Vatican Invokes Diplomatic Immunity to Bar Questioning of Pope On Abuse Scandal

Giuseppe dalla Torre, head of the Vatican’s tribunal, has reportedly declared that efforts to question Pope Benedict on the widening abuse scandal would be refused on the grounds of diplomatic immunity.

Dalla Torre stated The pope is certainly a head of state, who has the same juridical status as all heads of state” and thus immune. That interpretation would likely be upheld by U.S. courts.

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33 thoughts on “Vatican Invokes Diplomatic Immunity to Bar Questioning of Pope On Abuse Scandal”

  1. Not everyone agrees…

    “In any event, head of state immunity provides no protection in the International Criminal Court (hence its current indictment of President Bashir). The ICC statute defines a crime against humanity to include rape and sexual slavery and other similarly inhumane acts causing serious harm to mental or physical health committed against civilians on a widespread or systematic scale if condoned or tolerated by a government or a de facto authority. The U.N. Appeal Court in Sierra Leone has held that recruitment of children as soldiers or sex slaves for an army amounts to a crime against humanity.

    If acts of sexual abuse by priests are not isolated or sporadic events but part of a wide practice both known to and unpunished by their de facto authority—i.e. the Catholic Church—then under the command responsibility principle of international law (laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court) the commander can be held criminally liable. He falls within the temporal jurisdiction of the ICC so long as that abusive practice and the policy to tolerate it continued after July 2002, when the court was established.”

  2. You mean the Adams Family. Yes, he does have those sunken eyes, but can he illuminate a light bulb by sticking it in his mouth?

  3. This Pope looks evil. He reminds me of Uncle Fester on The Munsters.

  4. It seems that JP the Second’s “fast track” to sainthood as hit a snag. One of the requirements for sainthood is that the proposed saint must perform a miracle. Someone in Poland who had an “incurable” disease claimed that she was “cured” after praying to Pope JP II. Now it turns out that she was misdiagnosed and her disease wasn’t uncurable after all, so they’re still one miracle short. For those of you who are interested, the fastest track to sainthood is to be martyred for Christ. Not just being killed, but dying for your faith. No miracle needed.

  5. Former Federal LEO

    I suggest that we cut to the chase and place the real culprit, “God”, on trial—in absentia, of course, by *His* own choice of waiving due process under the 5th, 6th and 14th Amendments—because B-I-B-L-E scripture nowhere reveals that *HE*, the Lord, has diplomatic immunity.


    That is one very cool idea!

  6. Mespo,

    It’s only confusing because we’re so used to thinking of the Catholic Church as a church with it’s headquarters in The Vatican, instead of The Vatican as a State whose head also happens to be the head of The Church.


  7. Gyges:

    They are indeed “kissing cousins.” Great insight as usual.

  8. Mespo,

    Isn’t it the same in this case? Diplomatic immunity is just the tool being used to protect the country in question, all in the name of patriotism.

  9. Were Samuel Johnson alive today, i have no doubt his famous quip would be that “diplomatic immunity, rather than patriotism, is truly the last refuge of scoundrels.”

  10. Ol’ Giuseppe is pulling strings again but this time the Pope is the wooden dummy instead of Pinocchio…

    I can imagine the pope and all those other pious Catholic priests telling all those young, nubile, prepubescent boys all over the world; now, be good little boys and “always let your conscience be your guide”. And, each night, when you hear my footsteps walking down that long, dark hallway to your room and I “give a little whistle” you will know what is in store for you. No need to cry out, because no one will hear your pleas to god for mercy; moreover, no one will ever “believe” you over any godly priest.

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