Saturday, May 22, 2010

Author Sam Harris joins British to have Pope arrested: an appeal to FUND a legal bid to have the Pope arrested when he visits Britain



http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article7127805.ece

Author Sam Harris joins plot to have Pope arrested

Marc Horne

(Reuters)



Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves after celebrating the Chrismal Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican April 1, 2010.

Sam Harris, the atheist writer, has launched an appeal to fund a legal bid to have the Pope arrested when he visits Britain.

The American neuroscientist is seeking financial backing for the campaign that is being led by British writers Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. The pair have asked human-rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Benedict XVI over his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church.

Harris, the author of The End of Faith, launched his appeal online, stating: “I would like to announce that Project Reason, the foundation that my wife and I started to spread scientific thinking and secular values, has joined Hitchens and Dawkins in an effort to end the ‘diplomatic immunity’ which the Vatican claims protects the Pope from any responsibility.

“We would greatly appreciate your support in this cause. All donations are tax-deductible in the United States.”

The 42-year-old told The Sunday Times he had been moved to get involved after reading the findings of the Irish Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

“The evidence suggests the misery of these children was facilitated and concealed by the hierarchy of the Catholic church at every level, up to and including the current Pope.

“In his former capacity as Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict personally oversaw the Vatican’s response to reports of sexual abuse in the church. Did he immediately alert the police and ensure that the victims would be protected from further torments?

“On the contrary, repeated and increasingly desperate complaints of abuse were set aside, witnesses were pressured into silence and offending priests were relocated only to destroy fresh lives in unsuspecting parishes.”

Benedict is due to be in Britain between September 16 and 19, visiting Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and Coventry, where he will beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman, the 19th-century theologian.

Geoffrey Robertson, a UK barrister, and solicitor Mark Stephens believe the Pope would be unable to claim diplomatic immunity from arrest because although his tour is a state visit, he is not the head of a state recognised by the United Nations.

A spokesman for the Vatican insisted the Pope would enjoy diplomatic immunity and dismissed the campaign to arrest Benedict as a publicity stunt.

Comment

Robert Tobin wrote:
The "Holy" oman Catholic Church was founded by Roman Emperor Constantine I at the time of the Council of Nicea 325 Ce. It ruled the RFoman Empire with an iron fist, suppressing all freedom of thought for 1,500 years. It did that with the Holy Inquisition beginning about the 11th century up till the earky 19th century. It is about time this urhc that is based on a big lie and it's little Dictator Herr Papst Ratslinger was brought down.

I agree with Sam Harris and his words: "Religion poisons everything"
May 17, 2010 6:16 PM BST

Paul Brantley wrote:
My first reaction to the headline was bewilderment at the use of the word 'plot.' After scrolling to the comments, I'm comforted to know that I'm not alone.

'Plot' might accurately describe the efforts of the Pope et al. to cover up abuse; it isn't an appropriate description of the overdue organized effort to bring the real 'plotters' to justice.
May 17, 2010 4:26 PM BST on community.timesonline.co.uk
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Paul Brantley wrote:
My first reaction to the headline was bewilderment at the use of the word 'plot.' After scrolling to the comments, I'm comforted to know that I'm not alone.

'Plot' might accurately describe the efforts of the Pope et al. to cover up abuse; it isn't an appropriate description of the overdue organized effort to bring the real 'plotters' to justice.

May 17, 2010 4:24 PM BST on community.timesonline.co.uk
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Veronique Denyer wrote:
I have to join with the other two (now three) commenters in asking Marc Horne why he used ‘plot’ to describe the growing movement to attempt an arrest of the Pope once he enters the UK.

As a ‘plot’ it doesn’t even make first base – that of secrecy until public denouement.

It doesn’t garner either Horne or his editor any literary or journalistic points; it merely indicates their partisanship. Mind you, I have read Horne before and have not been impressed by his style or treatment of the content about which he attempts to sounds knowledgeable. But that is as is.

This time however it behoves him to think about what he is implying. The CEO of an organisation that stands accused (in the public eye) of deliberately putting its own interests above the interests of the children in its temporal care is the responsible entity. Any other organisation would have to front its CEO; why not the RCC?

After the public furore and disclosures of sexual abuse (and there’s more to come yet), a reasonable person would be entitled to ask why the CEO didn’t present himself to the secular authorities to answer the allegations that are being headlined throughout the world. By not doing so, that CEO is compounding what the RCC was trying to achieve by the decades of cover-up of sexual rape, abuse, impropriety and sadism – the stink that is the RCC is real.

No, Mr Horne – there is no plot – just outrage from ordinary people that hopefully spreads to all organisations that have the care of children (and other vulnerable groups) as their raison d’être and abuse that trust every day in some form.

That includes orphanages, old age care homes, educational establishments etc – interestingly so many of these sorts of organisations are run by the religious. Not all, mind you. But the safety of a publicly and/or privately funded group of this ilk attracts some pretty awful adults.
May 17, 2010 4:02 PM BST on community.timesonline.co.uk
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Peter Denyer wrote:
To add my voice to the previous two posters, the use of the word 'plot' is inappropriate (it implies secrecy) and simply shows the writer's bias. To be accurate, Dawkins and Hitchins aren't 'behind' the action and have not instructed any solicitors, they have just voiced their support.
May 17, 2010 1:39 PM BST on community.timesonline.co.uk
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Anna Crumb wrote:
You're showing your bias. This isn't a 'plot' - it's a cause or, at the very least, a move.
May 16, 2010 7:02 PM BST on community.timesonline.co.uk
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Ashton Black wrote:
How is it a "plot" ? Which implies some sort of wrong doing. They are trying to bring an alleged criminal to justice.

Good luck to them I say.
May 16, 2010 6:53 PM BST

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