Richard Dawkins calls for arrest of Pope Benedict XVI
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”.
As epic as this sounds, it’s not quite accurate. It gives the idea that Dawkins himself (actually, along with Christopher Hitchens) are going to wait for the Pope to come down his plane and, with a bunch of cops, take him prisoner.
Well, it’s not that much. According to Dawkins himself:
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:
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.
So, while Dawkins is a strong supporter of this initiative, the ones actually carrying this action are the lawyers.
Now, I am really doubtful that this is going to work. I don’t think that the Pope is going to go to prison, even though he should if proven that he knew about the abuses and did nothing to prevent more or to punish the sex abusers correctly. I don’t think that he is even going to face trial, even though, again, he should.
What I think is that the Catholic Church is going to lose a lot of support and credibility. And that is a good thing.
We know who Richard Dawkins is. We know he is using this situation to attack the Pope and the Catholic Church with an ungodly force.
But that is the perfect and logical thing to do.
One doesn't need to be Richard Dawkins or even a non-believer to be outraged at the thousand of abuse cases that the catholic church, as an institution has covered and, by doing so, condoned. Any person in his right mind can see that the catholic church gives more importance to its image and public relations than to the children's well-being, children that were given to it and supposed to be taken care by priests who were educated following the guidelines of such church.
The catholic church needs to lose part of its power, power given by many who trust it as a lighthouse in a sea of darkness. It's priests need to be distrusted at first and then gain the confidence they deserve, just like anybody. It also needs to be held accountable by the many crimes it has helped to cover, just to keep a good and holy image towards the world.
Of course, there are going to be those who will oppose this initiative. They will defend the church and protect the church, no matter how many proofs there are that show its abuses and how the abusers were protected. They are going to defend the Pope even if it is found out that he didn't do much to prevent such abuses. That is the kind of people who need desperately to believe that God is near them and is represented by a church made of men, and no matter what, they will prefer keep its crimes unpunished than lose that security that such institution gives.
But also there are going to be some that will stand for justice, even if that means criticizing the Pope. To them, my respects.
The Pope is very unlikely to stand trial. It would be great if he did, since it would show that no one is too high or too important for justice not to get him.