The vatican is by law a nation so by every right they do have the authority to create an internal group to handle such accusations. Its very similar to the police in every country around the world and even the police have police (internal affairs in the US) in some places.
No, it's really not at all similar for several reasons.
1) Catholic Priests are not citizens of this Vatican Country, but the Nation in which they live.
2) Police, internal affairs, and even the U.S. military (outside of wartime) only operate inside territories that they have permission to do so in. No one gave the Vatican's permission to bypass local law.
3) People are accountable for the crimes they commit where they commit them regardless of the location of the crime. You can't kill someone in London and then say "I'm a U.S. Citizen so the U.S. can decide my punishment." There are circumstances where such a thing occurs (I believe, I'm no legal expert) but I'm pretty sure it's with the permission of the country that is losing the right to prosecute them. We gave the Vatican no such permission to determine the punishments of Catholic Priests who are U.S. citizens. If this was any other "Nation" defending and covering up their citizen's egregious, illegal actions, we'd be threatening them in some fashion and bringing it up before the U.N. If they're going to be recognized as a separate entity they should be treated like one.
I fully agree that priests that are convicted, plead guilty, or no contest to these crimes should pay their debt to society. Sending them to another part of the world after a conviction and before punishment is wrong IMO but if a priest pays his debt to society then he should have the opportunity to continue being a priest (although I would be fine with supervision for crimes like child molestation). To err is to be human after all and while still men of faith they are human and thus make mistakes.
I agree, so long as they're published as sex offenders and follow the same rules as all other sexual offenders, but how are we going to punish them when the Church maintains its own internal code of silence and attempts to cover up the crimes for the sake of their own influence? That's precisely the problem. Not only are they not punished for what they do, but the information that there's a potential threat is kept from the public. How would you feel if your child was hanging out with a pedo-priest who the Vatican KNEW was a pedophile? What if such a child was molested by this priest and it was entirely preventable?
This is what has happened. Look up the School for the Deaf incidents.
However priests that are not convicted or settle outside of court shouldnt be held to that same standard because the victim 1) couldnt prove it happened or 2) decided that money was more important then justice. A priest that is only accused (and never convicted) should never be punished but that wont happen because most Americans demonize anyone accused of sexual misconduct whether convicted or not. Its just how our society is
What're you basing this off of? I saw you make similar claims earlier and you were mentioning the jury being likely to convict. Is this your opinion based on personal observation or do you have statistics to back this up? Are you a legal scholar who has studied such incidents, or is this extrapolation based on a limited scope of the situation?
And regardless of any of that, there have been examples of priests confessing that they did it and getting off without any real punishment thanks to the Vatican decrees of silence. Let me repeat that: Vatican policy knowingly assisted a heinous, dangerous criminal in covering up his actions. How can you possibly defend that?
Thats part of it Sabby but theres also always some kind of penance. As I said once before in another thread, in our faith intent means something. If you arent truly sorry for something you wont be forgiven. How can a human be 100% sure that a confession is sincere or not though? I dont have an answer to that question so the confession has to be taken at face value as truth
"I'm sorry" is not enough in America. We have laws that dictate what the acceptable penance for your crime of child molestation is. Apparently they're in conflict with the Catholic Church's own standards on the matter, and that's fine. If they want to give pedophiles an easy time, their policy should be made known to the public. And doing that still wouldn't give them the right to their own justice.
When you come to our country you agree to abide by our laws, and if you want to be in good relations with us, then you absolutely must respect our sovereignty; this is not doing that. This is the Vatican abusing its dual position as a secular and religious institution, the influence they have throughout the world, and worst of all they're probably going to get away with it.
I'm not even sure how a government like our own can possibly recognize a religious conclave as a state-entity when Separation of Church and State is a fundamental premise of our society. If there was even concrete evidence that they did something terribly wrong that was unquestionably and universally accepted as a prosecutable offense, could we even do it due to that clause?
A church is not a state. It doesn't matter that they've been recognized as such by entities throughout the world, the very concept of the Vatican as a nation is ridiculous. It doesn't fit the true definition; they have no citizens and they have very limited territorial holdings.
Say you choose to grant them statehood for the sake of argument, then what does it make the Pope? The head of a morally absolutist theocratic-dictatorship who claims infallibility, holds sway over citizens of nearly every nation across the world, disrespects other nation's sovereignty, dictates to people how they are supposed to act if they are going to be saved from an eternity of suffering; maybe our next stop on the good ole USA world-liberation tour should be Vatican City.
Actually, look at what "crimes against humanity" carries as punishment. If they were serious about this campaign, "kill or imprison the Pope" is exactly what they would be seeking. I have trouble believing anyone sees this as more than a publicity stunt, though.
There's a difference between seeking a trial and seeking that particular punishment. In order for that punishment to be carried out in a trial, there's the requirement of examination of the evidence and unbiased deliberation. Saying "I want that person dead" is not the same as saying "I want that person to be arrested, the evidence to be accounted for, and the truth to come out, and if it comes out that they are guilty of the crime they have been accused of, I want to see them punished for it."