I posted some random thoughts yesterday on the news that American lawyers were trying to bring a case against Vatican leaders to the International Criminal Court. My thoughts were random, because I really wasn`t sure what to think. This morning, I found a more reasoned voice online. Michael Sean Winters, again over at National Catholic Reporter, wrote a scathing editorial called Shame on SNAP`s lawyers. He writes,
In Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, the crimes were ordered by political leaders. No one, so far as I know, has suggested that Pope Benedict XVI ordered any priest to rape a child. There is a difference, a moral difference, between a systematic attempt to slaughter a people and an effort to cover up the crimes of one’s subordinates. So far as I know, no one has been charged at the ICC with trying to cover up the genocide in Rwanda or the ethnic cleansing in Sarajevo. Those who have been charged perpetrated the crimes….
This legal effort to get the ICC involved not only holds out false hopes for the victims of clergy sex abuse, it is an offense against the thousands upon thousands of dead, maimed and raped victims of Milosevic’s crimes as well as the hundreds of thousands of victims of genocide in Rwanda. To treat other crimes like those crimes is to diminish the unique evil which considered rape and murder a means to an end.
This thoughtful and well-reasoned analysis was a much needed answer to my own uncertainty and discomfort with this news story. I encourage anyone who is interested to read Winter`s full editorial. And, of course, any thoughts or reflections are always welcomed! After all, that`s what dialogue is all about.