Pharyngula

No sense of humour at all, Part II

I thought the whole Affair of the Mocking Memo was grossly overblown and absurd, but I had no idea how pretentious the Vatican could be. Now, because of an internal memo that made some mild jests about confronting the Pope on his British visit with the consequences of his policies, the silly men in dresses are threatening to stick their noses in the air, sniff, and refuse to come.

One highly-placed source in the Vatican said: “This could have very severe repercussions and is embarrassing for the British government – one has to question whether the action taken is enough.

“It is disgusting. Britain’s ambassador to the Holy See has been in to see the Secretary of State and explain what happened and this will all be relayed to the Pope.

“It’s even possible the trip could be cancelled as this matter is hugely offensive.”

Cardinal Renato Martino, the former head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said: “The British government has invited the Pope as its guest and he should be treated with respect.

“To make a mockery of his beliefs and the beliefs of millions of Catholics not just in Britain but across the world is very offensive indeed.”

Oh, “very offensive indeed.” Merely joking about asking the Pope to defend himself outrages the Vatican…but we’re supposed to overlook the effects his lies about birth control, disease, and the treatment of children have had on the world.

Stay home, Ratzi, stay home. Hide in your palace surrounded by your sleazy sycophants, and stuff up your ears when others dare to point out that you are an evil old man running a corrupt establishment.

Comments

  1. #1 jody001
    April 25, 2010

    What’s really sad is that it took an internal memo poking fun at the Pope to get him to threaten to cancel his visit rather than the far more serious and relevant editorials to arrest him over the child abuse malfeasance in his church.

    Again, I think the man’s priorities are in the wrong place.

  2. #2 Kobra
    April 25, 2010

    And nothing of value was lost.

  3. #3 warzypants
    April 25, 2010

    If they did decide to cancel the visit on the basis of a junior official’s quip, what a transparent fig-leaf of an excuse that would be, for avoiding a visit that could turn, very, very unpleasant for the Pope.

  4. #4 Stardrake
    April 25, 2010

    Sounds like Palpatine may have found a way to save face–pity he can’t figure out a way to take his medicine like a grownup!

  5. #5 TWood
    April 25, 2010

    This just gives him a reason to avoid the media attention that the arrest movement would have generated. Too bad.

  6. #6 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmx8NgQeUcvp-a8gPHX0gzJNQ7ij8B7xU4
    April 25, 2010

    Hmm, perhaps they are looking for excuses for the pope not to come (pun intended) because Dawkins, Hitchens et al might come through for us and arrest the protector of child rapists.

    http://itsabiggie.blogspot.com/

  7. #7 daveau
    April 25, 2010

    “To make a mockery of his beliefs and the beliefs of millions of Catholics not just in Britain but across the world is very offensive indeed.”

    Take a hint, buddy.

  8. #8 pcarini
    April 25, 2010

    Time spent whining about how terribly offended they are by some low-level functionary’s bad manners is time that they don’t have to spend defending their image from the child abuse scandals.

    Hell, if they can make a big enough fuss over this story maybe they can rape some more children while the rest of us are distracted.

  9. #9 tsg
    April 25, 2010

    Well, now we know how to do it. I suggest governments across the world start drafting their own “internal” *wink-wink* memos….

  10. #10 Holytape
    April 25, 2010

    Funny, when the Catholic church said that all other churches weren’t true churches and thus insulted the church of Britian, I don’t remember the Queen throwing a hissy fit.
    So even hinting that the Pope should justifying his position is an insult? Someone needs some medication.
    If I make a joke about his funny hat and his propensity to wear dresses, will the Vatican declare war on America? If so, I think we can take them.

    Sasquatch Jesus

  11. #11 Ol'Greg
    April 25, 2010

    Wow! Mocking is his krytonite then. Perhaps if enough governments mock him he’ll melt like the wicked witch and disappear, leaving his gaudy vestments in a pool of stank.

  12. #12 Griffintje
    April 25, 2010

    It would save the Brits a lot of money if the monkey leader Paparatzi stayed in his cage in the little town in Italy. Think about the benefits! Surely other people in the government should see these and propose even more serious lists of what the pope should do when visiting the country.

    In fact, every country which respects itself should do this. Just as they do to leaders of other nations which pursue political values opposite to theirs. So let the pope explain himself and his institute about his “morality” and his involvement in keeping criminals away from justice.

  13. #13 Ben Goren
    April 25, 2010

    I agree with the general sentiment. Once it became apparent that “Ditchkins” were serious about bringing charges should His Poopiness set foot on British soil, and that said charges would be devastatingly serious and with merit, it also became obvious that he simply can’t afford neither the risk of arrest nor the shitstorm that would ensue if he weren’t arrested.

    Whether or not the now-infamous joke memo was intentionally written to provide the necessary face-saving excuse or if it was something simply dug up and exploited for that purpose is immaterial. Something like this was inevitable.

    In and of itself, it might not be sufficient for He-Who-Vocalizes-to-Rodents to cancel the visit, but it’s an unmistrakable indication that he ain’t comin’ no mo’.

    Cheers,

    b&


    EAC Memographer
    BAAWA Knight of Blasphemy
    “All but God can prove this sentence true.”

  14. #14 Blondin
    April 25, 2010

    Well, good job well done, then!

  15. #15 Jessie
    April 25, 2010

    So now they are going to try to gain the moral high ground by deflecting all the attention away from their own wrongdoing. They will even get a grovelling apology from our spineless, boot-licking politicians, who will beg him to come. Clever.

  16. #16 Zeno
    April 25, 2010

    What a bunch of weenies. The guys in the Vatican wear dresses to hide the fact that they have no balls.

    (Now I have to go to confession to get absolution for that insensitive remark: “Bless me, Friedan, for I have sinned, my last confession was thirty years ago….”)

  17. #17 coyotenose
    April 25, 2010

    “the silly men in dresses are threatening to stick their noses in the air, sniff, and refuse to come.”

    Vatican priests, “refuse to come”?

    Does Great Britain not have enough vulnerable orphaned boys to get them worked up?

  18. #18 linux7master
    April 25, 2010

    Excellent. This was the plan all along, right? Surely the Vatican doesn’t actually think they are punishing Britain by not visiting.

    Additionally, off-topic, but has anyone else seen anything about this PLoS study on gene duplication? Popped up on my twitter.
    http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/biology/news-grand-signature-evolution-written-your-genome

  19. #19 pcarini
    April 25, 2010

    They will even get a grovelling apology from our spineless, boot-licking politicians, who will beg him to come.

