British author and atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins has backed a measure which could see Pope Benedict arrested to face questions over the Catholic church’s child abuse scandal, when he visits Britain later this year.
Dawkins, a scientist and outspoken critic of religion, has backed a move to ask human rights lawyers to examine whether charges could be brought against the pope.
Dawkins is supporting English journalist Christopher Hitchens, who has commissioned lawyers Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens to explore ways of taking legal action against the pope.
On his website Dawkins stressed that he “did NOT say ‘I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI’ or anything so personally grandiloquent,” but that he did support Hitchen’s initiative to mount a legal challenge to the Pope’s proposed visit to Britain.
“I am especially intrigued by the proposed challenge to the legality of the Vatican as a sovereign state whose head can claim diplomatic immunity,” he said on his site.
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.
A real atheist would send the Pope some flowers: he’s done more to discredit organised religion than Dawkins ever could.
Seriously though, the Church insists that they’re being demonised by the forces of secularism and modernism. When you’ve been revealed as an accessory in the rape of two young boys it’s not much of a defence, but stunts like this involving people like Dawkins do make it look like Ratzinger is ‘under attack’ and give him some cover while he plays the victim.