Criminal charges were filed against Pope Benedict XVI at the International World Court last week by two lawyers from the Pope’s home state of Bavaria. The charges, which allege crimes against humanity, were submitted by Christian Sailer and Gert-Joachim Hetzel of Marktheidenfeld to Dr Luis Moreno Ocampo, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the Hague. The 16,500-word indictment alleges “three worldwide crimes which until now have not been denounced … (as) the traditional reverence toward ‘ecclesiastical authority’ has clouded the sense of right and wrong”.
Calls for the Pope to be tried for crimes against humanity have been issued many times before. Only last April, Geoffrey Robinson, a United Nations jurist from the UK, called for an international criminal investigation of Benedict by the UN World Criminal Court over the cover-up of crimes by pedophile priests, but nothing came of it. That may not be the case this time because once charges are filed, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court must investigate them.