    I’m sure the pope will come, once the government has officially genuflected enough …

  20. #20 kb
    April 25, 2010

    They’re questioning whether “the action taken is enough”? Because they were made fun of? But when it comes to the pedophiles, questioning whether their actions were enough is treated as a serious attack. The Pope doesn’t have to go to England. Didn’t they already create their alternate church so they wouldn’t have to deal with this sort of thing?

  21. #21 Andreas Johansson
    April 25, 2010

    man what

    I call Poe on the entire damn RCC. They’re being outrageous for teh lulz.

  22. #22 Ray Moscow
    April 25, 2010

    Not come to the UK?
    Tony Blair will cry.

    As a FB friend put it today,
    “Why the fuck are we pandering to this backward, med…ieval and frankly repugnant scumfuck whose “state visit” is about as welcome as a burst haemorrhoid in a haemophiliac’s arse?”

    Why indeed?

  23. #23 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 25, 2010

    “To make a mockery of his beliefs and the beliefs of millions of Catholics not just in Britain but across the world is very offensive indeed.”

    BoofuckingHoo. Bring on the mockery! If it makes Pope Nasty stay in his hole, all the better.

  24. #24 Jeeves
    April 25, 2010

    The junior official who wrote the memo should be congratulated as he has potentially saved the British taxpayer ú35million, which is no small sum.

    As for the mitred bastard not being arrested when he sets his foot on British soil, that’s what European arrest warrants are for. I’m sure that the legal team behind the threats could just as easily apply for one of those badboys. And then Il Poopa will have to flee to some country with no extradition treaty with Britain or the EU. Maybe Somalia will have him?

  25. #25 Sili, The Unknown Virgin
    April 25, 2010

    If I were a party leader, I’d be breathing a sigh of relief right now. He’ll stay away without their having to ask him to.

    Unfortunately I fear this is another instance of that law David refers to often enough: People loudly annoucing they’re leaving never do.

  26. #26 TWood
    April 25, 2010

    #11 – Wow! Mocking is his krytonite then. Perhaps if enough governments mock him he’ll melt like the wicked witch and disappear, leaving his gaudy vestments in a pool of stank.

    Or, fade into irrelevance

  27. #27 Nebula99
    April 25, 2010

    Well, I’m all for saving government money for important things, but it will be too bad if the whole arrest thing has to end on a cliffie like this. I guess the Fatcatican took it seriously if they’re too scared to come now.

  28. #28 Jon McCulloch
    April 25, 2010

    Offensive?

    Hmm. Perhaps it’s just me, but I find few things as offensive as covering up for dirty old men who like to fuck little children.

    But, then, I’m an immoral atheist and not a holy and annointed man in a frock.

    They really are a bunch of filthy scum, aren’t they?

    Jon

  29. #29 Jon McCulloch
    April 25, 2010

    Offensive?

    Hmm. Perhaps it’s just me, but I find few things as offensive as covering up for dirty old men who like to fuck little children.

    But, then, I’m an immoral atheist and not a holy and annointed man in a frock.

    They really are a bunch of filthy scum, aren’t they?

    Jon

  30. #30 bellerophon
    April 25, 2010

    So the old bugger might not visit here after all.
    Good
    He can f*** off as far as I am concerned

  31. #31 Lynna, OM
    April 25, 2010

    Rather than refusing to visit the UK, the Pope should get out more. It’s obvious that he’s in some kind of self-referential bubble, wherein all his errors and the crimes of his compatriots count as nothing when compared to his supposed direct line to God.

    Really, I suspect that even when the Pope travels, he is shielded from reality. The lack of perspective evident in the proclamations issuing from the Vatican, and the self-righteous stink that accompanies said proclamations, say, “I am not of this world, and my vision is hemmed in on all sides by sycophants.”

  32. #32 Bendigeidfran
    April 25, 2010

    He can’t hide dressed like that. If Mohammed won’t come to the mountain…

  33. #33 Seraphiel
    April 25, 2010

    What’s so offensive?

    All they did to this anonymous government employee was the very same thing the Vatican did for all their predator priests, for what is to all moral and ethical people a far lesser offense.

    Who knows, maybe if any of those child rapists had dared to question the Pope’s magnificence, they might have actually been turned over to the cops.

  34. #34 DMB
    April 25, 2010

    Unfortunately the Brown Government (which invited Ratzi to make a “state visit” in the first place) is just showing its usual “Let’s lick a few religious arses” stance with this ridiculous apology.

    Downing Street’s reply to the NSS petition against paying for the visit is instructive:

    http://www.secularism.org.uk/governments-response-to-nss-peti.html

  35. #35 Opisthokont
    April 25, 2010

    Interesting: when the RCC finds somebody doing something truly vile, they keep him on active duty and shunt him to another place. When the UK government finds somebody doing something barely objectionable, they keep him on active duty and shunt him to another place. Perhaps the Vatican sees these as equivalent offences? They probably want the rest of the world to think so.

  36. #36 daedalus4u
    April 25, 2010

    It is narcissistic injury. The same injury that the Emperor had when the child (truthfully) said that he had no clothes. What really hurts the Pope’s feelings is his understanding that the rest of the world now understands that he is just a man, and a pretty evil and wretched man at that.

    The Pope has demonstrated that he has no moral authority. Because he has no moral authority he is free to be mocked, just like anyone else.

    He is looking for an excuse to cancel because he doesn’t want to be served with papers or arrested when he is away from his castle.

  37. #37 sammywol
    April 25, 2010

    Pope Palpatine not coming to Britain?
    oh dear
    how sad
    never mind!

    The phrase ‘handy excuse’ does rather spring to mind. All day the BBC news has been reporting that a minor civil servant in the Department has been ‘transferred to other duties’. That’s sauce for the goose isn’t it, or does moving the perpetrator to another parish only work for child rape?

  38. #38 locka99
    April 25, 2010

    Who cares if the Pope comes or not? I expect the UK police & security forces would breathe a sigh of relief if he didn’t. As should the taxpayer. Sure it might upset some of the more ardent followers, but so what?

  39. #39 Flea
    April 25, 2010

    “No-one has lost their job over the memo, which was sent to Downing Street the Vatican and at least three Whitehall Vatican departments, and the civil servant priest who authorised it raped a kid has simply been moved to other duties another parish.”

    Somebody’s lost his irony-meter.

