Monday, April 12, 2010
Some exciting news to report in the Catholic priest sex scandal. Two high profile activists and authors, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Pope Benedict XVI over his role in the cover-up of priest child rapists currently rocking the church to its foundation.
The pair believe they can use the same legal principle successfully used to arrest Augusto Pinochet, the late Chilean dictator, when he visited Britain in 1998. Benedict will slither into Britain between September 16 and 19, visiting London, Glasgow and Coventry, where he will beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman, the 19th-century theologian.
The Pope was embroiled in yet another controversy last week over the revelation of a letter he signed arguing “good of the universal church” should be considered above the defrocking of an Oakland, CA priest who committed sex crimes against two boys. It was dated 1985 and cleverly written in Latin, when then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with sex abuse cases.
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 lawyers Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens, 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 for prosecution.
Arresting Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of the 1.1 billion member Catholic church, upon setting his Prada-adorned feet on British soil would be an extraordinary historical event that would broadcast a message to the victims of priest rapists that says suffering will not be tolerated and justice will finally prevail.