Arrest the Pope
  • Petitioned The Pope

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The Pope

Arrest the Pope

    1. joey kirkman
    2. Petition by

      joey kirkman

      Greensboro, NC

Pope Benedict XVI, who has been cited in a complaint to the international criminal court. Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have accused the pope, the Vatican secretary of state and two other high-ranking Holy See officials of crimes against humanity, in a formal complaint to the international criminal court (ICC).

The submission, lodged at The Hague on Tuesday, accuses the four men not only of failing to prevent or punish perpetrators of rape and sexual violence but also of engaging in the "systematic and widespread" practice of concealing sexual crimes around the world.

It includes individual cases of abuse where letters and documents between Vatican officials and others show a refusal to co-operate with law enforcement agencies seeking to pursue suspects, according to the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a US-based organisation that represents the claimants.

Pam Spees, human rights attorney with CCR, said: "The point of this is to look at it from a higher altitude. You zoom out and the practices are identical: whistleblowers are punished, the refusal of the Vatican to co-operate with law enforcement agencies. You see the protection of priests and leaving them in the ministry and because of these decisions otherchildren are raped and sexually assaulted."

She said: "It's not only the facts of the abuse but the way that the church deepened the harm in sometimes irreparable ways."

According to the document filed by CCR, the pope, as head of the Catholic church, is ultimately responsible for the sexual abuse of children by priests and for the cover-ups of that abuse. The group argues that he and others have "direct and superior responsibility" for the crimes of those ranked below them, similar to a military chain of command.

The others named in the complaint are Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals and former Vatican secretary of state; Cardinal Tarcissio Bertone, now secretary of state, who previously served at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the organisation tasked with handling sexual abuse cases under the pope when he was Cardinal Ratzinger; and Cardinal William Lavada, head of the CDF, whose handling of previous sexual abuse cases has been criticised in the past.

Megan Petersen, from Minnesota, is one of two named US victims whose cases have been included in the complaint to the ICC. Petersen was awarded $750,000 (£500,000) last week in a civil claim against Crookston diocese, in which she alleged that a priest, Joseph Jeyapaul, had raped her repeatedly as a child.

Speaking at The Hague, where the complaint was being launched, Petersen said of Jeyapaul: "He was a man of God and I was very devout. I wanted to be a nun. I trusted him.

"Part of why I'm here is to protect kids. My perpetrator is still serving among kids and vulnerable adults, despite there being criminal charges against him. Ratzinger is the head of this organisation and these are his sheep, his flock. I will do everything in my power to make sure this does not happen to another child." Jeyapaul has denied the abuse from India, where he is serving as a priest.

Amnesty International's latest annual human rights report, which cited the Holy See for the first time, concluded there was widespread evidence of child sexual abuse by members of the clergy over past decades, and an "enduring failure" of the Catholic church to seek redress.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 750 signatures
    2. The Pope Is Already in Jail!

      joey kirkman
      Petition Organizer

      The Pope intends to stay in the Vatican. The Pope, after all, is in prison. Religion is his prison and there's plenty of rape going on within his church.

    3. 342 signatures and only 49,658 left to go!

      joey kirkman
      Petition Organizer

      Please help us promote this by sharing it.


    4. Reached 250 signatures
    5. Sharing this petition

      joey kirkman
      Petition Organizer

      Please share this petition. There millions of us out there that agree on this issue. Please be bold and share!

    6. Reached 100 signatures
    7. WOW!

      joey kirkman
      Petition Organizer

      Pope Benedict used his annual speech to Rome's cardinals and bishops on Monday (Dec. 20) to ask them to reflect on the church's responsibility in the child sex abuse scandals.

      Benedict qualified his mea culpa by stating that the scandal (in which priests who sexually abused children were often ignored or protected by the Catholic Church) was partly justified by the broader social context. Benedict said that while the church accepted some responsibility, he could not be silent about ''the context of these times.... There is a market in child pornography that seems in some way to be considered more and more normal by society." [History of Pornography No More Prudent Than Present]

      Benedict claimed that as recently as the 1970s, "pedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children." In this climate, the Catholic Church's actions were merely reflecting the moral relativism of the times: "It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theolo

    8. Reached 10 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Mark Rees-Andersen COPENHAGEN V, DENMARK
      • over 1 year ago
    • MoonCoach Pancaro ROSWELL, GA
      • about 2 years ago

      The reasons are too numerous, starting from being the leader of the biggest corrupt crime organization the history of humanity has ever known.

    • Richard Reed VERO BEACH, FL
      • about 2 years ago

      I am a Roman Catholic, Christ set the standard for any of his shepherds that lead his sheep astray, and what else is a child but a lamb. If I remember right I believe it was "better that hey had never been born". That is how serious the punishment is.

    • Teresa Justice AKRON, OH
      • about 2 years ago

      Because I'm sick of the Catholic Church getting away with every atrocity imaginable. Throughout history they have murdered, tortured, enslaved and condemned innocent people in the name of their Lord. "Conform or be cast out" What a beautiful motto!! And appropriate! It's about time that these sick pedophile and sanctimonious creeps not be above the law. I'm sure that their God would not condone what they do in his name, and if he does, he is not good and we are all done for.

    • rehan kaveen PILIYANDALA, SRI LANKA
      • about 2 years ago

      they are insulting to buddhism


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