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Question about Vatican Status


Cruimh

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Vatican accused of being 'rogue state' over abuse inaction

THE VATICAN should be treated as “a rogue state” by the world until it deals properly with child sexual abuse by priests, argues Geoffrey Robertson, a United Nations judge and veteran British human rights lawyer.
and
Now, in a new book, he argues the Vatican and Pope Benedict are hiding behind a weak claim to statehood to dodge responsibility for failing to act against thousands of priests worldwide who have abused children.
and

The Catholic Church must change, or risk losing its right under international law to be treated as a state – even if its claim to statehood was not fully accepted by the United Nations.
It's ridiculous that these people have a seat in the UN .
 

Munnkeyman

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It's ridiculous that these people have a seat in the UN .
Imagine if any other state in the world ran a world wide paedophile ring and subsequent cover up.

Dublin Archidiocese
From the Murphy report.
The Archdiocese did not implement its own canon law rules and did its best to avoid any application of the law of the State". The 720-page report said that it has "no doubt that clerical child sexual abuse was covered up" from January 1975 to May 2004.
Manchester New Hampshire USA.
Mgr. Odore Joseph Gendron has been criticized for his management of sexual abuse cases among the clergy. He assigned Rev. Paul Aube to a Rochester parish and put him in charge of a youth program even though Aube had confessed to molesting a minor and requested to be kept away from children. Aube allegedly abused at least seven minors at Rochester.
Gendron was accused of destroying documents detailing child sexual abuse by Revs. Philip Petit and Gordon MacRae during the 1980s

Straight from Wikipedia. Catholic Sexual Abuse cases in Europe.
  • 1 Austria
    • 1.1 Archdiocese of Vienna
      • 1.1.1 Diocese of Sankt Pölten
  • 2 Belgium
    • 2.1 Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels
      • 2.1.1 Diocese of Antwerp
      • 2.1.2 Diocese of Bruges
      • 2.1.3 Diocese of Ghent
      • 2.1.4 Diocese of Hasselt
      • 2.1.5 Diocese of Liège
      • 2.1.6 Diocese of Namur
      • 2.1.7 Diocese of Tournai
    • 2.2 Salesians
  • 3 Croatia
    • 3.1 Archdiocese of Zagreb
    • 3.2 Archdiocese of Rijeka
  • 4 Czech Republic
    • 4.1 Archdiocese of Olomouc
  • 5 Denmark
    • 5.1 Diocese of Copenhagen
  • 6 France
    • 6.1 Archdiocese of Paris
      • 6.1.1 Diocese of Meaux
    • 6.2 Archdiocese of Rouen
      • 6.2.1 Diocese of Evreux
    • 6.3 Archdiocese of Besançon
  • 7 Germany
    • 7.1 Archdiocese of Munich and Freising
    • 7.2 Diocese of Regensburg
    • 7.3 Archdiocese of Berlin
      • 7.3.1 Canisius-Kolleg Berlin
    • 7.4 Archdiocese of Freiburg
      • 7.4.1 Kolleg Sankt Blasien
  • 8 Great Britain
    • 8.1 Archdiocese of Southwark
      • 8.1.1 Diocese of Arundel and Brighton
      • 8.1.2 Diocese of Plymouth
    • 8.2 Archdiocese of Cardiff
    • 8.3 Benedictines
    • 8.4 Kiltegan Fathers
  • 9 Ireland
    • 9.1 Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly
      • 9.1.1 Diocese of Cloyne
      • 9.1.2 Diocese of Limerick
    • 9.2 Archdiocese of Dublin
      • 9.2.1 Diocese of Ferns
    • 9.3 Archdiocese of Tuam
    • 9.4 Archdiocese of Armagh
      • 9.4.1 Diocese of Raphoe
  • 10 Italy
    • 10.1 Archdiocese of Trento
      • 10.1.1 Diocese of Bolzano-Brixen
    • 10.2 Archdiocese of Venice
      • 10.2.1 Diocese of Verona
  • 11 Malta
    • 11.1 Archdiocese of Malta
  • 12 Netherlands
    • 12.1 Archdiocese of Utrecht
      • 12.1.1 Diocese of Den Bosch
      • 12.1.2 Diocese of Roermond
      • 12.1.3 Diocese of Rotterdam
    • 12.2 Salesians
  • 13 Norway
    • 13.1 Territorial Prelature of Trondheim
  • 14 Poland
    • 14.1 Archdiocese of Poznan
    • 14.2 Archdiocese of Warsaw
      • 14.2.1 Diocese of Plock
  • 15 Slovenia
    • 15.1 Archdiocese of Ljubljana
  • 16 Spain
    • 16.1 Society of Jesus
  • 17 Sweden
    • 17.1 Diocese of Stockholm
  1. What would happen to other states that operated in such a fashion?
  2. Would their Ambassador(Papal Nuncio) be turfed out?
  3. Would they be subject to sanctions?
 

Q-Tours

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Agreed. I tend to bang on about this a bit, so forgive me....

