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The Children's Crusade

I stumbled across a brand-new website, that of the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State, no less, and could not believe my eyes. Can this possibly be for real?

With such a name, they must be extremely, impressively serious. But on a closer look, this is either a sophisticated tongue-in-cheek joke, or there are some desperate deluded people out there. Or both.

In their quest for justice, the ITCCS formally issued a “Public Summons to Joseph Ratzinger (aka “Pope Benedict”) and six senior cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church, inc. to appear before our opening session on September 12, 2011 in London.”

Is this it? Is the World Court finally going to nail the Church for its crimes?

How will this millennial event happen? Well, they must have a cunning plan:

“Common Law peace officers working for our de jure Court and Tribunal will  apprehend these persons and bring them to trial, and will enforce the verdicts of our Court, if regular peace officers refuse to do so.”

Oh, I see, this isn’t the International Court of Justice in the Hague after all. It has nothing to do with even that flawed tribunal. Instead, the “International Tribunal” is a self-empowered citizens “court”. If the pope fails to show, and the Italian carbinieri don’t feel up to it, they’ll perform citizens’ arrests of Ratzi and his cronies. Yeah, that’ll work. I’m sure the Swiss Guard will be most cooperative.

And Her Majesty’s Bodygaurd, too. Because it’s not just Ratzi they want. The ITCCS demands that Queen Elizabeth also “answer charges of their complicity in crimes against humanity, genocide and child trafficking.”

Then, the ITCCS boldly states this:

“The ITCCS has the endorsement of over thirty organizations, including eight indigenous nations in North America and Asia, survivors of Catholic church torture in Ireland, Australia and England, and the autonomous sovereign nation of Eurostaete.”

Eurostaete? You mean the European Union is involved? Sadly no.  The “Eurostat” is apparently the EU’s economic statistics department. Eurostaete is a bit less impressive, according to the Dutch version of Wikipedia:

Euro Staete is a land or no man’s land between the Netherlands and Germany… currently (May 2008) by a state not recognized , except by Euro Staete itself.

In fact, Euro Staete the result is a border dispute with the Netherlands and Germany… Remarkably, there is one area where neither claim to states, whereas at most border disputes two or more countries lay claim to a particular area.

…According to a border treaty between the Netherlands and Hanover from 1824 (signed in 1825) states that the boundary… follow[s] the contours of the ditch, the ditch in its entirety in Hanover…  In a land transaction by a German notary only the ground… to the center of the ditch in the German Grundbuch [land registry]. This creates essentially a strip of no man’s land of about 500 meters long and 6 meters wide (the distance between the center of the ditch and the boundary markers).

Ah, that’s better! Official backing of a kangaroo court by a 3,000 sq. meter made-up tax-dodge of a state gives the whole effort a real air of authority. On their Sponsors page, they list 8 groups, two of which may be real, sadly, and the rest of which don’t even have a website. At least SNAP’s not listed.

What to make of this?

I don’t think it started as a joke. It appears to have sprung out of the sincere German efforts to have the Pope brought before the International Court in the Hague, all right, as well as the tragedy in Canada.

I’d like to think that this is some wickedly sophisticated bit of Internet theater, designed to try to embarrass the Church and State for their roles. But I’m afraid the joke is on anyone who takes it seriously.

The so-called “Survivors Movement” has had a good run. Like all reform movements in the Catholic Church, it ultimately failed, defeated by the hierarchy. This may be one of the last absurd examples of that failure.

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

— Karl Marx

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