Arrest Pope Benedict XVI
Updated: Mar 25, 2019
Well it has been quite some time since I have blogged on here (over a year in fact looking at my last post) but I feel the need to let off some steam over this week's events.
Now most of you will be aware (especially my UK readers) that this week saw the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the UK. We also saw 20,000 people take to the streets of London in opposition to this.
Now let me begin by saying that although I am not religious per say (I do hold some spiritual beliefs, but you can read more about that here), I am not in anyway anti-Catholic. Quite to the contrary in-fact, I believe that for the most part religion can be a very positive thing. Almost every major religion has as their core values a teaching of love, respect, peace, anti violence and other sound moral guidance, whether or not I believe in any form of greater power I can only support these values.
I do however have issues with the current pope. My main issue with the state funded visit of this man, before I go into greater detail, is that he has acted illegally, he is a criminal under the laws of this country and regardless of what position he holds is not himself above the law. Under the laws of this country, Pope Benedict should have been arrested as soon as his feet touched British soil.
This is an issue I have written about before but we continue to see examples of this. If you conceal and aid child abuse, you are a criminal, holding the position of pope does not exempt you from this. If you are a police officer and you assault (or even kill) a civilian, you are a criminal, being a police officer does not exempt you. If you illegally enter into a war on false grounds, ordering the deaths of thousands you are a war criminal, being prime minister does not exempt you from the law. If you commit a crime you should be held accountable, regardless of what position of power or wealth you hold.
The many actions of the pope have been illegal, immoral and anti-catholic.
In 2001, when he was a cardinal, the Pope wrote to every Catholic bishop in the world, ordering them to report all child sex-abuse cases to him in Rome. They did. He cannot claim that he was unaware of sex abuse. His letter demanded ‘Papal secrecy.’ It did not advise the bishops to report abusers to the police.
The Children Act 1989 states that abuse should be considered to have happened when someone's actions have caused a child to suffer significant harm to their health or development. The Popes actions of instructing papal secrecy and witholding information and evidence of countless acts of abuse are in clear contravention of this.
Condoms / AIDS
The pope teaches that the use of contraception including condoms is immoral. He even goes as far to say that condoms actually increase the risk of HIV/AIDS. In Africa which is experiencing a mass HIV epidemic, the pope's teachings are responible for the deaths of thousands of people.
Under English law, where a person causes death through extreme carelessness or incompetence, gross negligence is required. While the specifics of negligence may vary from one jurisdiction to another, it is generally defined as failure to exercise a reasonable level of precaution given the circumstances and so may include both acts and omissions. The defendants in such cases are often people carrying out jobs that require special skills or care, such as doctors, teachers, police or prison officers, electricians (or in this case Pope), who fail to meet the standard which could be expected from a reasonable person of the same profession and cause death. The Pope is guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.
The pope promotes segregated education. The 2000+ state funded Catholic Schools for which the pope is ultimately responsible continue to commit discrimination employment on the basis of sexuality.
The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 are secondary legislation in the United Kingdom, which prohibit employers unreasonably discriminating against employees on grounds of sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation, religion or belief and age. Again the Pope's teachings are in contravention of this law.
The pope's teachings are also highly homophibic. There are countless speeches and documents where the pope has referred to homosexuality as immoral, disordered and evil.
In terms of discrimination in the provision of goods and services, the policies of the Catholic Church directly contradict the rights and protections established in UK law:“There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment.”
The pope is clear on his teachings regarding abortion. His position is absolute, there are no posible exceptions where abortion is acceptable, not even in cases of rape or where the mother's life is at risk.
This teaching is in contravention of human rights laws which protect the woman's right to choose. In cases where the woman's life is potentially at risk this may again be considered an act of manslaughter.
In addition to being a former member of the Hilter Youth, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson; an individual who believes that women should refrain from further education or careers, who has declared Jews to be “the enemy of Christ” and denies that the Nazi’s utilised gas chambers as a means of mass execution.
Under European law a maximum term of three years in jail is available to all member nations for "denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes."
Catholisim / Morality
The Catholic Church bases its moral Teachings on the message of Jesus. Morality boils down to love: loving God and loving our neighbors. If we truly love God (who himself is love) and neighbor, then our behavior toward ourselves and others will reflect this commitment. The Catholic Church teaches that we are to strive for holiness and perfection, since Jesus told us to be perfect as the Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). However, this is only accomplished with the help of God's grace. Catholics believe that we are called to turn from evil, and towards the good. This means turning away from actions and thoughts that are contrary to God's will. Most sins can be traced to the Seven Deadly Sins (Pride, Envy, Lust, Wrath, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth). Turning toward the good means developing virtue, that is a habitual and firm disposition to do good. The core virtues are divided into the Theological Virtues, which are the foundation of Christian moral activity (faith, hope, and love), and the Cardinal Virtues, virtues around which all others are grouped (Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude).
In addition to the illegality of many of the popes actions and teachings, they are also inherintly anti Catholic. Child Abuse, Dsicrimination and other actions resulting in suffering and ultimatley death do not fall within the moral guidance of basic Catholisim ethics of love and good actions to all people.
How many laws does this man have to break before he will be held acountable for his actions rather than us spending millions of pounds and rolling out the red carpet to welcome him into the country. People have been banned from the UK and / or jailed for much less.
This blog is in support of the many Catholics who have suffered as a direct result of this mans actions. We will continue to campaign, catholic and non catholic alike for him to be held accountable for his actions.
I could go on, but for now I believe the legendary Tim Minchin sums it up nicely: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHRDfut2Vx0 *warning – contains strong language
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