Pope could be charged for covering up sex crimes

14 04 2010

The pope could be charged for covering up the crimes of paedophile priests.

There is an awful lot of buzz at the moment about the possibility that when he visits Britain from the 16th- 19th September the Pope could be arrested and charged “crimes against humanity” for his role in helping to cover up the horrific sex crimes carried out by members of the clergy.

“Barrister Geoffrey Robertson and solicitor Mark Stephens are considering whether they could either ask the Crown Prosecution Service to initiate criminal proceedings against the Pope; launch their own civil action or refer his case to the International Criminal Court.

Author Christopher Hitchens said he does not believe the Vatican to be a legal state which raises questions as to whether the Pope, as head of state, could claim diplomatic immunity.

He said: “The UN at its inception refused membership to the Vatican but has allowed it a unique “observer status”, permitting it to become signatory to treaties such as the Law of the Sea and (ironically) the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to speak and vote at UN conferences where it promotes its controversial dogmas on abortion, contraception and homosexuality.”

The group have cited as precedent the recent case of Israel’s former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, who cancelled a visit to London after a British judge issued an arrest warrant over her alleged involvement with the conflict in Gaza.”

The campaign is also being backed by leading atheist Dr Richard Dawkins;   Dawkins wrote on his blog: “I am optimistic that we shall raise public consciousness to the point where the British government will find it very awkward indeed to go ahead with the Pope’s visit.”

You can read the article from the BBC in full here.

Well I for one say go for it.

I don’t think that it will necessarily amount to anything but I do very strongly feel that it is the right course of action to take.

Some people are going to say that the likes of Hitchens and Dawkins have their own agendas that they are furthering as a result of this, well so what! Of course they have their own agendas, more or less everyone out there has there own agenda,  it doesn’t lessen in anyway the fact that this is the right thing to do.

Whether or not it works, whether or not it is judged to be legally viable, that really doesn’t matter. What matters is that the Catholic Church in general and the Pope in particular need to be made to see that this isn’t something that can be swept under the carpet or smoothed over with a  parochial letter.

At the moment the Vatican are getting very defensive about the whole affair and are going on the counter offensive by trying to make out that they are  the victims in all of this.

That sits badly with me, without actually saying the words they are victim blaming and negating the horrific abuse suffered by thousands over the years.

So yeah put the Pope on trial, it might make him sit up and realise that there are very real consequences here and now, not just the justice of some supreme being who may or may not exist. Somehow that doesn’t really sound very fair when compared to the corporeal lives that have been ruined.

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Nate Phelps Returns to Topeka

31 03 2010

A little bit of a change from the norm today; I wanted to give some publicity to a man by the name of Nate Phelps.

Nate is the son of Pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church; some of you might be familiar with their message and the work that they do, some of you might not.

For those of you who don’t know about the WBC here is a quick taster if you will of some of their activities:

This is taken from the BBC documentary ” The Most Hated Family in America” by Louis Theroux.

The WBC openly publicise their hateful views and are often found picketing across the US, a particular target being the funerals of soldiers, which no matter your view on war most people would deem to be a distasteful act.

However what a lot of people aren’t aware of is the abuse that has been meted out on the family of Fred Phelps as a result of his heinous beliefs.

Nate Phelps put up with terrible physical and emotional abuse until the age of 18 when he left the family and made his own life, you can read Nate’s blog here.

For me one of the most shocking things about Nate’s story and the Westboro Baptist Church is that Fred Phelps is still to this day walking around as a free man,  despite terrible acts of abuse.

Hailing as I do from a country that has for years been embroiled in acts of abuse by people in positions of religious authority I feel very strongly on the subject and would call on all right thinking people to join me in supporting people like Nate Phelps who are making a stand and bringing subjects such as these kicking and screaming into the light of day.

As such I would like to draw your attention to the forthcoming event:

Nate is the estranged son of “God Hates Fags” Pastor Fred Phelps, and he is now returning to his hometown, which he hasn’t been to in many years. Nate will tell his story of growing up in the family that founded the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, which he left at midnight on his 18th birthday.

The Richard Dawkins Foundation will be filming the event as part of an upcoming documentary about Nate’s story of religious abuse, how he survived, and his mission to fix the laws that protect the perpetrators.

The event is FREE TO THE PUBLIC, so we encourage everyone in the area to attend if possible. This is also the first time one of the Phelps children has spoken out publicly against the church in their hometown.

The advertisement can be found in it’s original form on http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5332








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