Monday, 22 March 2010

Can a Pope Resign?

In view of the Pope's involvement in the suppression of reports of sexual molestation of children by priests, shouldn't he be asked to resign? He has issued a letter of apology to the people of Ireland. An article in The Observer calls the Catholic church arrogant, corrupt and secretive.

The NSS Director, Keith Porteus Wood has challenged the Vatican at the UN over failure to tackle child abuse.

Last week Christopher Hitchens wrote a piece on the history of the whole business and Cardinal Ratzinger's involvement, before he became pope, under the title The Great Catholic Coverup. He was in charge of the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" (aka the Inquisition!). In this role he issued a confidential letter to every bishop, reminding them of the extreme gravity of reporting abuse. Such accusations were only treatable within the church's own exclusive jurisdiction. Any sharing of the evidence with legal authorities or the press was forbidden. Charges were to be investigated "in the most secretive way ... restrained by a perpetual silence ... and everyone ... is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office … under the penalty of excommunication."

If anyone in any other responsible office issued such an instruction surely all hell would break loose in the press condemning such actions as clearly illegal. Yet the Queen and Prime Minister will be welcoming this man to this country as a Head of State.

The BHA supports the Protest the Pope campaign.


  1. Graham Martin-Royle24 March 2010 at 20:52

    This man should be arrested for perverting the course of justice when he arrives. He most certainly should not be treated as an honoured guest. As you say, if this was anything other than a religion, the organisation he heads would have had the police crawling all over it by now and as the CEO he himself would have been under investigation.

  2. The newswaves have been full of this story non-stop over the past week. With stories not only from Ireland but Germany and the US, in fact all over the world. Here are two links to stories in the Freethinker which include brilliant cartoons.

    Unfortunately it seems the Pope is immune to arrest due to being a head of state.

  3. Graham Martin-Royle29 March 2010 at 15:51

    We should no longer recognise the vatican as a state. We do not recognise any other religions in this way and the rcc should be no different.

    For a different take on this, have a look at the Daily Mash.