In an article in the Guardian UK, author Richard Dawkins calls for the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI during his upcoming visit to Britain in September. The charge, apparently, would be accessory to rape, based on the recent discovery that in 1985, the then Cardinal Ratzinger covered-up the torture-rapes by Father Stephen Kiesle. Ratzinger had Kiesle relocated to another parish, where he raped more altar boys.
Citing a recent precedent, Dawkins and fellow atheist writer, Christopher Hitchens, have asked human rights lawyers to prepare a case for the British government to issue an arrest warrant for the pontiff.
Visions of the Pope in nick will not come to fruition. The British government is unlikely to touch this hot potato. If it did issue a warrant, the Pope would simply cancel his trip, with some bull as an explanation.
Nevertheless, Dawkins’ and Hitchens’ gesture shouts out what needed to be said: by covering up — for decades — an epidemic of sexual assault by its priests, the Catholic Church has acted criminally. The church as a whole, and the individual perpetrators, who include Benedict, ought to face proscecution.
The complaint that Dawkins & Hitchens are atheists with an axe to grind is a non-sequitur. For decades, Catholics have been struck dumb and paralyzed when facing this issue. If they can’t do something about it, somebody has to.
(h/t Liberal in Paradise)