RAEL wins his appeal in Switzerland about the catholic paedophile priests: What will the verdict be in Belgium?

Following upon the complaint of 40 Genevese priests, 3 Raelians had been condemned in Geneva in 2002. The Swiss Federal Court has just reversed this judgement, saying that the words used in their contrversial leaflet are neither "completely unfounded" nor "defamatory" to Catholic priests as a whole.

Information extracted from the newspaper La Liberté of Saturday, December 13, 2003, page 10, article:

"RAEL WINS HIS APPEAL IN CONNECTION WITH THE PAEDOPHILES PRIESTS", Lausanne.

The Federal Court exonerates three Raelians who had distributed leaflets inviting parents to protect children against the behaviour of the clergy.

The story goes back to April 2001. Three members of the Raelian Movement had deposited in the mail boxes of several Genevese households a leaflet inviting the parents to stop sending their children to catechism in order to protect them from paedophilia. The leaflet affirmed in particular that the risks of sexual abuse were statistically more important among Catholic priests than among the general population. In addition, it accused the Catholic hierarchy of protecting paedophile priests under cover of the secret of confession. Forty Genevese priests, including the local auxiliary bishop, Mgr Pierre Farine, had lodged a complaint for "racial discrimination". The Genevese police court had agreed with them and had condemned the three Raelians in December 2002 to a suspended sentence of two months of prison. By a ruling made on Monday and disclosed on December 12, 2003, the Federal Court just overturned this decision and granted a compensation of 3000 francs to the three Raelians.

According to the Federal Court, the highest legal authority in the country, this leaflet does not give the impression that priests are generally despicable beings because of their religion nor that belonging to the Catholic clergy would predispose to paedophilia. Indeed, it does not attack the Catholic priests in general but only the deviant behavior of some of them. Since the criticism is not directly related to the religious affiliation, it is not a case of discrimination. Moreover, the Federal Court recognizes as "not completely unfounded" the assertion according to which there are statistically more paedophiles among the Catholic priests than in the general population and that the condemned priests only represent the tip of the iceberg. "It is indeed of public notoriety that there are paedophiles priests and that their hierarchy did not always take all the provisions necessary to avoid the repetition of such abuses", he writes.

A similar case is still open in Belgium. The Liege diocese has also won its case in appeal, after it first lost, thus condemning the NOPEDO association, emanation of the Raelian Movement, to correct what could be considered as extreme language. NOPEDO lost its appeal and the case is still being dealt with by the highter court. We hope that the Belgian Justice will show the same wisdom as its Swiss counterpart and that the Belgian judges will also, in their next judgement, use common sense and find, as their Swiss colleagues did, the courage to recognize that to condemn those who dare state the truth – be it unpleasant to hear for some - cannot in any case help to relieve humanity faced with a problem as serious as that of paedophilia that the Raelian Movement and its spiritual leader "His Holiness Rael" condemn.


EttoreonFriday 23 April 2010 - 11:15:39

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