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Should the Pope be arrested?

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Posted

I don't think he is above the law and from what I've read there is definitely some questionable activity on his part that should be investigated. I do find it a bit annoying that staunch atheist are pushing the issue but then again who else is going to do it? To take someone as powerful as the Pope down it's going to need some big name non affiliated people to back.

Interested to hear you take.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/04/11/world/international-us-britain-pope-arrest.html

LONDON (Reuters) - British author and atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins will try to have Pope Benedict arrested to face questions over the Catholic church's child abuse scandal when he visits Britain later this year, one of his lawyers said Sunday.

Dawkins, a scientist and outspoken critic of religion, has asked human rights lawyers to examine whether charges could be brought against the pope.

The four-day trip, from September 16 to 19, will be the first papal visit since Pope John Paul II's pastoral visit in 1982 and is the first official papal visit to Britain.

The Catholic church has rejected claims the pope helped to cover up abuse by priests and the Vatican has accused the media of waging a "despicable campaign of defamation" against him.

Dawkins and the English journalist Christopher Hitchens have commissioned lawyers Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens to explore ways of taking legal action against the pope.

In an email to Reuters, Stephens said there are three possible approaches: a complaint to the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands, a private or public prosecution "for crimes against humanity" or a civil case.

They will argue that the pope does not have diplomatic immunity from prosecution as a head of state because the Vatican has "permanent observer status" at the United Nations rather than full membership and voting rights.

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Posted

Who has the authority to arrest him? Vatican city is a sovereign state and extradition is impossible.

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Posted

I think Dawkins would be foolish to challenge the most powerful unified religious force in the world like this.

Jase,

If the Pope is in Britain then British authorities COULD arrest him. Whether they will or not is another question.

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Posted

If there is proof that he acted willfully to cover up known crimes (or committed them), then yes he should be punished, but by who?

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Posted

When he visits the UK.

They will argue that the pope does not have diplomatic immunity from prosecution as a head of state because the Vatican has "permanent observer status" at the United Nations rather than full membership and voting rights.

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Posted

This will be interesting, but legally they don't have much leeway here.

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Posted

This is a hell of a publicity stunt if he can pull it off.

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Posted

If UK authorities arrest the Pope, it would be a poostorm. Domestically and internationally. They won't do it.

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Posted

This is an atheist's wet dream.

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Posted

This is a hell of a publicity stunt if he can pull it off.

yeah that's the part I don't like about it but then if the Pope deserves to be arrested and it's the right thing to do then anyone attempting to arrest him will be accused of pulling a publicity stunt.

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Posted

When he visits the UK.

Sounds like an act of war... can't wait to see what kind of secret dark army of winged demons the vatican has.

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Posted

I wish we still had Abu Ghraib so we could send him there.

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