The Pope Should What Now?

Why Should the Pope Stand Trial?

Dr. Richard Dawkins opines that the Pope should stand trial for... well, see for yourself.

Pope Benedict XVI is the head of the institution as a whole, but we can't blame the present head for what was done before his watch. Except that in his particular case, as archbishop of Munich and as Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (what used to be called the Inquisition), the very least you can say is that there is a case for him to answer...

It is completely clear that, together with a nod to the welfare of the "young" priest, Ratzinger's primary concern, and the reason he refused to unfrock Kiesle (who went on to re-offend) was "the good of the universal church".
Dr. Dawkins' interest in this matter is what? He's an atheist, so it's not that he is a stakeholder in Catholicism. He's a biologist by training. Why is he interested in this?

A good reason to be interested would be care and concern for the victims. Is that his motivation?

If it is, fine for him. But it seems it is more likely, given his work and extensive writing on the subject, that he is riding his anti-religion hobby horse. His motivation, in other words, would then not be the good of the victims, but "the harm of the universal church."

If then-Cardinal Ratzinger's decisions on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith were wrong in this matter, it was not because of having an interest in "the good of the universal church." At least he was working for the good, rather than the harm, of something valued by more than a billion people. No, his fault was in putting that good above justice; and indeed, perhaps in misunderstanding where "the good" really lay.

In using the victims as a means to pursue his own agenda, Dr. Dawkins is guilty of every moral failing he accuses the Pope of having. You might say, "Well, but he is merely opining; the Pope was responsible," but that isn't right either: Dawkins is offering to use his status as a citizen to enforce an arrest, which means that he is assuming a responsible role. He assures us he is serious about it. He must, then, be held to account for how he uses the power he claims.

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