As far as I can tell, it all goes back to the Papal States, and possibly even to the forgery known as the Donatio Constantini, which purported to show that the temporal rights (in the Western Empire, at least) of the Roman emperor had been vested in the Bishop of Rome. Then, when Italian unification reduced the Pope to the Vatican, Pius IX locked himself up in an almighty snit and refused to recognise the state or even set foot in it. Having started out as a pretty liberal sort of chap, the events of 1848 and reunification (not to mention Victor Immannuel's less than conciliatory attitude) turned him into a complete reactionary. You can get the flavour of the man from his Syllabus of Errors, a rant against any sort of thinking that did not acknowledge papal authority over everything from salvation to the correct way to tie shoelaces.

The stand-off wasn't resolved until that nice Mr Mussolini signed the Lateran Accords in 1929. That gave the Vatican the status of a state. This had the collateral benefit of preventing the Vatican from 'taking sides' in any war. How convenient!) Then things really took off, with concordats with good Catholic boyslike Hitler and Salazar, and a load of other places.

A big problem with these concordats is that they are treaties in international law, and so can't be altered unlaterally. So you've got provisions that, typically, bind the state to give favourable tax status or even civil immunities to Catholic clergy, and that can (e.g. in Poland) override any domestic law changing that which the democratically elected government might choose to pass. (It wouldn't work that way here, but it has cropped up in a few places.) In Germany it gives special status to Canon Law such that its 'binding' nature can and sometime must be enforced by the civil courts, even to the detriment of political or employment rights.

Statehood also gives the Vatican the benefit of sovereign immunity. That is a principle of international law that holds that a state can't be sued in the domestic courts of a foreign country. In the USA this was a live issue just this summer. More relevantly to us here, it would prevent a court ordering production of records of religious order who sent them to Rome "for safe-keeping".

The Pope's local rep, and the bishops' Chief Doctrinal Commissar, is the Papal Nuncio. In an almighty piece of sucking-up, he was given the No. 2 House in the Phoenix Park and was decreed to be ex officio to doyen of the diplomatic corps. (In civilised countries, that job is usually rotated to whichever ambassador is the longest serving.) And, of course, it gives him the benefit of diplomatic immunity. We got a dose of that with the Ryan Commission when he refused to acknowledge their request for documents, saying that it should have been routed through Foreign Affairs! (Thought experiment: imagine if the head office of Weight Watchers was based here and received a request from a judge to produce some papers or other, but they declined saying that the request wasn't delivered by the right messenger)

I would dearly love to see the Vatican lose its recognition as a state, and I can see no reason whatsoever why it should keep it.

I have yet to hear a good argument in favour of recognition.
 

The OD

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It's ridiculous that these people have a seat in the UN .
It's also ridiculous that vast numbers of those who facilitated, co-ordinated and carried out child sexual slavery on a vast scale are not only walking around free, but are actually lauded by people who were obviously born deprived of human empathy.
 

White Horse

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THE VATICAN should be treated as “a rogue state” by the world until it deals properly with child sexual abuse by priests, argues Geoffrey Robertson, a United Nations judge and veteran British human rights lawyer.
Can someone point out similar calls made by Robertson regarding China, India, the US, and all other countries alleged to be violating human rights?
 

Mar Tweedy

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Can someone point out similar calls made by Robertson regarding China, India, the US, and all other countries alleged to be violating human rights?
The Vatican is using its diplomatic immunity to shield itself from taking responsibility for the global conspiracy and cover-up of paedophilia committed by its employees and diplomats against children who were citizens of other countries in those countries.

So it is a different case to those states who abuse human rights within their own borders.
 

Riadach

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Can someone point out similar calls made by Robertson regarding China, India, the US, and all other countries alleged to be violating human rights?
That invalidates his claims does it?

Must he address every international abuse, before addressing the Catholic Church? Should all murders be solved before a robbery is prosecuted?

Worst... whataboutery... ever.
 

White Horse

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It doesn't take a lot for anti-Catholicism and aniti-papacy to rear it's head in England. Robertson may be Australian but his form of Protestantism is fatally prejudiced aagainst Catholicism.

If he was consistent in his treatment of all alleged human rights abuses, I would give him claims some consideration.

However, as he isn't, I put them in the same category as the various comments made over the years by Ian Paisley on Rome.
 

corelli

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It's also ridiculous that vast numbers of those who facilitated, co-ordinated and carried out child sexual slavery on a vast scale are not only walking around free, but are actually lauded by people who were obviously born deprived of human empathy.
They don't, actually, have a seat in the united nations. They have observer status. They don't have a vote either in committee's, the general assembly or anywhere else.
 

The OD

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AFAIK they are proper states.
Also, unlike the Vatican, one can be a member of these states without having to belong to one particular religion.
 

The OD

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They don't, actually, have a seat in the united nations. They have observer status. They don't have a vote either in committee's, the general assembly or anywhere else.
That wasnt really my point, if you note, I am more concerned about their apparent immunity to the normal legal process whereby if someone commits or facilitates or tries to cover up a crime they face the legal consequences just like anyone else.
 

Q-Tours

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It doesn't take a lot for anti-Catholicism and aniti-papacy to rear it's head in England. Robertson may be Australian but his form of Protestantism is fatally prejudiced aagainst Catholicism.