  40. #40 davem
    April 25, 2010

    Does Great Britain not have enough vulnerable orphaned boys to get them worked up?

    Nope, they’ve already been buggered by the local priests. The supply of virgins has been used up. Probably. We haven’t had an English RC scandal yet. No idea why, it certainly happened.

    I really want Ratzi to come here and get jeered. I’ll join in, given half a chance; my Dad’s memory requires it.

  41. #41 Katharine
    April 25, 2010

    If Ratzi thinks this:

    * Launch of ‘Benedict’ condoms
    * Review of Vatican attitude on condom use
    * Bless a civil partnership
    * Reversal of policy on women bishops/ordain woman
    * Open an abortion ward
    * Speech on equality
    * Statemen on views over adoption (change of stance)
    * Training course for all bishops on child abuse allegations
    * Harder line on child abuse?announce sacking of dodgy bishops
    * Vatican sponsorship for network of AIDS clinics
    * Meet young unemployed people
    * Apologize for? ?
    * Canonise/pseudo canonise a group
    * Announce whistle blowing system for child abuse cases
    * Go to job centre
    * Debate on abortion
    * All catholic schools should be free entry to all
    * Speech on democracy
    * Vatican and C of E funded committee on dialogue
    * Launch helpline for abused children

    is mocking the beliefs of millions of his coreligionists all over the world, then one can only conclude his coreligionists are freaks.

  42. #42 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    April 25, 2010

    Of course it is a wonderful idea if cranky (and creepy) uncle ratzi stays home ruling a mafia-style, corrupt, and criminal organization.

  43. #43 Sastra
    April 25, 2010

    Hey, at least there was no mention of the silly cracker belief. Or any of the other silly stuff about God or Jesus or Mary being carried up to heaven by angels. In fact, no mockery of any of the supernatural claims at all. Everything on the oh-so-offensive list, has to do with the institution and its specific interference in worldly affairs and politics.

    They’re apparently so used to people bowing their head in respect for the supernatural crap, they think it ought to spill over into everything else. It’s time their claims were dragged out into the light of reason. Nothing to hide behind, any more.

    “Those who believe in absurdities, will commit atrocities.” — Voltaire

  44. #44 M31
    April 25, 2010

    Little Ratzi-Popey got his knickers in a twist,
    Someone wrote a mocking memo and so now he’s really pissed.
    O what a sense of outrage, which is now so finely honed!
    Where was this self-same outrage when the kids were getting boned?

  45. #45 Haley
    April 25, 2010

    So, punishing the guy who wrote this awesome little joke by chastising and transferring him wasn’t severe enough, but priests who molest children should just be chastised and transferred?

  46. #46 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 25, 2010

    The man who wrote the mocking memo was scolded and transferred. Isn’t that the usual punishment for a child-raping priest? So what’s the Vatican complaining about?

  47. #47 RamblinDude
    April 25, 2010

    So who are these mocking “junior civil servants” who wrote the memo? It sounds like Britain has the makings of its own South Park gang.

  48. #48 skeptical scientist
    April 25, 2010

    They’re threatening not to come? What kind of a threat is that? That’s like threatening to bake someone chocolate chip cookies.

  49. #49 llewelly
    April 25, 2010

    … the silly men in dresses are threatening to stick their noses in the air, sniff, and refuse to come.

    Good riddance.

  50. #50 AJ Milne OM
    April 25, 2010

    And nothing of value was lost.

    This.

    Hell, if this is how things can go, I have to figure it might serve the world well if we had an organized cadre of folk whose job it was systematically to mock this nasty little nutter every time he threatens to as much show his ugly mug in public. Keep that wank home through the awesome, looming power of our standup comics…

    (/Yeah, that’s right, Ratboy. You just stay in bed today and sulk, now. Everyone’s happier that way anyway.)

  51. #51 Ben Goren
    April 25, 2010

    You know…I’m starting to think that this just might have been an officially unofficial “Fuck you!” to the Vatican.

    Here’s how it might have gone down. British and Catholic diplomats had a meeting over how to deal with the likelihood of Joe Not-So-Sincere getting arrested. I think it’s damned safe to assume that such a meeting (or discussion) has taken place; indeed, it would border on insane to think it hasn’t.

    And, at such a meeting, they would have to determine the chances of a court actually issuing a warrant and all the rest. Assume, for a moment — and it’s hardly a stretch — that they concluded that there actually is a significant chance of it coming to pass.

    Then, they’re left to figure out how to deal with the aftermath.

    If the warrant is issued and the Pope still comes, he’ll either be arrested (which is catastrophic for the Pope) or he won’t be arrested (which is catastrophic for Britain). Or, worse, the British (or some local British jurisdiction) will try to serve the warrant and arrest him, resulting in a Mexican standoff with weapons drawn.

    So, clearly, if there’s any serious chance of an indictment coming down the pipe, the trip must absolutely be called off at all costs. And, as I think any neutral observer would agree, there is, indeed, a very serious chance of an indictment.

    Therefore, the trip is off. But how do you cancel it? The Vatican can’t afford to wait for the indictment; that would be the worst PR disaster they could imagine. “Pope On The Run, Hides From British Bobbies!’ the headlines would scream. And they can’t very well just announce that the Pope has changed his itinerary and is off to the Cayman Islands instead, either.

    So the Catholic diplomats ask their British counterparts for a flavor: “Please, oh pretty please, manufacture an excuse for the Pope to cancel!”

    And the Home Office obliges with this memo.

    …and the big Fuck You? Well, the Vatican has no choice but to object vigorously to the manufactured misplaced memo, because there’s no other way that they can claim to be justified in canceling the visit. But the problem is that the memo not only isn’t all that outrageous, it’s heavily loaded with lots of sincere, good things.

    So now the Church is on record as being not only against but outraged by training bishops about the dangers of child abuse and dialogue with the CofE and having a hotline to help abused children and all the rest.

    As Fuck Yous go, this one is truly a thing of beauty. As the younger generation might type, the Pope just got pwn3d.

    Cheers,

    b&


    EAC Memographer
    BAAWA Knight of Blasphemy
    “All but God can prove this sentence true.”

  52. #52 Joe Fogey
    April 25, 2010

    I’m afraid cancellation is too much to hope for. That’s the trouble with religious people – they promise so much and deliver so little.

