Posts Tagged vatican city state
The Vatican put its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic under house arrest Tuesday (Sept. 23) after opening a criminal trial against him, the first time a high-ranking Vatican official has ever faced criminal charges for sexually abusing youngsters.
“Josef Wesolowski had already been defrocked in June after the Vatican’s canon law court found him guilty of abuse and imposed its toughest penalty under church law: laicization, or returning to life as a layman.
“On Tuesday, the Vatican City State’s separate criminal court opened a preliminary hearing into his case and ordered him placed under house arrest.”
By Associated Press on Crux — Click here to read the rest of this story.
POPES and their officials have long benefited from the Vatican’s unique dual status in international law. As the Vatican City State, it can shelter prelates wanted for questioning elsewhere and play host to offshore financial institutions such as the Vatican Bank. But when world leaders visit the pope in Rome it is to meet the absolute ruler of a global entity, the Holy See. As the Holy See, the Vatican engages in diplomacy, holds observer status at the UN and signs most treaties. The Holy See is sometimes called a sovereign entity without territory, although its sovereign, the pope, is also the ruler of the Vatican City State. It is a legal expression of the Catholic church’s leadership, yet American lawyers for the church have successfully argued that the Vatican is not responsible for Catholic clerics’ wrongdoing.
“On May 23rd the Vatican’s split personality will be put to a new test when a UN committee releases the findings of an inquiry into the Holy See’s compliance with the Convention against Torture, which it signed in 2002. Most of the questions put to the pope’s representative, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, in the public hearings were about the sexual abuse of children and adolescents by Catholic clerics. If the committee decides it was torture, a wave of prosecutions of historic offences could follow: there is usually no time limit for bringing torture charges, as there generally is for sex crimes. And if it judges the Holy See accountable for priests’ and bishops’ misconduct, victims’ lawyers may challenge existing jurisprudence and demand compensation from Rome.”
By The Economist — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Pope Francis overhauled the laws that govern the Vatican city-state on Thursday, criminalizing leaks of Vatican information and specifically listing sexual violence, prostitution, and possession of child pornography as crimes against children that can be punished by up to 12 years in prison.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, in The Boston Globe
Read the entire article by clicking here.