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Abuse Group Charges Pope with Crimes

Bestselling Learn Guitar on Android! 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 Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based nonprofit legal group, requested the inquiry on behalf of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (also known as "SNAP"), arguing that the global church has maintained a "long-standing and pervasive system of sexual violence" despite promises to swiftly oust predators. "SNAP wants to prevent even one more child from being raped or sexually assaulted by a priest," the group's president Barbara Blaine said in a statement. "We hope that victims around the world will know today that they are not alone and that it is safe to speak up and report their abuse." 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. Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association, 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," 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," Ellis added. So what do you think? Should the Pope be held responsible for the actions of priests around the world when it comes to child abuse? Leave a comment below and let us know.
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