  53. #53 Danu
    April 25, 2010

    In response to daedalus4u #36: good call on narcissistic injury. I’ve long believed the whole Catholic Church has, as an entitity, narcissistic personality disorder. Here are the traits of NPD, and I think they all apply:

    1 has a grandiose sense of self-importance,
    2 is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love,
    3 believes that he or she is “special” and unique,
    4 requires excessive admiration,
    5 has a sense of entitlement,
    6 is interpersonally exploitative,
    7 lacks empathy,
    8 is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her,
    9 shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

  54. #54 The Countess
    April 25, 2010

    There are already Pope Condoms. They were made to mock Paparatzi when he rejected condoms as a weapon against AIDS during a trip to Africa.

    Pope Condoms

  55. #55 Kurt1
    April 25, 2010

    interesting.
    not the fact, that the vatican threatens to cancle the visit, but that they have a council for justice an peace. sounds like the ministries in 1984.

    and i think that they cancelled because they want to aviod defending their politics. the pope and the vatican don┤t feel the need to defend their ways, they never do.

  56. #56 pcarini
    April 25, 2010

    Assume, for a moment ? and it?s hardly a stretch ? that they concluded that there actually is a significant chance of [the British government issuing an arrest warrant for the Pope] coming to pass.

    And, as I think any neutral observer would agree, there is, indeed, a very serious chance of an indictment.

    What kind of crack are you on?

  57. #57 Oisin
    April 25, 2010

    Benedict’s visit to Britain will proceed. This memo helped the Vatican tremendously. Their official response, linked but not quoted above, showed that.

    The memo and the responses to it here diminish the standing of the pope’s critics. If you can’t see that a sneering memo of this sort emerging from the Foreign Office is a problem, your communications blindspots are about equal to those of the typical Vatican bureaucrat.

    The correct way for the UK government to handle the visit is to extend every courtesy to the church regarding security, logistics and so on, but to minimize official government involvement.

  58. #58 DLC
    April 25, 2010

    allow me to recommend Sarah Silverman’s idea that we sell off the Vatican.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bObItmxAGc

  59. #59 Free Lunch
    April 25, 2010

    Corporate presidents need to pay for their own security. Benedict is not the head of a country. No country in the world has an excuse to act like he is one.

  60. #60 red
    April 25, 2010

    I read the list. Most of it seemed like things you actually SHOULD talk to the Pope about it, and things I imagined the government would. Otherwise what is the point of his visit, he just says hi? It addressed are all stances of the church that concern much of the world, and need to be addressed. In fact, I am pissed thats not the REAL agenda. There were maybe one or two that would even qualify as jokes…but the rest would be on the polite version of my questions

  61. #61 Hannah
    April 25, 2010

    Well, if he decides to tuck tail and run rather than paying his visit, that’s fine with me. All it means for me is time off, as I plan to spend time at the protests being organised for this wonderful event.

    Of course, he could just grow a pair and actually face the extremely justified points brought up by this prank-memo. But that’s not likely to happen, is it? Oh no, he’d prefer to live in his little fantasy world where he shits rainbows and his words turn into flowers and bunnies bringing peace to the world.

    Arsehole.

  62. #62 Evilarm
    April 25, 2010

    This seems more like a reward than a punishment

  63. #63 boygenius
    April 25, 2010

    Oisin #57:

    The correct way for the UK government to handle the visit is to extend every courtesy to the church regarding security, logistics and so on, but to minimize official government involvement.

    What the fuck are you on about? Who else but the government can officially provide logistics, security and so on? Minimize official government involvement?

    Please explain.

  64. #64 Jeeves
    April 25, 2010

    boygenius

    What the fuck are you on about? Who else but the government can officially provide logistics, security and so on? Minimize official government involvement?

    I think what’s meant by that is that the government provides the bare necessities (security etc) but doesn’t hold any state functions, so no dinner at Downing Street or Buck Palace and no meetings with ministers. It would actually be a pretty hefty diplomatic snub, a HoS would expect all those things during a state visit, and would probably also avoid offending the majority of British Catholics, because they’d still get to fawn over the old coot.

  65. #65 negentropyeater
    April 25, 2010

    That an unnamed “highly-placed source in the Vatican” gets quoted in the torygraph (not known for high journalistic integrity) for suggesting that “it’s possible that the trip could be cancelled” is zero evidence that Ratzinger won’t come to the UK in September …

  66. #66 Ben Goren
    April 25, 2010

    pcarini, your snippage is quite misleading.

    Of course it wouldn’t be the Foreign Office or #10 Downing Street or even Scotland Yard issuing the warrant. They have neither the power nor the inclination.

    It would be a not-so-random judge somewhere, whichever one Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens present their case to. And if you think that “the British Government” would or could stop such a proceeding, then it’s you who needs to put down the crack pipe.

    Ever hear of this obscure concept known as the “rule of law”?

    Cheers,

    b&

  67. #67 Ellie
    April 25, 2010

    If the guy who wrote that memo looses his job over this it will be a travesty.

    Stay home Palpatine.

  68. #68 MadScientist
    April 25, 2010

    The trip *could* be canceled? Unfortunately those words ring hollow, as the words of a priest generally do. As Hamlet put it: “’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.” Anyone else find the church’s infantile responses to be utterly dull and indicative of the mental state of its hierarchy?

  69. #69 boygenius
    April 25, 2010

    Jeeves,

    Ah, I see. But what’s wrong with offending the majority of British Catholics? ;D

  70. #70 MadScientist
    April 25, 2010

    Oh, I see what they’re playing at … it’s all happened before – for example:

    State says we should recognize homosexual partnerships: church threatens to throw orphans out on the streets – the state’s official support for sodomy obviously makes it impossible to care for orphans.

    In this case a public servant (religion not stated) pokes fun at the pope: church tells members that pope may not visit because of the evil public servant; public servant must be burned at the stake to propitiate the pope. god. whatever.

    Goddamn, the church has some serious sociopathic issues.

  71. #71 Jeeves
    April 25, 2010

    boygenius

    But what’s wrong with offending the majority of British Catholics? ;D

    They vote :)

  72. #72 Rorschach
    April 25, 2010

    So this affair has given the pope a get-out-of-jail-free card and a chance to cancel his UK visit without losing too much face.

    I find it quite ironic tho that the suggestions made in the memo were actually mostly quite reasonable, it’s just the Vatican obviously that finds the idea of the pope speaking to young unemployed or launch a helpline for abused children “highly offensive”.

