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Old 13.04.2010, 16:06
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'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins calls for arrest of Pope Benedict XVI

The Sunday Times
April 11, 2010

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.

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Old 13.04.2010, 16:10
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

Seems fair to me. I'm not sure the postcard vendors or the kiosk owners will be thrilled when His Hisness cancels the soirée to the UK, but I think that Dawkins is spot on. Lock up the dude from Vat City and a few of his entourage too, it was de-rigeur back in Medieval times to blame the clergy or the "other side" for all sins against man, why break centuries of tradition now; stands to reason - innit?
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:11
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

I wish them luck but it's more of a consciousness-raising exercise than a plan with any realistic hope of success.

Indeed, why should the Pope be above secular law in any way?
There is a case to answer but probably a weak one for Ratzinger. He's probably not as personally culpable as the current levels of media, paedo hysteria would like him to be.
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:14
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

Being an atheist myself I should agree with this however they have their own political minutes of fame to promote.
However we can all hope that we see the pope in court just for the spectical, unfortunately this is not going to happen.
Relgion pervades too much in society and as you are judged in court in the eyes of god and the pope is his sales rep on earth its probably not going to promote the catholic brand.
Pity think of the spin off in marketing.
They could have little dolls made of the people involved in the crime, a little like american wrestling.....

I've gone too far.
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:14
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

how can you guys be sure (or judge) just by reading few articles in the media
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:15
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

I don't see why the Pope should be above the law.
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:15
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

I'm sure it says in his work contract somewhere that he is in fact "above the law" bet yer bottom dollar!!
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:30
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

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I'm sure it says in his work contract somewhere that he is in fact "above the law" bet yer bottom dollar!!
That quote was incorrect Gwendy, I believe that it should read " You can rent away your bottom for dollars..."
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:33
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

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I don't see why the Pope should be above the law.
Is he part of the law by the way?
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:36
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

What laws apply to residents of the Vatican City?
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:37
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

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how can you guys be sure (or judge) just by reading few articles in the media
What are you referring to? The pope or dawkins?

No way the pope should be above the law and they are covering up sexual abuses etc. But I don't see how the pope has really committed a crime. Extreme lack of judgement in the 1980's perhaps but from that evidence it doesn't look like he's covering something up.

But id take even an idiot to realise that something is seriously wrong with the whole catholic system. Obviously not all priests are pedophiles but the numbers are alarming. They HAVE to change with the times and let preists marry imo. Anglican church has a lot less cases (although i've seen a few cases even then).
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:39
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

Interesting anyway, of course he won't get arrested, but it's a win-win situation for Dawkins, as he's either going to hinder/delay the Popes visit to the UK or show everyone that the Pope is indeed above the law. It's clear that any other person would have been arrested for covering up for Paedos the way he did.
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:40
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

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What laws apply to residents of the Vatican City?
No resident parking in Popemobiles, ....er, that's it....
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:41
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

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Is he part of the law by the way?
I don't think any religious group is above the law in the UK, even CofE types, but seeing as the CofE split from the catholic church a long time ago, I don't think the pope holds any kind of authority in England except as an object of devotion of his followers.
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:41
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

does he have diplomatic immunity?
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:48
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

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does he have diplomatic immunity?
Exactly my thought: He should not at all be above the law, but the letter is dated 1985, so it should be the law of the country and place where he lived then. I would expect that he has diplomatic immunity based on being the head of state, even if it is a very small state. Otherwise you could arrest pretty many leaders that visit the UK...
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:49
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

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I don't think any religious group is above the law in the UK, even CofE types, but seeing as the CofE split from the catholic church a long time ago, I don't think the pope holds any kind of authority in England except as an object of devotion of his followers.
OP mentioned: "when he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with sex abuse cases"
So deos it mean nobody lawfully investigated the case with the priests, but only church internally?
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:51
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

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I would expect that he has diplomatic immunity based on being the head of state
Do you mean the Vatican, or denial?

Last edited by sharkey; 13.04.2010 at 16:51. Reason: wrong quote
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:51
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

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What are you referring to? The pope or dawkins?

No way the pope should be above the law and they are covering up sexual abuses etc. But I don't see how the pope has really committed a crime. Extreme lack of judgement in the 1980's perhaps but from that evidence it doesn't look like he's covering something up.

But id take even an idiot to realise that something is seriously wrong with the whole catholic system. Obviously not all priests are pedophiles but the numbers are alarming. They HAVE to change with the times and let preists marry imo. Anglican church has a lot less cases (although i've seen a few cases even then).
True, he may, or may not have been involved, but this still leaves a problem.

The problem of the offences is much greater than the individual offenders, as it seems fairly clear there was a consistent policy within the church (not just isolated pockets) to move the abusers and keep it all hush hush, who will be held responsible for that policy?

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OP mentioned: "when he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with sex abuse cases"
So deos it mean nobody lawfully investigated the case with the priests, but only church internally?
I think the whole scandal is because the matter was only dealt with internally and the law was deliberately kept out to save the blushes of the clergy.

Last edited by vwild1; 13.04.2010 at 20:42. Reason: merged 2 successive posts into 1
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Old 13.04.2010, 16:55
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Re: 'Arrest The Pope' cries Richard Dawkins

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Do you mean the Vatican, or denial?
I thought that "vatican" is simply Latin for denial...

but reading the article again: It seems he was against defrocking priests who were sex-offenders. This does not mean that you cannot throw said priests into jail, does it? What exactly is the crime they want to charge him with?
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