Richard Dawkins: I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI (1 Viewer)

Hist

Founder of Hism
Jan 18, 2009
9,774
#1
Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7094310.ece

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 The warrant was withdrawn after Livni cancelled her planned trip to the UK.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.”


I hope Saudi Arabia is next!
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,831
#2
Saw that in the paper. Have to say I'm skeptical to put it mildly. Has the Pope ever been put under arrest by anyone before? Like ever? My guess would be no. So I don't expect too much out of this.
 

Kyle

Work in Progress
Contributor
Sep 4, 2006
71,347
#3
It won't happen. Arresting the Pope would only cause more trouble than good even if he should be held to the same standards of law as others, he isn't and he won't be here.

Wow, a Nazi who hides child rape. Those Catholics show know how to pick em.
 
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Hist

Hist

Founder of Hism
Jan 18, 2009
9,774
#5
Saw that in the paper. Have to say I'm skeptical to put it mildly. Has the Pope ever been put under arrest by anyone before? Like ever? My guess would be no. So I don't expect too much out of this.
This is actually quite Interesting if he is legally not immune.

See if he does get arrested it would be one hell of a scandal for the catholic church as the holy spirit must have guided him to prison.

If he doesn't get arrested yet legally should, it would still be a scandal of great injustice where religious authorities are above the law.. etc.

So either way, they are fucked if Dawkins has a real case.
 

Kyle

Work in Progress
Contributor
Sep 4, 2006
71,347
#7
Dawkins is a stupid cunt but he has brought up a good point, the pope shouldn't be above the law.
 
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Hist

Hist

Founder of Hism
Jan 18, 2009
9,774
#8
a few were... but this is clutching at straws and of course a publicity stunt from an attention whore
If he is going to make a difference then he needs this attention.

Thats actually great thinking.. hitting two birds with one stone (putting the pope to justice & making great publicity out of it).
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,831
#9
a few were... but this is clutching at straws and of course a publicity stunt from an attention whore
He's the guy at the top of the pyramid, like a mafia boss if you will. Is it clutching at straws to arrest a mafia boss for the orders he gave down the line?

Fact is there are British citizens who have a legitimate case here. It makes sense. Oh wait, if only he wasn't the Pope, that is. Just a regular citizen who isn't above the law.
 

*aca*

Senior Member
Jul 15, 2002
869
#11
first, Dawkins on the above mentioned article

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.

Richard
http://richarddawkins.net/articleCo...ct-XVI,Marc-Horne----TimesOnline,page2#478580
 

*aca*

Senior Member
Jul 15, 2002
869
#12
second, the lawyer who was put in charge of examining if there is grounds to seek pope's arrest, after noting that holy sea is the signatory to International Criminal Court:

But head of state immunity provides no protection for the Pope in the International Criminal Court. The ICC statute definition of a crime against humanity includes rape and sexual slavery and similarly inhumane acts causing harm to mental or physical health, committed against civilians on a widespread or systematic scale, if condoned by a government or a de facto authority.

If acts of sexual abuse by priests are not isolated or sporadic, but part of a wide practice both known to and unpunished by their de facto authority then they fall within the temporal jurisdiction of the ICC - if that practice continued after July 2002, when the court was established.
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/socie...or-crimes-against-humanity-20100403-rkro.html
 

*aca*

Senior Member
Jul 15, 2002
869
#13
third, i don't carry any real hope of this ever happening. It is simply too good to be true, but this can and will cause great embarrassment to the holders of the one and only truth and expose them further as hypocrites.

Needles to say, I'm loving it :martini:
 

Bjerknes

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2004
101,474
#14
What I fail to understand is why aren't there death threats out against Dawkins and why isn't he under police protection? Surely the Catholics will want to stone him to death after this...
 

Zlatan

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2003
23,023
#16
TBH, while the question of diplomatic immunity is interesting, IMO there is no way for a case before the ICC, neither by jurisdiction ratione temporis nor is the "widespread and systematic" threshold for crimes against humanity intended for such cases AFAIK.


Still, would be cool if it happened :D
 

Nenz

Senior Member
Apr 17, 2008
10,054
#20
This just goes to show Dawkins is just a fucking idiot :lol: trying to arrest the pope. There would be havoc. His cause is just though. I don't necessarily like Pope Benedict.
 

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