  73. #73 Cuttlefish, OM
    April 25, 2010

    If the silly men in dresses
    Will not recognize their messes
    Then the remedy, I guess, is
    We shall have to point them out

    If the pope we have offended
    Think but this, and all is mended:
    That’s no less than was intended
    (If there ever was a doubt)

    Should he stay away from Blighty,
    Scorn has beaten God Almighty–
    We should all exclaim “all righty,
    Then!”, and disregard the pope!

    But a cancelled papal visit
    Isn’t realistic, is it?
    Still, the prospect is exquisite…
    And a Cuttlefish can hope!

    http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2010/04/pope-reacts.html

  74. #74 SEF
    April 25, 2010

    If the pope’s visit to the UK isn’t cancelled but goes ahead, and if he hasn’t been arrested by September 19th, perhaps an act of (mock) piracy could be arranged to seize him and whatever pope-mobile armada equivalent he has with him.

  75. #75 ambook
    April 25, 2010

    I love Cuttlefish!

  76. #76 rusty
    April 25, 2010

    I thought they were meant to ‘turn the other cheek’…

  77. #77 MAJeff, OM
    April 25, 2010

    Just one thing to say to the Vatican:

    Queens, please.

  78. #78 boygenius
    April 25, 2010

    Going back to Jeeves #64,

    Wouldn’t denying the Poop the trappings of a HoS visit offend the British Catholics? I mean, sure, you let him come over from the mainland and provided for his security and all, but if all he gets to do is waddle around in Hyde Park for a day or two, wouldn’t that also hurt their feel-bads?

  79. #79 Daks
    April 25, 2010

    So when can we expect the yanks to send in the marines to “liberate” Vatican city – the pope is just as detestable (if not more so) as Saddam and the loot would be pretty decent and the weapons of mass destruction can be found attached to the crotch of any man in a silly dress. Hell, if he won’t come to us, fuck it send in the marines.

    As for the ‘memo’ was the auther transfered to a position where he would still have contact with other memos that would wrap up the parallel quite nicely.

  80. #80 Jeeves
    April 25, 2010

    boygenius

    Wouldn’t denying the Poop the trappings of a HoS visit offend the British Catholics?

    Sure, but if the choice is between that and no visit at all, I think they’ll take that.

    I’m from a family of British-Asian Catholics, and quite frankly, none of the active ones seem particularly bothered about Il Pampa’s visit. But then, they’re all pretty progressive. The Catholics of the Anne Widdecombe variety will probably shit a brick over it (and write angrily to The Torygraph and the Daily Heil), and say things like “you wouldn’t do this to a Muslim”. But, quite frankly, I think that these days they’re the minority, albeit a very vocal minority.

  81. #81 Kirk
    April 25, 2010

    this matter is hugely offensive

    Sometimes I clip articles from newspapers about religion.

    8 Nov 2009, The Public Editor of the NY Times, quoting Archbishop Timothy Dolan, installed this year to lead the 2.5 million ….

    Dolan said he was not trying to stifle dissent. “We welcome criticism of the Catholic Church,” he said.

    I dunno, I dunno. I think maybe they don’t.

  82. #82 Ryan F Stello
    April 25, 2010

    The guy lost his job. What action would be enough for them?

  83. #83 Invigilator
    April 25, 2010

    As someone who has written a visit memo or three for the State Department (cf. Foreign Office), I would guess that the author of this mild satire wrote it for a few office pals and had no intention that it should get out — which is one reason s/he probably won’t be punished too harshly. It is an embarrassment for the FO all the same.

  84. #84 Crudely Wrott
    April 25, 2010

    The thing that I find most offensive is how often and easily so many people are offended by reality. Especially by the silly bits of reality. Such as, “not everyone thinks alike.”

    Lately I’ve been really pissed off. Luckily, I don’t demand that others suffer with me. I’m big enough to take the punishment by my own self. Probably sinful of me but I’m too damned lazy to look it up.

  85. #85 Legion
    April 25, 2010

    Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.

    – Thomas Jefferson

    Sometimes, open ridicule is the best and only way to make a point. Good show for the chap who scribed that list.

  86. #86 DeusExNihilum
    April 25, 2010

    My view on the matter (in detail)

    http://splittingoftheadam.blogspot.com/

  87. #87 DeusExNihilum
    April 25, 2010

    My view on the matter (in detail)

    http://splittingoftheadam.blogspot.com/

  88. #88 John Morales
    April 25, 2010

    [meta]

    DeusExNihilum, your view is unknown to me, and I’m not about to click on your link to find out.

    I do know you’re a blogwhore, and too lazy to even adumbrate it in the comment, so as to entice me to click on your link.

    Bah.

  89. #89 DeusExNihilum
    April 25, 2010

    @ John

    I’m not sure that I count as a “Blog whore” yet as this is the first time i’ve ever posted a link to my blog on Pharyngula, and have only had the blog for a little over a week…So what you “know” is, unfortunately, pretty lacking in worth.

    But hey, read it, don’t read it, I didn’t write it for e-approval. PZ wrote about a subject And i’ve written about the same subject, so rather than condense my opinion into a paragraph I’ve linked to where i’ve talked more freely about it. People are free to click on it and read if they so choose, it’s not like i’ve begged people to read my blog.

    So don’t be a douche.

  90. #90 pcarini
    April 25, 2010

    Ben Goren @ #66:

    pcarini, your snippage is quite misleading.

    If so it was unintentional and I apologize. Would you be so kind as to tell me what was misleading about it? I took the bits I wanted to comment on, quoted them, and commented. I don’t feel I used them out of context or misleadingly. If you mean the spot where I paraphrased the subject, lacking from the quoted paragraph, in brackets, then I’m sorry I so badly misunderstood what you were talking about.

    It would be a not-so-random judge somewhere, whichever one Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens present their case to. And if you think that ?the British Government? would or could stop such a proceeding, then it?s you who needs to put down the crack pipe.

    I expect any suit brought up to be rejected outright on some pretext or another, the most solid presumably being diplomatic immunity. Frankly, I believe the UK will not countenance any official action or censure against pope. If that makes me a crackhead so be it. I do admit I’m calling this as I see it from an outsider’s perspective.

    Ever hear of this obscure concept known as the ?rule of law??

    Yup. It doesn’t apply to the pope, regardless of how much I’d like it to.

  91. #91 John Morales
    April 25, 2010

    DeusExNihilum, in short, your comment is that you’ve commented on it on your blog; incidentally, that a whore is only a whore after the second vending, and that I’m a vaginal irrigation device.

