What do you think about the pope getting arrested?

If you haven’t heard, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are attempting to arrest Pope Benedict XVI. From what I gather (and correct me if I’m wrong), the reason for the arrest is because the pope and the Church as a whole have somewhat blown off the fact that so many leaders of the Catholic Church have gotten in trouble for child molestation. While Dawkins and company do not blame the present pope for past actions, they do hold the pope accountable for the lack of efforts against these problems.

Read the news for yourself before you answer, but I want to know your opinion. Will this help anything? Will it make matters worse? Is this necessary? Etc.

Let’s get some intelligent conversations going here people… :)

Answer #1

Well, I saw something strangely close to this on the news. The thing that the church does is, not say a word and holds this as a policy. In other words, I think the pope is well aware of what some of the church leaders do molest the altar boys. With this kind of knowledge in hand and simply saying, keep your mouths shut is almost like saying, you can do it, just don’t tell anyone.

It’s immoral coming from a factor of civilization that always claims to provide morals. I have to agree with Dara that arresting the pope won’t do anything, disrupting the flow in which they keep their information flowing will. I think this is acting like a hydra, cut off its head and it grows it back.

I have a feeling, since the pope might have knowledge of what’s going on they would try and use persuasion methods to get it out of him. It’s not a reliable way of doing things and I’m not certain that this is what they plan to do but I think it’s something that they might think of doing. Either way, I think its clear that the elected officials of the church should probably be observed more carefully. The number of leaders that molest altar boys is populating quite a bit. Finding a rational solution might take quite a bit of time. Either way, arresting the pope won’t do anything. At least thats what I think.

Answer #2

This particular Pope is more than the face of the Catholic Church… For over 23 years – until his election as pope – he headed the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, meaning that he was also responsible for dealing with reports of sexual abuse. From 1981, Cardinal Ratzinger (the Pope) exercised this power. For decades, Ratzinger accepted the fact that little attention was paid to the problem of sexual abuse. Instead he focused on reprimanding Latin American church activists who advocated liberation theology, a movement that defines the teachings of Jesus Christ differently, as well as feuding with controversial critics of the Catholic Church such as Eugen Drewermann and Hans Küng. His rare public statements during this period were dedicated to pet topics like “faith and reason.”

It wasn’t until 2001, after a sexual abuse scandal had rocked the Catholic Church in the US, that Cardinal Ratzinger took action. He decreed that the local churches now had to report all such suspected cases to his offices of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome – but under strict secrecy.

Monsignor Charles Scicluna currently serves as the church’s Promoter of Justice, making him, in effect, the Vatican’s internal prosecutor. Between 2001 and 2010, he investigated over 3,000 accusations lodged against members of the clergy who had allegedly violated their vows of celibacy.

In dealing with such cases, Church officials operate in a parallel world of murky legality. Clergymen play the roles of judge and prosecutor, files are kept secret and witnesses are questioned, but never informed of the purpose of the interrogation.

In 300 cases, the defendants were found guilty and given the mandatory maximum penalty: dismissal from the clergy. In another 300 cases, the defendants anticipated that they would be thrown out of the church and preempted this by asking to be dismissed. This group includes priests who had been caught with pornographic images of children. And around 1,800 priests only received a relatively mild punishment due to their advanced age: They were banned from performing the sacrament.

All the while, state prosecutors remained relatively powerless to counter the church’s leniency – mainly because they knew nothing about the offenses committed. When there is no plaintiff, there is no judge. As long as church officials did not file official complaints and succeeded in persuading the victims’ families not to report offenses to the authorities, then the Catholic Church could continue to act within its own realm, and beyond the reach of secular laws. Up until now, nobody from the outside world has been able to do anything about it.

The whole ‘arrest’ scenerio is based on the fact the Pope was for many, many years the OFFICIAL person in the Catholic Church who was in charge of dealing with allegations and cases of sexual abuse.

200 deaf boys…sexually abused. Ratzinger was informed and did nothing… It was his JOB to order the investigation. That is why the ‘arrest’ scenerio is suggested.

