Pedophilia is just the latest and most visible in a long list of transgressions from the Catholic Church. These days the Vatican is facing legal action in Kentucky for child abuse cases by Catholic priests, and the ensuing cover up from the Catholic hierarchy including, allegedly, by Cardinal Ratzinger (today’s Pope Benedict).
I believe enterprising attorneys could and should widen the scope to include previous transgressions, particularly those that lead to the commitment of heinous crimes during the Holocaust. In my book “Six Million Crucifixions” I make a legal analysis of the various counts a potential indictment against the Church, the Vatican and members of the clergy might have looked like, had the Allies set up an international trial styled after Nuremberg and put any clergy guilty of crimes on the dock. In particular, an indictment might have included the following charges:
* Complicity in human rights violations
* Accessory or complicity in crimes against humanity
* Failure to warn/act
* Obstruction of Justice
* Profiting from stolen property
* Abuse of diplomatic privileges
* Crimes against humanity
I think it’s time to revisit the role of the Church in the Holocaust and its aftermath, and do it quickly as Pope Benedict is attempting to whitewash history by canonizing Pope Pius XII, while the Vatican Secret Archives covering the Nazi era remain closed and will continue to remain closed for another five years.