Arrest The Pope!

Postby Anna » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:12 am

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/commen ... 094310.ece

Richard Dawkins: I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI
Marc Horne

RICHARD DAWKINS, the atheist campaigner, is planning a legal ambush to have the Pope arrested during his state visit to Britain “for crimes against humanity”.

Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author, have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Pope Benedict XVI over his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

The pair believe they can exploit the same legal principle used to arrest Augusto Pinochet, the late Chilean dictator, when he visited Britain in 1998.

The Pope was embroiled in new controversy this weekend over a letter he signed arguing that the “good of the universal church” should be considered against the defrocking of an American priest who committed sex offences against two boys. It was dated 1985, when he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with sex abuse cases.

Benedict will be in Britain between September 16 and 19, visiting London, Glasgow and Coventry, where he will beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman, the 19th-century theologian.

Dawkins and Hitchens believe the Pope would be unable to claim diplomatic immunity from arrest because, although his tour is categorised as a state visit, he is not the head of a state recognised by the United Nations.

They have commissioned the barrister Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens, a solicitor, to present a justification for legal action.

The lawyers believe they can ask the Crown Prosecution Service to initiate criminal proceedings against the Pope, launch their own civil action against him or refer his case to the International Criminal Court.

Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, said: “This is a man 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.”

Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great, said: “This man is not above or outside the law. The institutionalised concealment of child rape is a crime under any law and demands not private ceremonies of repentance or church-funded payoffs, but justice and punishment."

Last year pro-Palestinian activists persuaded a British judge to issue an arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni, the Israeli politician, for offences allegedly committed during the 2008-09 conflict in Gaza. The warrant was withdrawn after Livni cancelled her planned trip to the UK.

“There is every possibility of legal action against the Pope occurring,” said Stephens. “Geoffrey and I have both come to the view that the Vatican is not actually a state in international law. It is not recognised by the UN, it does not have borders that are policed and its relations are not of a full diplomatic nature.”


By the way it not unusal to arrest a pope.
This did happened a lot in earlier centuries.
Mr. Dawkins is a real traditionalist.
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Re: Arrest The Pope!

Postby mwchase » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:37 am

Well, according to Dawkins himself...

http://richarddawkins.net/articleCommen ... ge2#478580
Needless to say, I did NOT say "I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI" or anything so personally grandiloquent. You have to remember that The Sunday Times is a Murdoch newspaper, and that all newspapers follow the odd custom of entrusting headlines to a sub-editor, not the author of the article itself.

What I DID say to Marc Horne when he telephoned me out of the blue, and I repeat it here, is that I am whole-heartedly behind the initiative by Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens to mount a legal challenge to the Pope's proposed visit to Britain. Beyond that, I declined to comment to Marc Horne, other than to refer him to my 'Ratzinger is the Perfect Pope' article here: http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5341

Here is what really happened. Christopher Hitchens first proposed the legal challenge idea to me on March 14th. I responded enthusiastically, and suggested the name of a high profile human rights lawyer whom I know. I had lost her address, however, and set about tracking her down. Meanwhile, Christopher made the brilliant suggestion of Geoffrey Robertson. He approached him, and Mr Robertson's subsequent 'Put the Pope in the Dock' article in The Guardian shows him to be ideal:
http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5366
The case is obviously in good hands, with him and Mark Stephens. I am especially intrigued by the proposed challenge to the legality of the Vatican as a sovereign state whose head can claim diplomatic immunity.

Even if the Pope doesn't end up in the dock, and even if the Vatican doesn't cancel the visit, I am optimistic that we shall raise public consciousness to the point where the British government will find it very awkward indeed to go ahead with the Pope's visit, let alone pay for it.

Don't really know if there's anything I can add to that.
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Re: Arrest The Pope!

Postby Ashes » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:45 pm

I wish them the best of luck. The church needs to learn that it is not above the law.
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Re: Arrest The Pope!

Postby strange_person » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:41 pm

Ashes wrote:I wish them the best of luck. The church needs to learn that it is not above the law.

Not anymore, that is. Canon Law has been slipping in legitimacy ever since they ran out of independently-verifiable miracles.
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Re: Arrest The Pope!

Postby masstreble » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:43 pm

Ha! Even when they try to vilify Dawkins, he still comes out looking magnificent. If you haven't done so yet, I recommend his books evolutionary biology. Very enlightening and even when he's being dry, Dawkins still manages to be keep it entertaining and the reader engaged.

In any case, the traditional Catholics wanted a conservative pope to wash down the last, weird one, and look at what they get. Remember what conservative religion looks like: cynical, blind, cruel and stupid.
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Re: Arrest The Pope!

Postby Tychomonger » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:44 am

The explanation I got was that they picked Ratsinger because he was conservative and old. They would be able to have a conservative pope for a short term before he died, and then move on to a more progressive pope once they were really forced to.
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Re: Arrest The Pope!

Postby Idiot Glee » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:03 am

Tychomonger wrote:The explanation I got was that they picked Ratsinger because he was conservative and old. They would be able to have a conservative pope for a short term before he died, and then move on to a more progressive pope once they were really forced to.


I thought they were afraid he could shoot lightning out of his fingers.

Anyway, the church needs to know this is 2010 and they can take their politics and shove them up there ass. The role of a church in politics is to stand in the other room, behind a very solid wall.

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/dear ... id=3799091

The relevant quote.
You might ask, Bishop Malone, what my father will think of all this. Joseph Constant died on August 20, 2009, after a long battle with acute pulmonary fibrosis. The sacrament for the sick gave him great comfort at the end, and I thanked the priest for administering it. But then, at a mass that was dedicated in Joseph's name in September, instead of a homily about how Joseph lived the kind of life that other Catholics should emulate—generous, faithful, good, true—the priest showed a video. You came on the screen that had been set up on the altar (as you did in all the other Catholic churches across Maine that weekend), and my family was forced to watch as you gave a hate-filled lecture about why Maine's pending gay marriage law must not be allowed to come into force, and then you had every church under your control pass the collection plate a second time solely to collect funds to fight marriage equality. (Thanks in large part to the Catholic Church's efforts—efforts that included threats to remove charitable Catholic organizations from the state if the law was approved—gay marriage remains illegal in Maine. You must be so proud.) You took an occasion intended to celebrate my father's life and spoiled it with hate speech.


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Re: Arrest The Pope!

Postby masstreble » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:40 pm

I think a lot of people don't understand how serious this whole thing is. It's not just the critics of Catholicism getting uppity, it's about defending the innocent. One of the reasons that the larger cities make special victim units, divisions within the police to deal specifically with sexually motivated crimes, is because a lot of types of what they call sexual predators show a consistent pattern of behavior. If you've ever watched Law And Order: SVU, they bring that up a lot, and not just because it makes for gut-wrenching television.

I live in Alaska, which is the number one state for domestic and sexual abuse. When somebody finally comes to the police, and they manage to pull off a successful investigation, they find that it's the tip of the iceberg, every time. For every one report they get, there's several people that remained quiet.

That's what I think about every time that there's ANOTHER group of kids in some town that eventually report that some priest abused them. I think, "So, how many others aren't? Or don't know how to?" The Catholic church certainly knows. They put a lot of effort to cleaning it up, and shuffling people around to hide it. Alaska used to be a prime dumping spot for these guys back in the day: I heard some old people discussing one person in particular down in the panhandle they put up here, and how legendary of a predator he was, actually joking about it.

If it takes some outspoken atheists to stop this, what does that say about the Christian god?
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