Answer #3

Oooh finally an intelligent question, I thought this site was all about girls and their unusual discharge, I was about to cancel my account :-) Now, I didn’t know Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins were police officers :-) But the pope knew what was going on and was trying to make the world safe for child molesters. Yes, he should be held accountable. He is also trying to cause a massive genocide in Africa by preventing Africans from obtaining CONDOMS, indirectly causing the deaths of thousands, if not millions of human beings. Yadada mean? lol

Answer #4

In certain states any person that does know of a crime and doesnt report it IS arrested. It’s not that strange of a concept. And they’re not up in arms because the pope should have known what the thousands of his priests and bishops were up to, but that he personally ignored information that was given to him about molesting priests. Also, lets not be fooled into thinking the pope was blissfully ignorant of a world wide mandate that moved priests from parish to parish after they were accused of child molestation. He absolutely had a responsibility to do something about it. Accountability is the problem here. And no one seems to be taking any responsibility. Arresting the pope (not a practical solution by any means, nor one that is going to happen, but that is besides the point) will show the church that they are not above the law and they cannot hide behind religion to escape punishment. And as heavenlymind pointed out, it’s mostly a big show, but that’s ok. They’ve kept child abuse in the closet long enough. Time for it to come out.

Answer #5

“thats crazy but I dont think he should be the one blame…”

Why not? By saying nothing on the sex scandals as well as choosing not to do anything about them for years if not decades, he also has to take up some of the blame for all this furore.

The Catholic Church is a farce.

Answer #6

If you’re going to arrest someone, it has to be for their own misdeeds, not the misdeeds of their predecessors. Dawkins and company need get off the fence and state the real reason they want him arrested - he personally swept pedophilia under the rug, which is a serious crime in most parts of the world.

Answer #7

@hysterical,

I see what you’re saying, but who doesn’t have knowledge of what is going on? We all do…should we all be arrested for doing nothing?

Answer #8

Here is an article about it by the way. No, I’m not soliciting. As an advisor I’m well aware of the rules. This may help you understand things better than I can explain though.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/apr/13/pope-prosecution-dawkins

Answer #9

I doubt he can be held responsible for the actions of other individuals against the Church´s doctrines and without his consent, he could be held responsible for suppression of evidence, but he could say he simply did not believe it was true, unless there are proofs he did believe it was true.

Answer #10

*Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2005–he hasn’t chosen not to do anything for decades…

True, as POPE it has not been decades… however as HEAD of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith from 1981 until his appointment to Pope in 2005, he chose not to do anything for decades. The Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith is DIRECTLY responsible for ordering the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of sexual abuse by those representing the Catholic Church. During this time he had priests who were accused of sexual abuse moved to other parishes…where many of them continued their pattern of abuse.

Answer #11

Oooo ty…I like that answer :) It indeed is a matter of accountability, and that I believe is the reason for the arrest in the first place. Everyone blames Bush for crap that the government did as a whole, and they’re doing the same to Obama. While I haven’t liked either president, I must admit that the reason they got/get blamed for things is because they were/are the faces of a certain group, in this case America. The pope is the face of the Catholic Church, a group that has been fraught with horrid secrets for awhile now. If it takes getting the pope arrested to see some sort of change in the Church as a whole, I’m all for it. I don’t see much coming from this unfortunately, but it has gotten the media to turn heads a little bit. That may be the perfect push in the right direction.

Answer #12

For one Miguel (hysterical), she probably called you that because most of the readers won’t know your name :)

Quite frankly, I think this is all meant to make a point, not to actually get the pope arrested. It’s more of a bluff to finally stir some stuff up that has thus far been pushed under the carpet. I don’t necessarily believe that arresting the pope will solve anything, but I think the threat of it may at least raise some influential eyebrows so that some sort of action can take place.

In essence, I agree with the thought but not with the act if it actually happens.

Answer #13

:( Dara… You know my name lol…

Sure we know what’s going on, but what about the incidents that are kept secret? The ones that are out in the open are being taken care of so unless you decide to arrest news stations and every viewer then you’re gonna have your hands full ;)

I’m focusing more on the incidents that the public doesn’t know about, that the church has knowledge of. I think I wrote my answer a little off, do you see where I’m going now?

Answer #14

I definitely think it’s totally strange to arrest someone for not doing something. If that were the case, any person who knew of a crime and did nothing could be arrested. Makes no sense to me…what exactly do they expect the Pope to do? Single-handedly find and arrest every leader of the Church who did something wrong? That’s what the cops are for…

I’m not saying it’s OK that these leaders have done horrible things. But I don’t see how arresting the Pope will solve any of it.

Answer #15

@leevan, Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2005–he hasn’t “chosen” not to do anything for decades..

Answer #16

thats crazy but I dont think he should be the one blame…

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