Sunday, April 11, 2010

Arrest the Pope?

Now I'm no fan of the Catholic Church, or of the current Pope, but this is just ridiculous.
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”.
Unfortunately, even the usually more sensible Christopher Hitchens has associated himself with this idiocy.
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 supposed basis for this nonsense is that back in 1985, the Pope (then a cardinal) delayed the removal of a molestor priest. Was Cardinal Ratzinger a typical bureaucrat more interested in protecting his institution than the people it was supposed to serve? Yes. Is he some sort of heinous criminal who needs to be arrested on sight for "crimes against humanity"? Of course not. And the so-called "legal principle" used to arrest Pinochet was and is nothing more than a politically-based bill of attainder, whereby a single, unpopular individual is marked for arrest, while all sorts of others who have committed real or arguable crimes of equal or greater magnitude are left unmolested. As the article notes, the most recent use of this "principle" was employed by terrorist supporters in an attempt to arrest the former Israeli prime minister. 

The idea that a few people in a country can declare that specific individuals have committed "crimes against humanity," find a ideologically friendly judge to give force to their opinion, and put out an arrest warrant is extremely dangerous. If employed against a U.S. citizen it should be seen as a hostile act toward the United States. Dawkins and Hitchens are publicity-seeking fools who have unfortunately associated atheism with their idiotic campaign against the Pope. All it does it make atheists look like crazed anti-Catholic zealots, and gives credence to defenders of the Catholic church who already think their church and leader are being unfairly singled out for persecution.

1 comment:

  1. The pope admits and defends his cover-up of the sexual abuse of children. Which is obstruction of justice. Which is a crime.

    "Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "are particularly odious offences in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings."

    I'm pretty sure that denying the civil rights of children fits that bill nicely.