LONDON, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The European Raelian Movement (ERM) has filed a lawsuit in the High Court, Queen's Bench Division, against Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Ratzinger. Allegations in the suit include charges of violating international human rights laws, perpetrating genocide by continuing to claim that condoms don't stop the spread of AIDS, and stating that Pope Benedict and the Vatican orchestrated a campaign of disinformation against the business of the ERM after its membership reported on these matters.
The ERM says it can prove its allegations.
"The Vatican has maintained an ongoing campaign against the ERM for years," said Marcus Wenner, Raelian bishop of the U.K. Raelian Movement. "That campaign was obviously carried out in retaliation for the Movement's clear stance against pedophilia and the cover-ups rampant within the Catholic Church clergy. And there are several other tenets of Vatican policy the Raelian Movement directly opposes, such as its genocidal position against using condoms in Africa, which results in continued HIV infections, deaths of millions and subsequent orphaning of children."
Forewarning Benedict XVI of the impending suit, the ERM also claimed in its pre-litigation letter that his actions continue to violate international law along with treaties on genocide and those concerning organized sexual abuse and trafficking in children.
"We are indeed aware of the seriousness of the allegations, and we will provide documents which we feel are ample proof," Wenner said. "Vatican actions or lack of actions have violated many international laws, such as The Convention on the Rights of the Child, The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Articles X & XXII) and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Article IX)."
Under Pope John Paul II, then-Cardinal Ratzinger was in charge of dealing with the pedophilia scandal, to which Raelians were drawing attention in the 1990s.
While Richard Dawkins and others have voiced their desire to have Pope Benedict arrested for such crimes as the ERM is alleging, U.K. Raelians are contending in court that they have a greater right to sue because of the history of legal judgments against them. In one such case a few years ago, a Belgian court ruled against NOPEDO, a branch of the ERM, for publicizing the Vatican's pedophilia cover-ups. In a report released in Belgium last week by church investigator Peter Adriaenssens, more than 300 cases of abuse are listed, mostly involving minors. The report said they had been found in nearly every diocese, and 13 alleged victims had committed suicide.
The ERM maintains that the Vatican's onslaught has caused damage to its reputation.
Ricky Roehr, spokesperson for the U.S. Raelian Movement, offered this comment:
"Working with international attorneys, the International Raelian Movement filed an urgent appeal back in 2003 with the U.N.'s Special Rapporteur on Child Trafficking. Pedophilia is a crime, and we are trying to protect children. That's all. The urgent appeal went unanswered, and we re-filed it in 2005, again with no response. Of course, this lack of response is due to the Vatican's power in the United Nations."
Roehr said the Vatican enjoys observer status in the United Nations because it is wrongly recognized as a state, and that this status has been protecting the pope and Vatican officials in most countries under diplomatic immunity agreements. But U.K. laws provide a way around this, he said.
"These people claim to be representatives of a God of love but cover up pedophilia crimes?" Roehr asked. "They spread false propaganda about those who speak the truth about their crimes and they also cause millions to suffer by telling Catholics in Third World countries who know little of science that condoms don't stop the spread of AIDS. Where is their love? What is that God?"
Roehr said the Raelian Movement is an atheistic religion founded upon the premise that there is no God. Raelians believe all life on Earth was created many thousands of years ago by advanced extraterrestrial scientists, who were mistaken for gods by our ancestors.
SOURCE Raelian Movement