you would be so adamant to protect the person allowing this to happen to your children.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • chief

      when there are dirty cops, the leaders go too...... when there are bad teachers, the school board gets fired.....

      September 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • chief

      re peter.... what about known priest that were protected by the church, hidden, and later back at another parish in another town molesting kids.... what about those places we call "club ped" for priest to rehab? you are a pathetic follower and an accomplice to the crime by denial..... just as the pope is

      September 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • A Theist

      Will, good point. 😀

      September 13, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  2. KDS

    I have a difficult time reading this story...and more so, the hatred and anger in these posts. This is a sad sign of the times. Very, sad.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Skep

      No! It's a very happy time to see the wheels of justice begin turning after centuries of abuse!
      What is sad is how long it has taken to get this far. To prosecute criminals is a good thing. To stop them from hurting children is a good thing. If you think your god is good, then why be sad when good things happen?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Just Sayin

      Why should you have a difficult time reading this story? Because if it was about gays or abortion or marrying outside of the Cathoic religion (all choices) you Catholics would have plenty to say about it...something that is causing distress in your religion you want to sweep under the rug. Remember, these children didn't have a choice to what was happening to them.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • chief

      if this was about abortion you'd be all over it.... but after they are born, you dont give a damn.... yeah church, yeah church, and let us say together in monotone voice "THIS IS THE MYSTERY OF STUPIDITY" amen and amen

      September 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  3. john

    if any other organization molested thousands of children and then covered it up they would cease to exist, but for some reason people still give money to the church, it's amazing. there's a reason that churches are the first places that policitians go to to give speeches, they know that the people in the pews are the easiest to manipulate.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  4. LA

    The Catholic church is the largest group of organized pedophiles in the world. Why shouldn't the guilty parties within the church, including those who enabled them, be prosecuted? I think the guilty should be imprisoned for life and castrated (and several other things for which I was screened in my last post – basically to get done to them what they did to small children). Has any other organization in history committed the crimes against children that this organization has?

    September 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Peter

      Not true, statistics show that the higher percentage of congregations to have pedophiles and in positions of power are the Jehovahs Witnesses. Look it up.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Peter

      Ah how the zealots throw each other under the bus!

      September 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Skep

      The Catholic Church, as one of the oldest religious organizations, has been doing this stuff for so long they have inst.itutionalized the criminal behavior into the very fabric of the Church. It's been this way for centuries and they know all the tricks they can pull and have even docu.mented many of them for the 'guidance" of the priesthood.
      That's a clear pattern of criminal behavior. They are guilty beyond anything you can say, gerald / terry / etc.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • jonathan

      @Peter, wehn did the Jehovahs Witness becomne larger than the Cathlic chuch ?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  5. boocat

    What a great idea? Extradite the Pope to the USA, Ireland, etc. and have this lying hypocrite stand trial.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Peter

      Stand trial for what?? The fact that a small, very small percentage of Priests commited a crime. Dont let anger consume you and get real facts.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Skep

      The international scope of the crimes would mean that the Pope would be prosecuted in hundreds of different countries.
      This is why we have an international criminal court in the first place. Crimes against humanity are often international in scope. Extradition of a political leader like the Pope would get tossed out of our courts. That's why the ICC is the place to be.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Skep

      Peter/gerald, you deserve to be prosecuted for your pathetic attempts at whitewashing the criminals. I am totally certain that you are one of them and should be burned alive for your crimes.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Peter

      Wow Skep, you obviously got your wiener played with as a child and now your pretty angry, your also a crazed nut job.. get some help.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Kevin

      Why try him again? You've already pronounced him guilty as charged. Secondly, USA and Ireland never experiences any other crime apart from those being alleged against the Church. So, why move the guilty into a holy place?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Skep

      Ah, Peter, you haven't met me. Pray to your POS god that you never meet me to where I know who and what you are.
      Pray very hard.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • chief

      re peter ... when did making statements about the jehoahs witnesses change the facts about the catholic churchs problem with ped priests

      September 13, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  6. STL Altar Boy

    Ther is no anto-catholic bigotry here. it's called common decency. The church has covered up and let this copntinue for years. It is a crime even by Biblical standards. What get p eople so mad is the church has the gall to point fingers at others when they take a postion against them like pro-choice. Until they clean up their house, they should not be pointing fingers at anyone. Pedophiles are the worst. Then when a pedophile hides behind his collar that makes it worse yet. The Church and teh Popoe is the reason so many run from organized religion..