    Bottom line, after two comments by you, your position on the topic remains unknown to me.

    [...] it’s not like i’ve begged people to read my blog.

    Not as such, no; you’ve merely indicated that you have a view, and that to find out what it might be we should increase your hit-count.
    You gave me no reason to do so in your first comment, and you’ve given me a reason not to in your second. Good job! ;)

    My view is that the Vatican has seized on this opportunity to justify any future backdown, and to highlight their social power. I think that’s the consensus here.

    Yours remains unknown, after two comments here.

  92. #92 Rorschach
    April 26, 2010

    My view on the matter (in detail)

    It’s quite rude to just link to another place to look up your view on a topic that is currently being discussed here.
    Other people have blogs too and link to them, but they at least give the readers here the courtesy of giving their opinion on a topic where it is actually being discussed, i.e. this blog.

  93. #93 blf
    April 26, 2010

    The guy lost his job. What action would be enough for them?

    Neither the Rat (who should be, and then arrested), nor the people who wrote the memo (who should be promoted instead) were fired.

    Also, someone pointed out this 2nd story is in the Torygraph, which is not a very reliable source. Indeed. That same thought occurred to me, and to-date (as of last evening) I haven’t seen the story confirmed anywhere else. Whilst it seems in character for the International Child Rape Mafia, I won’t actually believe the child-buggerers are considering not coming until it’s confirmed.

  94. #94 Colin
    April 26, 2010

    Sadly for the UK, the BBC report that

    But Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said: “For us the case is closed.”
    Noting the Foreign Office’s apology, Mr Lombardi told the ANSA news agency the incident would have “absolutely” no impact on the Pope’s 16 to 19 September visit.

    On the other hand, he’s still available for arrest.

  95. #95 christophe-thill.myopenid.com
    April 26, 2010

    Someone should pen an open letter to the guy who wrote the “memo”, to tell him that it was actually a good idea, that he was addressing serious problems, that it could have led to a good discussion, that it’s a shame that things turned out this way instead, and that we wish him well for the rest of his career. Then we’d put this online, with a call for signatures. I hope there would be lots and lots of them. And then we’d send the link to the British government, and to the Vatican.

  96. #96 martin.benson
    April 26, 2010

    People have already commented on the irony of the civil servant being reprimanded for the memo and being moved to another department.

    But I’m surprised no-one has queried the lack of Christian charity and forgiveness shown by these people.

    (Unfortunately, according to the BBC – always a more reliable source than the Torygraph for news – the visit is still going ahead.)

  97. #97 defides
    April 26, 2010

    Any other type of organisation of human beings, confronted by such obvious contempt for its chief executive officer and the attitudes it propogates, would think as follows.

    “Wow. Look at this memo – dripping with contempt and bloated with vitriol. People really have a low opinion of us. We better get some good people together and put together some initiatives. We either gotta change the things we sell, so that they are more acceptable, or we gotta persuade these people that we got things right in the first place and they don’t have a full understanding. If we don’t do something fast, we’re doomed.”

    Of course, that’s not how religious organisations work. They just stick to the simpler response:

    “Waaaaaaaaaaaaah! Respect our faith, our FAITH, dammit!”

  98. #98 zorkfox
    April 26, 2010

    “We’ve got seven canisters of CN-20. I saw we roll them in there and nerve gas the whole fucking nest.”

    Or, you know, something where all those goobers get their just desserts. Seriously: who cares if they stay home? Why don’t they just turtle up in their little palace like a bunch of Alliance and leave the rest of us in peace?

    Or, you know, whatever metaphor you prefer.

  99. #99 OriGuy
    April 26, 2010

    So when can we expect the yanks to send in the marines to “liberate” Vatican city

    Paraphrasing Stalin: How many oil wells does the Pope have?

  100. #100 puzzledponderer
    April 26, 2010

    There are many thing to be said about this.

    1. The memo is not “hugely offensive” – it’s basically asking the pope to address everything the Vatican has piled up to hurt society. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    2. The pope and the rest of the Vatican actually have a right to be butthurt, though compared to all the literal pain and agony they have brought to many people all over the world, especially the children, they should probably better shut up for the benefit of cleaning up in their own garden.

    3. The pope and the rest of the Vatican have no right whatsoever to be protected from being offended or to demand such a protection.

    4. This is probably a very convenient excuse to avoid possible charges against the pope awaiting him in GB, a legal prosecution backed by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and a UN judge (Geoffry Robertson) and a human rights lawyer (Mark Stephens). Though one has to admit that the National Post did report that this wouldn’t affect the pope’s visit in September (and therefore hopefully not the prosecution in progress).

    5. The irony is breathtaking: “Senior Papal aides suggested the Foreign Office had not taken strong enough disciplinary action against those responsible for the document” – and that’s from people who make absolutely no useful move (let alone a ‘strong enough disciplinary action’) against people who rape, hit and abuse children.

    6. If I was Susan Boyle, I’d refuse to sing for the pope. What a waste of talent. You know what, Susan – sing for David Attenborough instead, or at Carl Sagan’s grave.

  101. #101 mattheath
    April 26, 2010

    They vote :)

    And soon. Isn’t causing embarrassment for a host government in the run up to an election what diplomats call “being a dickhead”?

  102. #102 Grizzly
    April 26, 2010

    I’d say mission accomplished!

  103. #103 IanM
    April 26, 2010

    Among the beliefs held by millions of Catholics, can we count the belief that a celibate priesthood is foolish and counterproductive, denying its priesthood normal biological function and restricting its priesthood to the sexually and emotionally stunted? Or the belief that women should be ordained? Or the belief that the church’s position on birth control amounts to the reproductive slavery of women as well as being a hazard to the planet? Would any of these beliefs – beliefs contrary to the Church’s orthodoxy but nonetheless widely held by millions of Catholics – be in turn respected and taken under consideration by the Church’s leadership? I think not. The Church gets all righteous about others mocking the beliefs of Catholics but, in the final analysis, the Church is led by hypocrites.

  104. #104 Cath the Canberra Cook
    April 26, 2010

    DeusExNihilum’s blog entry “Old man in Funny hat and dress Demands to be taken Seriously” is actually quite OK. He’s merely failed at netiquette.

    It’s OK to pimp your blog here, Deus, but you do need to give us a sentence or two explaining why it’s worth a look.

