Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Skeletons in the Vatican's cupboard

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly): rationalist.org.uk

On the cover of our current issue, we have Martin Rowson's cheerful depiction of a policeman arresting the Pope on his arrival in the UK later this year. It relates to a couple of items inside the magazine. Firstly, there's the result of our April poll, which asked if the Pope does have a case to answer over the child abuse cover-ups. 10,745 people voted, and the results were as follows.
Do you think the Pope should face legal action over the Catholic child abuse cover-ups?

51% - Yes. This cover-up appears to go to the very top and its perpetrators must face justice.

22% - Yes. While it's unlikely the Pope will end up in the dock, suggestion of a legal challenge during his UK visit will draw attention to the extent of the cover-up.

13% - No. This is about many individual, horrific cases of abuse spread over decades. It is a distraction to try and attribute responsibility to one man.

1% - No. This looks like atheist posturing. We need to join with Catholics in calling on the Vatican to come clean on this issue, and talk of arresting the Pope will just alienate them
The second piece of content the arrested Benedict related to was a column by Richard Wilson, author of Don't Get Fooled Again: A Sceptic's Handbook, which I've just put online now. Richard says that the Catholic Church's disregard for secular legal authorities in relation to child abuse cover-ups is replicated in relation to many other serious legal matters around the world. Focussing on the Church's record in Africa, he points out that the Vatican has a very serious case to answer regarding the actions of some of its representatives in helping to protect war criminals.

It's a fascinating and disturbing take on the Catholic Church and what Richard calls its "murky relationship with the rule of law", and shows that child abuse isn't the only issue on which we should be holding the Church to account.


Anonymous said...

The Catholic church disregarding the rule of law? We should be surprised why? The Catholic church as with many other churches circumvent laws as and when it suits, or if it's possible they lobby and change laws for their protection and benefit.
Although, how you expect an organisation who believes in its own superiority, to worry about the minions of this world, I am yet to understand. We need to get to a point when we can look at all churches and organised religions and tell them that we no longer want to associate with fools that believe in fairy tales, and to leave until they can rationalise their own idiocy.

Eiskrystal said...

This organisation thinks that their god is the source of all laws in the universe. As Anonymous says, what were people expecting?

Human law is followed only when it is convenient, with constant reminders about how God created said laws in the first place dontchaknow.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure the online poll bears much further publicity. It was clearly pharyngulated and thus subject to sever self-selection bias!