Wednesday, September 22, 2010

UN Judge: Treat Vatican as a Rogue State

“The Vatican should be treated as a kind of ‘rogue state’ by the rest of the world until it stops using statehood – and the ancient rules of the canon law – to protect pedophile priests, according to veteran human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, QC.

“Mr Robertson, a UN judge, argues that the Catholic Church is the only religion permitted under international law to claim the privileges of statehood and its leaders immunity from civil or criminal action.

In a new book, the judge urges the international community to pressure the Church to abandon canon law when dealing with sex crimes and other matters. Canon law allows ‘neither cross-examination and medical examination nor DNA testing’ and ‘no punishment worthy of that name.’ ‘The worst that can happen, other than an order to do penance, is ‘laicization,’ that is, defrocking, which permits the pedophile to leave the church and get a job in a state school or care home without anyone knowing of this conviction. Canon law has no sex offenders registry.

Instead of putting the children’s safety first, informing law enforcement about those priests whom the Church knows to be guilty of pedophilia, it has been dealing with them secretly under canon law, moving them to other parishes and giving them light sentences, not requiring compensation to victims, and condemning whistleblowers.

“The 228 page book… also asserts that the Holy See has infiltrated the UN as a state rather than a religion.”