    September 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  7. CaEd

    The Vatican is an independent country with established boarders, ambassadors that are recognized by the worlds' governments, an independent police, a military to guard it boarders and protect its citizens with a leadership that makes it laws and sets its taxes.

    So when the executive director of the International Bar Association said, "This requires a government policy, a plan, a widespread and systematic attack against a civilian population," it seems to me he just established the grounds to move forward with this case.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Skep

      That's why I think Mark Ellis is a Catholic himself. He's trying to divert the case and people's perceptions of it.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  8. HotAirAce

    The RCC and Pope-A-Dope should be charged. Only politics can get in the way. If they are innocent, they have nothing to worry about. In fact, if they are really innocent, they should be looking forward to proving it in an open forum.. If they are guilty and there is a god (and there is not, in my opinion of course), they can always praryer for his invtervention. I suspect they will get the usual result – nothing!

    This will be a true test of their faith. I think they know the truth (there is no god, they are guilty and are truly fu</b<ked) so are busily calling in every favour, and will be blackmailing anyone that might be able to help them.

    Another step towards the the religious house of cards tumbling!! YES!!!

    September 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Terry

      Yes, and you know all the secrets to the universe. Ok, since you know it all..... Please tell me where the universe ends, and were it begins. If you are saying its infinite, then please explain that in terms us dumb folk can understand. Also, while you are at it, please tell us where the universe came from, what was here before it, and how it was created. Please, go into detail so the rest of us normal folk will know why we are here.

      If you had any sense at all, or logic, you would soon understand that a creator is the only logical option.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Skep

      I'm going to celebrate the filing of the case in international court this wonderful day! Booyah!

      September 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Terry

      Nice attempt to deflect attention away from the rcc and popea-dope! I do not claim to know everything. In fact, I do not know if the rcc and pope-a-dope are guilty but I do believe that it is very (VERY!) clear there is enough evidence to lay charges.

      Re: the universe, I believe that scientists such as Hawking, Dawkins and Krauss are far closer to the facts of origin than any man-made book of tribal mythology. But since we chatting, how about you explain where your god came from, without claiming an infinite loop of creator gods?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Kevin

      If you know there is no God as you said, why do you contribute to this forum? History will tell which of you will out live each other; you and the pretenders or the Church.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Peter

      God is infiinite, didnt come from anywhere, was always here. I realize you cant get your head around that, its not easy even for very strong believers. Name calling etc.. ruins any chance at someone taking your opinion seriously. God Bless you.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Kevin

      – to keep an eye on the crazies that want to impose their silly beliefs on others, including ultimately turning countries such as the USA and Canada into theocracies
      -to debunk the hatred and crap spewed by believers
      -to sway anyone that might be on the edge of joining any religious cult (and all religions are cults) from doing so
      – for the shear amusement of seeing what silliness believers will believe!

      September 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "If you had any sense at all, or logic, you would soon understand that a creator is the only logical option"

      With this sentence, you are claiming you know everything about the universe, which clearly you do not. If you had any sense at all, or logic, you would understand that you dont have all the answers, no one does. Stop acting like you do.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Know What

      Terry, "If you had any sense at all, or logic, you would soon understand that a creator is the only logical option."

      If you had any sense at all, or logic, you would understand that "We Don't Know (yet)" is the only logical option.

      We don't know what we don't know until we know that we don't know it. The default answer until then is not "goddidit".

      September 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Saying "god was always here" is a meaningless statement. There was no "always" or "before" PRIOR to space-time, which began at the Big Bang. If god "created", (also a meaningless term), the "act" of creation would have had to "begin" BEFORE space-time was actually created. It's all mumbo-jumbo, and meaningless human language which signifies NOTHING, and is completely illogical. A creator is THE most ILLOGICAL option.

