I sorta feel like a parent walking into my children’s fight an hour after it started at this point, but there’s apparently a row over whether the “Arrest the Pope” movement will hurt skepticism as a whole. The issue smacks heavily of the Framing Wars. Again. It’s creating a great rift. Again. And it’s annoying the piss outta me. AGAIN.
The rundown for those not in the know: Pope Benedictine XVI (AKA Ratzinger) is in hot water over some concrete proof that emerged very recently, showing that as a Cardinal, he delayed and interfered in the investigation of a pederast priest. This amongst dozens of other allegations. The case against him is actually quite strong, as outlined by human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robinson. The defense seems to be as follows: Bush granted him diplomatic immunity in the US; as head of a state he’s got diplomatic immunity everywhere anyway; and as Pope, he’s the infallible emissary of God on Earth so all this bad press is merely Satan’s way of trying to tear down the holy church.
Smelling blood in the water, evil godless heathen Richard Dawkins and fellow baby-eater Christopher Hitchens discussed the possibility of bringing charges against the Pope to either the International Criminal Court or the Crown Prosecution when he makes a visit to beatify some crufty, old, largely unimportant theist or other of the 19th century. Between them, they came to the conclusion that a human rights lawyer would be the best person to contact, and they ended up getting in touch with the same Geoffrey Robinson of the aforementioned Guardian article.
What merely amounts to a side-note now is the fact that a Rupert Murdoch paper incorrectly titled an article on the subject that went something along the lines of “Richard Dawkins will personally cuff the Pope; Hitchens will ‘Book ‘im Dan-o'”. This caused the initial uproar and much of the retardery about Dawkins being a bomb-tosser that one wouldn’t want to be associated with. Some wags envision it going thusly, a la Bad Boys, though I prefer this imagining: