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Richard Dawkins calls for prosecution of Pope
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22 Apr 2010, 14:01
Madeline Rain
Post Count: 151
Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/11/critics-trial-pope-benedict-xvi


Prominent atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are paying lawyers to investigate the possibility of prosecuting the pope for crimes against humanity, their solicitor confirmed today.

The pair argue that Pope Benedict XVI should be arrested when he visits Britain in September and put on trial for his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. Last week a letter emerged from 1985 in which the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger urged that a paedophilic priest in America not be defrocked for the "good of the universal church".

The Vatican has already suggested the pope is immune from prosecution because he is a head of state. But Dawkins and Hitchens believe that because he is not the head of a state with full United Nations membership, he does not hold immunity and could be arrested when he steps on to British soil.

This is the advice they have been given by their lawyers solicitor Mark Stephens and human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC.

"I'm convinced we can get over the threshold of immunity," said Stephens. "The Vatican is not recognised as a state in international law. People assume that it has existed for time immemorial but it was a construct of Mussolini, and when the Vatican first applied to become a member of the UN, the US said no. So as a sop they were given the status of permanent observers rather than full members."

But the Holy See insists it is a state like any other. Earlier this month, Giuseppe Dalla Torre, Vatican tribunal chief, said: "The pope is certainly a head of state and he has the same legal status as all heads of state."

Stephens said there are three lines of approach to put the pope in the dock. "One is that we apply for a warrant to the international criminal court. Alternatively, criminal proceedings could be brought here, either a public prosecution brought by the Crown Prosecution Service or a private prosecution. That would require at least one victim to come forward who is either from this jurisdiction or was abused here. The third option is for individuals to lodge civil claims," said Stephens.

He said he had recently been approached by seven wealthy individuals who donated money to the Catholic church and were dismayed their money had not only been used to fund abuse but also buy the silence of victims. These people could potentially sue the pope, Stephens suggested.

Writing in the Washington Post on Friday, Dawkins described Ratzinger as a "leering old villain in a frock whose first instinct when his priests are caught with their pants down is to cover up the scandal and damn the young victims to silence."

Without admitting that he had consulted lawyers he added: "This former head of the Inquisition should be arrested the moment he dares to set foot outside his tinpot fiefdom of the Vatican, and he should be tried in an appropriate civil not ecclesiastical court. That's what should happen. Sadly, we all know our faith-befuddled governments will be too craven to do it."

Pope Benedict will be in Britain from 16-19 September where he will beatify the theologian Cardinal John Henry Newman.



So what do you guys think? Should the Pope be prosecuted child abuse? After all, he personally helped cover it up over the years. I'm interested in hearing what you guys have to say.
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22 Apr 2010, 23:26
lithium layouts.
Post Count: 836
Prosecute the Pope? What a surreal idea. It'll never happen though. At least not in his lifetime.

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23 Apr 2010, 12:03
Acid Fairy
Post Count: 1849
Completely agree.
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24 Apr 2010, 14:45
Leona Wren
Post Count: 425
He needs to be prosecuted; 100%.
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22 Apr 2010, 16:39
Tommy Decentralized
Post Count: 506
although I agree with that. I still find Dawkins to be a complete moron that knows nothing of religious origins.
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22 Apr 2010, 16:43
Madeline Rain
Post Count: 151
I'm not asking for anyone's opinions on Richard Dawkins. I'm asking whether or not anyone thinks the Pope should be prosecuted for child abuse, since he not only helped cover it up but acted as an accessory to the crime.

Thank you for your opinion anyway.
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22 Apr 2010, 17:15
Tommy Decentralized
Post Count: 506
I can say my opinion Dawkins if i want to.

and when I said I agree with that. that means my opinion is in agreement with Dawkins and Hutchinson, although i despise the two,lol
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22 Apr 2010, 17:24
Tommy Decentralized
Post Count: 506
Te reason i say that is bec Dawkins has a HUGE following of a bunch of sheep trendy wanna b atheist. i know some of them. i had to distance myself from the trendy atheist crowd. so many will agree with anythng dawkins says, without even thinking. he is the leader in the trendy atheist movement.

Many have been saying for years, that the church must be held responsible for their long time actions of moving predators around to molest has many children has they can as the church turns a blind eye. this has been going on for so long.

so today you have Dawkins jumping in on another trendy bandwagon. if anyone thinks this x nazi pope will step down, or be arrested, you do not live on this planet.
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22 Apr 2010, 17:24
Rhapsody
Post Count: 53
Holding the Pope to the same standards we hold other leaders in the world is only fair. If he wants to be recognized as their equal in position, then he must also face the parts of the position that could condemn him. However, I also feel that the letter was written in 1985. So these guys are basically being a bunch of assholes because they are athiests. However, once again, there are citizens of countries who commited crimes decades before they were found out and charged.

The Pope may be the Pope, but if he commited sins in this life, his faith will redeem him at the pearly gates. Asking forgiveness in confession and repenting is all Catholicism requires to reach heaven. Unless my years of Catholic education was a bunch of lies.
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22 Apr 2010, 21:31
T.A.I
Post Count: 269
That's about it.

Beat your wife? Make sure you repent before she exacts her revenge, and then she needs to make sure she repents before she dies too.
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22 Apr 2010, 19:01
Madeline Rain
Post Count: 151
I think the fact that they're atheists detracts from the issue here, which is whether or not the Pope can be held criminally liable for his personal involvement in the child abuse scandal. My opinion is that yes, he personally helped cover up the abuse and transferred the pedophile priests from one parish to another where these jerks went on to do exactly what they'd done before. His actions amount to accomplice behavior, and he should be prosecuted criminally.

Now, some argue that the Pope, as a head of State, has immunity and cannot face criminal prosecution. This is a gray area because the Vatican is not recognized by the UN as an independent State and therefore the Pope wouldn't fir that description.

However, nobody is getting arrested over this. Let's face it, the fact that a militant atheist with his own agenda called for this, added to the religious inclinations of most political leaders only shows that we are a long time away from being able to do the right thing.
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22 Apr 2010, 21:31
Music God CJ Plain
Post Count: 550
I agree. Not to mention that it would be a Public Relations NIGHTMARE for whoever arrested him. The backlash from Catholics and Christians would be epic in size, not to mention the power and influence the Church has.
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23 Apr 2010, 03:15
*Forever Changing*
Post Count: 847
Why do you think the christians would care? I know many many many christians look down on the catholic religion right now for the molestation cover ups. The catholic population in the world is not as large as they want you to believe. I say we turn their world upside down and show them NO ONE is above the law.
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23 Apr 2010, 03:27
Music God CJ Plain
Post Count: 550
Because if they could do it to the Pope, where would the line be drawn for other matter's of religion? That's why the Christians would care. And with over 1 BILLION members of the church worldwide...I'd say it's pretty large.

And I'm NOT saying he is above the law. I'm merely stating what the reaction would be if they did it.
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23 Apr 2010, 03:29
*Forever Changing*
Post Count: 847
Many christians would be happy to see it, its large, but not as big as they want you to think, they want you to think they are untouchable, when in reality, they arent, we are just too politically correct as a society to prosecute lol.
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23 Apr 2010, 03:36
Music God CJ Plain
Post Count: 550
Actually, I believe just the opposite. The Catholic Church has operated with pretty much unfetered impunity for centuries. Hell, they've created their OWN political state in the U.N. I'd call that pretty untouchable. Unless the U.N. is suddenly willing to risk what will happen. I'd bet the more logical solution comes in the form that their will be a HUGE purging inside the church.
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23 Apr 2010, 03:50
Chris
Post Count: 1938
The worst that'll happen in terms of the UN is that the Vatican gets ejected. But probably, the UN will treat it as a personal matter of the Vatican state, and it will be officially recognized as an impeachment, and a new pope will be chosen.
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23 Apr 2010, 04:01
Music God CJ Plain
Post Count: 550
exactly.
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23 Apr 2010, 15:10
Madeline Rain
Post Count: 151
What should happen is a purge from the inside. If the Catholic church were actually interested in doing the right thing and not serving its own interests, the Pope and all of his Cardinals would start denouncing instances of child abuse and sending the priests to be prosecuted in their own jurisdictions. Of course, that's never going to happen. Not when the church is more interested in lobbying against birth control than in protecting already existing children.
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23 Apr 2010, 19:02
Music God CJ Plain
Post Count: 550
I agree TOTALLY. If the Church DID do the honorable and MORAL thing...All these Priests would be turned over for prosecution and the Pope would admit his guilt and use ALL of the Church's resources to do whatever was necessary to help these victims. I don't honestly see that happening though.

I'm NOT Catholic and my honest opinion was that choosing HIM to be Pope wasn't really the best choice anyhow. When over 60% of your Church is of Hispanic origin...I think the smart choice would have been to go in that direction. Not to mention his involvement with the Nazi party many years ago. I think he was just a VERY poor choice.
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23 Apr 2010, 17:52
jessi bear(:
Post Count: 300
i agree that many christians would care. i am christian and if the pope were an honorable man, then i would care.. however, what he's done is absolutely horrible, and he should be held to the laws that the rest of the world lives by.
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23 Apr 2010, 15:07
Madeline Rain
Post Count: 151
Really? You don't think that the Catholic population is as large as "they" want you to believe? First of all, who are "they"? Second, As far as I know, Catholicism is a Christian religion. The first Christian religion, actually.

And just to throw some numbers out there; there are over a billion Catholics in the world. I'd say that's a lot.

Here's my source: http://www.zenit.org/article-18894?l=english
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23 Apr 2010, 20:12
*Forever Changing*
Post Count: 847
I know how many Catholic people there are in the world, AGAIN it is my opinion, which I have a right too. Yes catholicism is a Christian religion, but I for one do not even group catholics in the same religion as me (christianity). Its the way I feel, they are their own little religion. And no I dont do not think its as big as they want you to believe, they being the catholics. Period.
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23 Apr 2010, 20:36
Madeline Rain
Post Count: 151
I don't think you know the difference between opinion and fact. An opinion is a belief, whilst a fact can be emprically proven. It is a fact that there are over one billion Catholics in the world. Whether you want to believe that's a large enough group to be considered significant is your opinion, but I'd say that that one seventh of the world's population is pretty significant.

Another fact: Catholicism is a Christian religion. Just because you are of the opinion that they're not, doesn't take away from the fact that not only are they Christian, but they were the first Christian religion to ever exist.
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23 Apr 2010, 20:40
*Forever Changing*
Post Count: 847
You think its significant, I dont, see thats called opinion there. That is all I was stating. I am not going to sit here and argue something that doesnt matter to me anyway. I am not a fan of Catholicism period, never have been, never will be. I gave my opinion on a thread where it was asked of me. I am in far too crappy of a mood to sit here and argue semantics with you.
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