      September 13, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  9. Terry

    Ret@rded. While we are at it, lets prosecute the president for the the 15K+ murders committed in the United States every year.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • smith

      exactly

      September 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Skep

      Terry/gerald, why don't you quit using false analogies like a tard and join the human race?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Me

      If you are losing the argument, change the subject.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  10. Doc Vestibule

    For those that haven't yet seen it – here's Doc V's primer in Vatican S.ex Scandal – V. 1.4

    In 1962, The Vatican relased the 'Crimen Sollicitationis', which outlined how the church is to handle accusations of se.xual impropriety against clergy.
    The stickiest point for most people is that not only was the doc.ument itself Top Secret for decades, it explictly stated that anybody involved in this type of investigation, including the accuser and potential witnesses, are sworn to secrecy regarding any and all details, upon penalty of excommunication (a fate worse than death for the devout).
    This preoccupation with secrecy significantly slowed the investigative process – the backlog of referrals to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for action against se.xually abusive priests is so large that it takes 18 months to get a reply.
    According to the John Jay report, 918 of 1872 (49%) substantiated allegations of abuse against Catholic clergy were addressed by sending the priest off for psychiatric counseling and then moving him to another parish, with nary a whisper to law enforcement. This number does not include priests relocated for reasons other than charges of se.xual impropriety.
    The Irish Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse from 2009 came to the conclusion that "the Dublin Archdiocese's pre-occupations in dealing with cases of child se.xual abuse, at least until the mid 1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the Church, and the preservation of its as.sets. All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities."

    Specific examples:
    Jose Barba Martin of Mexico tried for years to have his accusations against the founder of the Legionaries of Christ heard by the congregation. In the end, it took eight years for Rome to discipline the Rev Marcial Maciel, and require him to live a life of reserved prayer. Maciel died in 2008 before the Legionaries admitted he had fathered at least one child and molested young seminarians.
    A letter written by a now-dead Canadian bishop shows church officials knew of se.xual abuse allegations involving a priest before his promotion to a top Vatican post and then discussed with Vatican officials how to keep the scandal from becoming public.
    There is also Catholic priest who was defrocked after a nun accused him of rap.ing three children in Bolivia who has been living with his family in Uruguay for more than a year – with the full knowledge of Uruguayan church officials – despite an Interpol warrant for his arrest.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Skep

      Good post, Doc V! That should shut a few traps!

      September 13, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  11. hippypoet

    you people need to stop getting info off wiki, thats not a vavid source.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • AwareAmerican

      Wikipedia CAN be a good source of info... when the subject you are looking up is explained and cited from other, credible sources. You just have to be a little discerning is all.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  12. Joseph

    The papacy has been proven to be the anti Christ....go to amazingfacts.org and find out for yourself. or read daniel 7-9 and Revelation 13 -22.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  13. Popcorn Papa

    By this logic, we should go ahead and prosecute the Secretary of Education and hold him personally resposible for all the students being abused by teachers.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      If you can prove they know about the abuse and did not take the appropriate action, you are correct. Nice try at deflecting attention away from the rcc and pope-a-dope though.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Popcorn Papa

      HotAirAce- That's exactly why the Pope won't be prosecuted. Nice try at fueling anit-catholic hatred though.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • smith

      It's like prosecuting the parents of an adult that murders someone. Should the parents be charged with a crime against humanity too?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Know What

      smith,

      If the parents knew about the crime and covered it up, YES they should be prosecuted for obstructing justice and perhaps as accessories to murder.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      How is stating that if there is evidence they (or anyone) should be charged, and saying that I think there is evidence (based on documents and investigations in the public domain), fueling anti-rcc hatred?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Popcorn Papa

      HotAirAce- How is me making a logical comparison between the levels of abuse in the Church and the American educational system an attempt to deflect attention away from the 'Pope-a-Dope'? Oh, and it's very convenient of you to leave out the name calling of the Pope in the one post where you're trying to sound tolerant.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Popcorn Papa

      Because unless I'm very mistaken, you were using the comparison to imply that Pope-a-Dope should not be charged. If you said charge all in similar situations, including the pope, you would have had a better point. Re: using Pope-a-Dope, I don't use it all the time because it can be awkward to enter on on some devices (unless on a full keyboard).

