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Is the Pope morally or legally responsible for the negligence that has allowed so many terrible crimes to go unpunished? This book delivers a devastating indictment of the way the Vatican has run a secret legal system that shields paedophile priests from criminal trial around the world.
THE CASE OF THE POPE delivers a devastating indictment of the way the Vatican has run a secret legal system that shields paedophile priests from criminal trial around the world. Is the Pope morally or legally responsible for the negligence that has allowed so many terrible crimes to go unpunished? Should he and his seat of power, the Holy See, continue to enjoy an immunity that places them above the law? Geoffrey Robertson QC, a distinguished human rights lawyer and judge, evinces a deep respect for the good works of Catholics and their church. But, he argues, unless Pope Benedict XVI can divest himself of the beguilements of statehood and devotion to obsolescent canon law, the Vatican will remain a serious enemy to the advance of human rights.
“A sweeping review of papal families, replete with numerous genealogy tables. Recommended”—Library Journal “Examines the families of the popes, their influence on history, and, in some cases, traces their descendants”—Theology Digest. The papacy has often resembled a secular European monarchy more than a divinely inspired institution. Roman pontiffs bestowed great wealth on their families and forged strategic alliances with other powerful families to increase their power. Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia), for example, forced his daughter Lucrezia into a series of marriages for political reasons. When her marital alliance was no longer advantageous, as was the case in her second marriage, her husband was brutally murdered. Many papal families also intermarried in hopes of forming a hereditary papacy; at least two members of the Fieschi, Piccolomini, Della Rovere, and Medici families served as pope. Papal families since the early history of the church are fully covered in this comprehensive work. Genealogical charts graphically show the descendants of the popes, presenting in many cases the interrelationships between the papal families and their relationships with many of the leading families of Europe. Detailed histories examine the impact of the papacy on each pope's family and how each influenced the history of the church.
The roots of modern Western legal institutions and concepts go back nine centuries to the Papal Revolution, when the Western church established its political and legal unity and its independence from emperors, kings, and feudal lords. Out of this upheaval came the Western idea of integrated legal systems consciously developed over generations and centuries. Harold J. Berman describes the main features of these systems of law, including the canon law of the church, the royal law of the major kingdoms, the urban law of the newly emerging cities, feudal law, manorial law, and mercantile law. In the coexistence and competition of these systems he finds an important source of the Western belief in the supremacy of law. Written simply and dramatically, carrying a wealth of detail for the scholar but also a fascinating story for the layman, the book grapples with wideranging questions of our heritage and our future. One of its main themes is the interaction between the Western belief in legal evolution and the periodic outbreak of apocalyptic revolutionary upheavals. Berman challenges conventional nationalist approaches to legal history, which have neglected the common foundations of all Western legal systems. He also questions conventional social theory, which has paid insufficient attention to the origin of modem Western legal systems and has therefore misjudged the nature of the crisis of the legal tradition in the twentieth century.

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