  105. #105 Louis
    April 26, 2010

    Wait. Some bloke taking the piss (albeit in a very accurate manner) out of the Pope and Catholic church potentially means that the Papal visit will be cancelled?

    Your Honour, I’d like several other offences to be taken into account…

    Louis

    P.S. Shorter Pope: My ball. I takes it and goes home. Thhbbbbbbbbbbt.

  106. #106 george.wiman
    April 26, 2010

    @Zorkfox #98 – I think ridicule is a far more powerful weapon than nerve gas. It doesn’t make martyrs, and leaves its target sputtering and looking ridiculous.

  107. #107 DeusExNihilum
    April 26, 2010

    @ Cath

    Thank you. I apologise for my lack of ‘netiquette’, as I said I’m very new to this and didn’t mean to piss in anybodies ear and call it rain.

    Again, Apologies.

  108. #108 chgo_liz
    April 26, 2010

    Apparently the visit is still a go: Leaked FCO memo ‘will not affect Pope visit’

  109. #109 David Marjanovi?
    April 26, 2010

    Unfortunately I fear this is another instance of that law David refers to often enough: People loudly annoucing they’re leaving never do.

    LOL! It’s Shaker’s Law, named after a moderator on the Richard Dawkins forums who noticed that trolls who “threaten” to leave always come back, and come back the sooner the more loudly and the more often they said they were going away.

  110. #110 chgo_liz
    April 26, 2010

    OMFSM, how did I mess up the tags that badly??

    Leaked FCO memo ‘will not affect Pope visit’

    BTW, Danu @ #53:

    That was a nice summary of the CC’s symptoms mirroring NPD. You’ve convinced me.

  111. #111 negentropyeater
    April 26, 2010

    Apparently the visit is still a go

    Why anybody would have thought it was cancelled based on a report from the torygraph that spinned a speculation from an unnamed “highly-placed source in the Vatican” is flabergasting.

  112. #112 tutone21
    April 26, 2010

    I am kind of on the fence on this issue.

    On one hand I think that what the RCC has done is vial, and Pope Ratzi has known about it for years. He Needs to be held accountable!! Not to mention the churches stance on other issues. And, He is being childish for even threatening to cancel his trip. No one feels sorry for you so suck it the fuck up!

    On the other hand I have to remember that there are lots of kooks out there, and the last thing I want is for these kooks to become well funded kooks. I don’t want to pander to his childish behaviour, but I don’t want to rial him up quite yet. I think that the RCC has been exposed and is vulnerable and not being dignant towards its head would generate sympathy during a time when it’s what they deserve the least. And those that are sympathetic will get money and have the opportunity to have their voices heard.

    So, is it better to punch him in the gut (figuratively) and chance the consequence or to grit teeth and smile knowing that the RCC is becoming more and more irrelevant?

  113. #113 Pluto Animus
    April 26, 2010

    The obvious explanation, that the Vatican’s outrage is just an excuse to cancel the trip and avoid the Pope’s arrest, has just one hitch:
    Why didn’t they cancel the trip outright, instead of saying the it might be canceled?
    Maybe they are looking for a deal: If the British guarantee no possibility of arrest, the Vatican will send the Pope.
    Such old-school, quid pro quo corruption. The Vatican will never change.

  114. #114 Gregory Greenwood
    April 26, 2010

    I was listening to BBC Radio 4 today and on The World at One they had a panel interview on the supposed rights and wrongs of the memo. The ‘panel’ in question apparently consisted of two Catholics, one really hardline the other less so but still woo-soaked.

    As might be expected, all the familiar tropes were wheeled out; we had a little light Fatwah-envy, followed by a main course of claiming that the memo amounted to persecution of Catholics by the government in the vein of the religious oppression and burnings around the time of the Tudor dynasty, all topped off with a claim that Britain as a society was discriminatory against religious belief itsef because most of us do not take religious fantasies seriously. (So the UK, despite having an established church, is apparently a society of ‘militant’ atheists. Hooray!)

    All in all, not a great day for BBC journalism.

  115. #115 Gregory Greenwood
    April 26, 2010

    tutone21 @ 112;

    So, is it better to punch him in the gut (figuratively) and chance the consequence or to grit teeth and smile knowing that the RCC is becoming more and more irrelevant?

    Wouldn’t ‘gritting our teeth and smiling’ also involve turning a blind eye to the epidemic of Child abuse within the Catholic clergy and the Church’s attempts to cover it up?

    Wouldn’t it also require us to ignore the church’s stance on contraception that has lead to an explosion in venerial disease transmission in the African Subcontinent and beyond, directly resulting in hundreds of thousands or even millions of deaths and ensuring uncontrolled population growth in some of the poorest societies on Earth, thereby preventing effective economic reform and, through scarcity of resources, exacerbating internecine violence and thus costing even more lives and generating yet more suffering?

    Finally, wouldn’t we have to ignore the Church’s openly misogynistic and homophobic prenouncements that validate the ongoing inequality and often violence faced by these groups accross the world?

    I am sorry, but I think the price of silence is too high. The Church needs to be called to account for its crimes. They cannot be brushed under the carpet in the hopes that the Holy See will fade into obscurity.

  116. #116 AlisonS
    April 26, 2010

    #16 Zeno, they may have no balls but they sure have a lot of dicks.

  117. #117 tutone21
    April 26, 2010

    @ 115

    I didn’t really clarify what I meant by “grit teeth and smile.” I don’t think innaction is appropriate either, but it might be better to go with the method currently being used. Every day more information comes out about a priest that molested a kid, and the church has done a really good job at taking that information and shooting itself in the foot. It might be worth it to see if we keep digging up information shwoing the pope is a quack that allows his priests to molest kids, mismanage money, stand against the erradication of life threatening disease, opress women, etc. and allow the catholics to turn away from the church. Then again, it might be worth it to have him arrested. I think that this might make him a martyr and could unite the church members. Who knows…maybe the RCC would lose a lot of power if the pope were arrested. I am just not sure if now is the time to do it.

  118. #118 Bride of Shrek OM
    April 26, 2010

    pcarini @ 90

    Ever hear of this obscure concept known as the ?rule of law??

    Yup. It doesn’t apply to the pope, regardless of how much I’d like it to.

    Actually that’s not correct and although the Rule of Law may be able to be applied in the domestic jurisdiction (if the pope could validly claim Head of State immunity), in an international arena it does. Head of State immunity does not apply in the ICC so the pope could indeed be trialled at that Court on Crimes Against Humanity ( which systematic rape and abuse of persons falls under). As long as the crimes were found to have been committed, or continued to be perpetrated, after 2002 ( when the ICC was established) then this Court can have jurisdiction over this matter.