      September 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Popcorn Papa

      HotAirAce- There are two reasons for my comparison. One is that the Pope will not be charged because there is no evidence that he knew or should have known about incidents of abuse on a individual case basis. Two, to point out the anti-catholic hatred which is evident on this message board by questioning why no one has the same contempt for the educational system that has widespread abuse problems as well.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      You would have to live in the vatican or have your head deep in The Babble *not* to see evidence of The Rat Pope-A-Dope's knowledge of the abuse. 60 Minutes showed at least one letter from The Rat that clearly showed he knew. Also, the standard for charging someone with a crime (probable cause) is much less than that for convicting them (beyond a reasonable doubt). Again, if The Rat is innocent, or there is a god that could step in, The Rat has nothing to worry about.

      Rather than trying to stop this action, believers should be saying "bring it on – our boy is innocent!"

      September 13, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Fred1

      If the Secretary was aware of or suspected the abuse and especially if he created or supported policies that protected the abusers and moved them from one school to another, then yes he should be prosecuted

      September 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  14. Pioneer

    Am I the only one that thinks the Catholic Church should be sued out of existence.
    I think the Pope and all of the Cardinals and Bishops should be arrested and tried in an International Court.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      You are not alone!

      September 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Skep

      Considering all the victims and the big news of this being filed, I'd say you are not alone by any stretch of the imagination.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • boocat

      As a former Catholic, I second your idea, Pioneer.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • claybigsby

      or at the very least, take away their tax exempt status.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  15. Observer

    William Demuth,

    Boys are readlily available to the pedophiles, but girls aren't. If your charges had validity, the simple solution is to replace all altar boys with altar girls.

    So are you telling everyone that you advocate all young altar boys be replaced with young altar girls? Yes or no?

    September 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Observer

      I am advocating throwing the Pope in a Gulag, and burning the Vatican to the ground.

      No child should be a slave to a cult.

      I assume you are Gay, and trying to seperate yourself.

      Let me be clear I do NOT condemn gays in any way, UNLESS their tastes include children.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Observer

      William Demuth,

      Your assumption that I am gay is a false as your assumption that the problem is with gays rather than pedophiles. Zero for two.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • fred

      The abused were not just alter boys they were innocent young prepubesent boys trusted to priests. Evil goes after the innocent and lust seeks that which it should not have. Bothered by why God allows such things yet, knowing He said this is what the evil in mans heart will do. It brings clarity to right and wrong, good and evil. It brings clarity to why a loveing God will cast some evil ones into the lake of fire for all eternity. Like the Pope I feel bad for anyone that will burn eternally. Unlike the Pope I would turn all these guys in. Unlike the Pope I would open the investigation to see where the buck stops. I know vengence is not mine but, they all need to kept away from others.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Observer

      So a rapist can't be classified as Gay or Straight?

      Absurd, both morally, logically and scientifically.

      I smell an agenda on your part!

      September 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Observer

      William Demuth,

      Your agenda is to pretend that if a pedophile picks on a boy when he doesn't have girls available, that makes him gay.

      "Absurd".

      September 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Skep

      I've never seen anything by William to suggest such a retarded agenda.
      Observer is a liar.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      No need to burn the vatican. It's a marvellous bit of architecture and loaded with works of art. It should remain open as a testament to the stupidity of man. Current priests should be allowed to open stalls and to continue to ply their bullshit, just as astrologers provide their services in Las Vegas. In fact, astrologers should be given space in the vatican too so that the market can decide where they want to get their supernatural fix from.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Observer

      So why do the nuns covet girls? You ever seen the average gym teacher in Catholic school?

      Stop being a tool. You know, I know, and the Pope himself knows!

      September 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Observer

      Skep,

      Read before commenting next time. Nowhere since I commented has William acknowledged that the problem could be pedophilia alone rather than a gay issue. Don't so ignorantly call people liars when you failed to comprehend.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Skep

      Observer, your criminal behavior is as bad as any child molester. I would love to prosecute you to death.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Observer

      You fear the truth.

