By Fr. Gordon J. MacRae
(These Stone Walls) ...In rejecting the petition last month, the International Criminal Court ruled that SNAP’s claims do not “appear to fall within the jurisdiction of the court” which accepts only cases reflecting “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.” In other words, as The Media Report’s David F. Pierre pointed out, the ICC is not a place to air shameless publicity stunts.
And “shameless publicity stunt” was always the sole point of this petition. It was never a serious endeavor, and this outcome, though slow in coming, was always predictable. I predicted it in an October 2011 post on These Stone Walls entitled “SNAP’s Last Gasp! The Pope’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity.’ ”
The entire project was staged by SNAP and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) just to generate headlines, and the mainstream media took the bait. News of the petition appeared in almost every major newspaper in the United States. In news interviews, CCR attorney Pam Spees described the SNAP petition:
“Crimes against tens of thousands of victims, most of them children, are being covered up by officials at the highest levels of the Vatican.”
The tone and content of the rhetoric was eerily similar – verbatim, even – to another propaganda campaign against Catholic priests that I wrote of in “Catholic Scandal and the Third Reich: The Rise and Fall of a Moral Panic.” Few of the same newspapers that trumpeted the SNAP petition against the Vatican ever bothered to cover the ICC’s summary dismissal of the case. We had to rely on the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights to issue a press release, and on The Media Report to publish this story. For me, the most shameful aspect of this SNAP publicity stunt was that I became an unwitting and unwilling part of it...