If he was consistent in his treatment of all alleged human rights abuses, I would give him claims some consideration.

However, as he isn't, I put them in the same category as the various comments made over the years by Ian Paisley on Rome.
From Robertson's web page:

Mr Robertson is the author of Crimes against Humanity – The Struggle for Global Justice, published by Penguin and the New Press (USA), now in its third edition; of a memoir, The Justice Game (Vintage), which has sold over 100,000 copies, and of Robertson and Nicol on Media Law (Sweet & Maxwell). He writes and broadcasts regularly on international legal issues and creates Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypotheticals for television and for ethics education. His most recent publication is The Tyrannicide Brief, the story of how Cromwell’s lawyers produced the first trial of a Head of State – that of Charles I. It traces the memorable career of John Cooke, the radical barrister and visionary social reformer who had the courage and intellect to devise a way to end the impunity of sovereigns. The book is published by Chatto & Windus in the UK, after Australia (where it rose to second in the non-fiction bestseller list) and is pubished by Anchor Books in the U.S., where it won a “Silver Gavel” Award from the American Bar Association. Mr Robertson has written an extensive introduction to Geoffrey Robertson presents The Levellers – The Putney Debates (Verso, 2007); the foreword to Torture (Human Rights Watch/ Macmillan) and A Question of Zion (Professor Jacqueline Rose/ Melbourne University Press) and is a contributor to Human Rights in the War on Terror (Cambridge University Press). His paper Ending Impunity: How International Criminal Law Can Put Tyrants on Trial has been published in the 2005 Cornell Law Journal (issue 3, Volume 38). In 2006 he chaired a Commission of Inquiry into the United Nation’s internal justice system.
Not exactly an apologist for torturers or dictators, wouldn't you say?

So, back to the Vatican: do you believe it should be recognised as a state? Why?
 

Cruimh

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They don't, actually, have a seat in the united nations. They have observer status. They don't have a vote either in committee's, the general assembly or anywhere else.
They sit as Observers. Space has been allocated to them.

And it's quite complex - they don't have observer status as Vatican State - they have it as the ethereal "Holy See".

Their status is Non-Member State Permanent Observer - Something I'm told is not mentioned in the UN Charter but was originally to allow Switzerland to participate.

Through this they have access to various bodies such as World Health Organisation and the UN Scientific, cultural and education organisation.
 

corelli

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They sit as Observers. Space has been allocated to them.

And it's quite complex - they don't have observer status as Vatican State - they have it as the ethereal "Holy See".

Their status is Non-Member State Permanent Observer - Something I'm told is not mentioned in the UN Charter but was originally to allow Switzerland to participate.

Through this they have access to various bodies such as World Health Organisation and the UN Scientific, cultural and education organisation.
They have no vote in any committee. They have speaking rights, and are generally completely ignored.

The Holy See is merely the "corporate/diplomatic" name for the Vatican City State.

People generally overemphasise the importance of their observer status. Not that I think they should have it, mind you. Tin pot dictatorship that it is.
 

Garland Names the Skies

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They sit as Observers. Space has been allocated to them.

And it's quite complex - they don't have observer status as Vatican State - they have it as the ethereal "Holy See".

Their status is Non-Member State Permanent Observer - Something I'm told is not mentioned in the UN Charter but was originally to allow Switzerland to participate.

Through this they have access to various bodies such as World Health Organisation and the UN Scientific, cultural and education organisation.
An interesting point. What protection would diplomatic immunity give him in his extra official affairs beyond his head of the "the "Holy See" affairs and it's diplomatic missions. As far as I can see he has none
 

corelli

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An interesting point. What protection would diplomatic immunity give him in his extra official affairs beyond his head of the "the "Holy See" affairs and it's diplomatic missions. As far as I can see he has none
He, personally, has "sovereign immunity", as with all other heads of State, which is common to "common law" countries but others recognise it too. The "Holy See/Vatican City State" also has such immunity by virtue of customary international law, which as head of State, he can avail of.

It should be noted that membership of the Rome Statute of the ICC removes that protection for war crimes etc.

In International Law, he is effectively untouchable.
 

Cruimh

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They have no vote in any committee. They have speaking rights, and are generally completely ignored.

The Holy See is merely the "corporate/diplomatic" name for the Vatican City State.

People generally overemphasise the importance of their observer status. Not that I think they should have it, mind you. Tin pot dictatorship that it is.
The Vatican state is what - a square mile and ~900 people ?

The Holy See has no temporal or territorial existance.

Through it's seat the Vatican has full speaking rights at the UN - and more importantly is allowed full participation in UN Sponsored International bodies. Those bodies deal with issues such as womens rights.
 

Q-Tours

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An interesting point. What protection would diplomatic immunity give him in his extra official affairs beyond his head of the "the "Holy See" affairs and it's diplomatic missions. As far as I can see he has none
In countries that recognise the Vatican as a state, it (and the pope as its head of state) would enjoy sovereign immunity. The Vatican's status in the UN has no bearing on that.

[Edit: Corelli beat me to it!]
 
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