      Two types of pedophilles out their.

      Do you HONESTLY believe it is coincidence that the BOYS are targeted?

      Stop being an apologist.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Observer

      Skep,

      "Observer, your criminal behavior is as bad as any child molester. I would love to prosecute you to death."

      Wow! Please list my "criminal behavior" to prove that you have a clue in the world.

      Do you get excited at the thought of prosecuting me "to death"?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Observer

      "Do you HONESTLY believe it is coincidence that the BOYS are targeted?"

      Get seious. What is the frequency of priests having unsupervised access to boys versus unsupervised access to girls?

      All pedophiles are sick animals that should be locked up.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,

      Perhaps I do not know the difference between a pedifile and a man that goes after these older prepubesent boys. The pro gay media went to great lengths to make it look like a non gay thing. The media covered up and twisted things as much as the church did. The church was protecting it self and the media was protecting the nature of the crime and projecting its hate of god. Look at the ages of the young boys and the fact 81% of the acts were men on boys 77% were on boys over the age of 11-14 which means it was not pedophilia but ho-mo-$exual predation. Sorry, those are the facts as we know them.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Skep

      fred, why split hairs over the word pedophilia? Do you think it really matters that some victims were in the 11 to 14 yrs old range? Really?

      September 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      Just like for anyone, pedophiles can be basically gay or straight. Their sickness, however, can offer them the compulsion to take advantage of children when they think they can get away with it. Comments by others here assume that given the same access to girls, these creeps would have left them alone. I have yet to hear anyone advocate that we replace altar boys with altar girls to stop the problem. How about you?

      September 13, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Observer

      You have it BACKWARDS.

      You could hand a priest a dozen girls and they would cast them aside for the boy.

      It is why they became priests in the first place.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • fred

      4-6% of priests were involved in abuse those male on male were 3 – 5%. Consensus of gay men in the US 4% gay women 1%. This says statistics of gay men in the church is about the same as the population.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      The last 2 Catholic funeral mas-ses I went to in Denver had alter girls! Not sure what their actual ti-tle is but they walked in the same attire as the boys alongside the priest. Bishop says some local churches are not following code.
      Sad how it seems I cannot get to the truth on anything these days. Seems once the vast majority of Christians and Jews in this country started following their own versons of Christ (God) truth was no longer relevent in any aspect of life.
      The Bible says God will turn them over to their own devices. Could it be that if you toss the truth of God you also eventually toss truth all together?

      September 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  16. nathan

    lets not forget the pope is a trained member of HITLERS YOUTH... nazi or not, the pope if he helped cover things up is guilty of a crime... which im not 100% but looking back at our history of catholic control (you remember the dark ages) it probably doesnt look good...

    September 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  17. hippypoet

    SAFENHISGRACE

    He actually looks like he has the fear of the Lord in his eyes now....the word of God says "you are neither cold nor hot, but you are lukewarm and I will spit you out of my mouth.

    is that what the priest said to you when you came in his mouth?

    September 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  18. LA

    Where is my last post?

    September 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Skep

      There is an automatic word filter that blocks posts. If you have a word with t.it in it, like att.itude, or cu.m, like docu.ment, you need to put a period or dash to break up the letter combinations. Then your post will go through. There's a list around here somewhere with all the combinations. Ra.pe is blocked including thera.peutic. CNN is really dropping the ball on this.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  19. SCAtheist

    That was pretty bad hippy

    September 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • hippypoet

      kisses and hugs to all who want it. 🙂

      September 13, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  20. JF

    It has been long over due for the church to be charged for crimes against humanity.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Skep

      Centuries overdue, but we've only had an international criminal court for a short time. There's a lot of criminals out there who need to be taken to task, but their political power is too great.
      But, yeah, about damn time!

      September 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Jim

      Read some history.

      September 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • JF

      Yes, when I said long, I was referring to centuries. The church has had too much power and influence for practically two millenniums. It's time to make them accountable for their actions.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.