Thursday, August 18, 2005

I wouldn't trust this man around my child, would you?

On a related note, Ratzinger’s lawyers are trying to stop him from being sued in a child molesting case in the US. He’s being sued because in a letter to the bishops written in 2001, while he was head of the renamed Inquisition, he informed that cases of child abuse ought to be kept secret. Which brings me to ask whether ordering others to protect child-molesters isn’t against the law? I mean, what if I was the head of a company’s security department who told the employees not to inform the police of any cases of child abuse they were aware of? Of course, Ratzinger isn’t running a company – his lawyers are claiming that he is the head of a state. Which only makes it worse. Imagine that the Minister of Internal Affairs of some country sends out a letter to its foreign representatives that they are to hide the citizens who have committed crimes from the legal authorities of whatever country they committed those crimes in. Aiding and abetting? Criminal conspiracy? I have no idea how the law, including international law, would precisely deal with that but I suspect that it wouldn’t be very nice. Certainly, if I heard of such a case of assisting in the escape of child-molesters I would not allow the suspect into my country for a meeting of world youth. Or, perhaps, I would but only so as to send him to The Hague.

Which all raises the important question of what should be the status of the Vatican. Is it a multinational organisation or is it a state? Once again, it seems that The Church wants to have its communion wafer and to eat it at the same time. The claim will be that it is different again – a one off – but we don’t have to buy into that, thankfully. After all, by rights, if the Catholics can do it then every religion ought to be able to stick a flag up its pole and claim territorial sovereignty over some sod of earth. And, if the religions can then the atheists should not be discriminated against...

I, hereby, claim this quarter-acre lot for Atheistan and declare myself its ruler-for-life! (I just hope my wife doesn’t hear that last bit.)


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