    Prime example of this was Pinochet who thought he was going to tea at Claridges and ended up in the clink in Britain. I did my LLM in International Criminal Law under one of the prosecutors in that matter who describes the look on the Magistrates face as priceless when he saw the name on the warrant he was signing.

    At any rate whilst all the legal fumblings are occurring, part of the claim is (as an additional fuck you to the vatican) that they do not have valid statehood anyhow. The holy see was only established in the 20′s by Mussolini and the challenge is to show that a state cannot be universally declared by the unilateral actions of one nation ie Italy. If that were the case then it would create all sorts of repurcussions globally. To bolster this challenge it should be noted that the holy see does NOT have full state stauts under the UN but only has a unique “observer” status.

  119. #119 Bride of Shrek OM
    April 26, 2010

    Aack

    That first sentence in #118 should read

    Actually that’s not correct and although the Rule of Law may NOT be able

  120. #120 Gregory Greenwood
    April 26, 2010

    tutone21 @ 117;

    I misinterpreted your meaning. I can see where you are coming from here, but I personally think that it is very unlikely that the Pope will be arrested if for no other reason than his status as a nominal head of state, so the ‘martyrdom’ problem is unlikely.

    The suggestion that he should be arrested from a moral standpoint, however, may help to clearly express the UK rationalists low opinion of the Pope and the Church at large.

  121. #121 blf
    April 26, 2010

    As others have pointed out, Pope’s UK visit will not be affected by Foreign Office memo, Vatican says:

    The pope’s visit to Britain will not be affected by the leak of a memo from a Foreign Office brainstorming session that mocked the Catholic church, the Vatican said today.

    Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi noted the Foreign Office apology and said the paper would have “absolutely” no impact on Benedict XVI’s visit in September, an official said.

    “[The person who wrote the memo was] told in person that the results of that meeting were unacceptable and that it must never happen again.”

    The Scottish secretary, Jim Murphy, who is leading the preparations for the visit, described the suggestions in the memo as “absolutely despicable” and “vile”.

    The bishop of Nottingham, the Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon, told BBC News the memo reflected “appalling manners”.

    “I think it’s a lot worse that we invite someone into our country ? a person like the pope ? and then he’s treated in this way.”

    Let me get this straight&mdash:Telling the Rat his behaviour, and that of his minions, is unacceptable is “appalling manners”. Thank you very much, Mr Buffon of Nottingham: A fair number of people happen to think child rape, the covering up of child rape, and the hiding of the children’s rapists (plural) is not only “appalling manners”, but criminal.

    On more positive news, there’s apparently a real possibility the income of Rape Children for Christ could be severely affected, Catholic sex abuse scandal could trigger donations slump, Vatican warns (my emboldening below):

    Vatican officials fear the clerical sex abuse scandal could have a devastating effect on the finances of the Italian church, undermining what until now has been a bastion of the faith.

    Italian taxpayers have until the end of July to declare their income for 2009 and, under a system in force in several European countries, they can opt for a proportion of their taxes to be paid to the church.

    “The media always talk of class actions, compensation for the victims of abuse by the clergy and the legal fees which, since 2001 have forced the American dioceses to sell schools, hospitals, convents and universities,” the daily La Stampa quoted a Vatican source as saying. “But in fact the biggest economic damage is done by the collapse in donations.”

    In Italy, among those who expressed a preference, the proportion of taxpayers earmarking a share for the church rose to a peak of 90% in 2004. It fell slightly to 87% in 2008. That percentage was far higher than the proportion attending Mass each Sunday …Last year, they earned the church some ?900m (ú776m) from the state.

    With many Catholics across Europe saying the scandals have robbed them of their faith, there is a risk that this year’s income could be much lower. In Germany … pollsters for Focus magazine this month found that 26% of Catholics were reconsidering their religious allegiance.

    Oh please please please… Loose at least a quarter of your income (well, tithe-payers, actually) in Germany, and a metric feckload in Italy. You only get almost a billion Euros a year! In Italy alone.

  122. #122 negentropyeater
    April 26, 2010

    BoS,

    Prime example of this was Pinochet who thought he was going to tea at Claridges and ended up in the clink in Britain.

    IANAL so this is my layman’s understanding of the case. Correct me where I’m wrong:

    1. Pinochet wasn’t an acting head of state when he got arrested, the international arrest warrant wasn’t issued by the ICC but by a Spanish court, judge Garzon, in order to hear Pinochet on the alleged death and torture of Spanish naturalized citizens during Operation Condor.

    2. If the Pope is a head of state, he can only be tried by the ICC.

    But Art.1 of the Montevideo Convention defines the state as a person of international law that must possess the following qualifications:
    a. a permanent population;
    b. a defined territory;
    c. government; and
    d. capacity to enter into relations with the other states.
    Arguably, the Vatican possesses all 4.
    And Art.3 states that “The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states.”

    So I’m afraid Ratzi won’t be tried by a British court and Robertson will have to bring the case to the ICC and I really doubt it’ll take only 4 months for them to issue an international arrest warrant.

    3. Furthermore, the ICC defines crime against humanity as:

    Article 7(1):
    ?crime against humanity? means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a population?
    (rape is included in that list)
    But then 7(2) states:
    For the purpose of paragraph 1:
    (a) ?Attack directed against a population? means a course of conduct involving the multiple commissions of acts referred to in paragraph 1 against any civilian population pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such an attack;

    So Robertson will have to allege that the Vatican has/has a state or organisational policy to commit widespread child rape, which isn’t that easy.

    But Ratzi will surely make other trips in the future and there is no reason why they shouldn’t try to present allegations in the ICC and maybe get an arrest warrant even if it has almost zero chance of impacting this UK trip.

  123. #123 pcarini
    April 26, 2010

    BoS @ #118:

    Thanks for the clarification. When I said the rule of law “doesn’t apply to the pope” I wasn’t talking about whether the pope can be indicted or censured, but whether he will be.

    I really don’t like being a pessimist, but I believe the political will doesn’t exist to make anything happen. Or more accurately, perhaps, that a greater number of people in positions of higher power would rather the pope be left alone.

  124. #124 mabell_yah
    April 26, 2010

    The pope answers to a higher authority. He must therefore avoid even the appearance of accountability.

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