AN international group representing victims of sexual abuse by priests says it will sue Pope Benedict through the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said on Wednesday it had filed a complaint calling on the court to “take action and prosecute the Pope” for “direct and superior responsibility for the crimes against humanity of rape and other sexual violence committed around the world”.
In a statement, the network said members from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the US had travelled to The Hague with human rights lawyers to urge prosecutors to investigate the Pope and three other high-ranking Vatican officials.
The US-based group also submitted more than 20,000 pages of supporting materials including “reports, policy papers, and evidence of the crimes by Catholic clergy committed against children and vulnerable adults”. it said.
The Catholic Church is struggling to deal with rising anger and a string of lawsuits following thousands of child abuse claims in Europe and the US.