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ICC Backers Say Papal Teaching is a War Crime

As you read this column Father Nicholas Gruner faces the astounding threat of excommunication, which the Vatican calls “definitive provisions which would be painful for all concerned.” According to a letter dated February 16, 2001 from Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos of the Congregation for the Clergy, one of the grounds for imposing ultimate canonical sanctions on Father Gruner — while innumerable heretical and homosexual clerics remain members of the Church — is that The Fatima Crusader magazine has been strongly critical of the policies of the Vatican Secretariat of State. Imagine that! It would seem that the one unpardonable offense in the Church today is not heresy or the molestation of altar boys, but criticism of the prudential policies of Cardinal Sodano and the Vatican bureaucracy.

The Vatican Secretariat of State was instrumental in the successful 1998 meeting in Rome to adopt the statutes of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is now racing toward ratification by the requisite 64 nations. Experts predict the ICC will be operating within two years. Once this super-court is up and running, it will be able to pluck citizens from any nation in the world and put them on trial for as-yet-unspecified “crimes against humanity.” Cardinal Sodano and Archbishop Martino, the Vatican’s observer at the United Nations, have praised the ICC as a great step forward for human rights. But Father Gruner’s apostolate, along with many conservative political organizations in the secular realm, have been warning that the ICC is a huge mistake which threatens to annihilate the already eroding sovereignty of nations. Where the Church is concerned, Catholic clerics and even the Pope himself could become the targets of ICC investigation for “hate crimes” or crimes against humanity.

Sound far-fetched? Consider that one of the first proposals for the ICC regulations was a provision which would compel priests to break the seal of the confessional in the course of ICC investigations. That has been shot down — for now. But it is only the beginning.

A recent Zenit news service report cites an article entitled “Stop the ICC” by Catholic journalist Mary Jo Anderson, published in Crisis magazine. Anderson notes that the European Network of the International Planned Parenthood Federation has issued an open letter to Pope John Paul II which impudently informs His Holiness that “... we are deeply concerned that you do not seem to recognize that the opinions and actions of the Holy See ... are seen by many as ... war ... that contributes to ... suffering and deaths. ...”. Anderson asks the obvious question: “Could the Holy Father conceivably be held responsible by the ICC (once it is fully ratified) for millions of AIDS deaths because the Church prohibits the use of condoms?” You bet he could. The ICC proposal to compel violation of the seal of the confessional should tell us that.

In short, the Vatican Secretary of State deserves to be criticized and opposed for its insane support of the ICC. How could Cardinal Sodano not realize that the ICC will be nothing but an international version of the same godless judicial systems which have legalized the murder of children in the womb in every nation and are bringing the whole world to ruin?

When will the Vatican bureaucracy stop dabbling in the pursuit of such follies as international criminal courts controlled by atheists, and return to matters in which the Church has competence — such as preaching the Social Kingship of Christ in a Christian civilization? Father Gruner does not hesitate to ask such questions. So should we all.