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Pope Benedict much too criminal to travel

Timothy Kincaid

February 19th, 2013

When Pope Benendict resigned, Cardinal O’Malley lamented that “the demands of extensive international travel, played a central role in his decision”.

And he’s undoubtedly right. Though the “demands” are perhaps a bit different from what the Church would have us believe. His fear is likely less about falling and breaking a hip than it is facing increasing international condemnation.

The internet got a moment of excitement yesterday when something calling itself “the International Tribunal into Crimes Against Church and State” declared that it has issued a summons for Joseph Ratziger, aka Pope Benedict XVI, to appear before it and answer for his crimes against humanity. But they have roughly the same authority that I have, so that’s worth little more than histrionic denouncements from a soap box. What they did say, however, that was of interest was this:

On Friday, February 1, 2013, on the basis of evidence supplied by our affiliated Common Law Court of Justice (, our Office concluded an agreement with representatives of a European nation and its courts to secure an arrest warrant against Joseph Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict, for crimes against humanity and ordering a criminal conspiracy.

I highly doubt that they have an agreement with any nation for Ratzinger to be arrested and brought to them for judgment. They also declare that “Common Law peace officers [aka people without any legal authority] working for our de jure Court and Tribunal will apprehend [aka kidnap]” the Pope and drag him there in chains and that this Easter they will seize the assets of the Church. Cue the circus music.

But what I do think is possible is that some nation soon will, under their own laws, issue an arrest warrant for Ratzinger based on his involvement in the global cover-up of child molestation by Catholic Priests. As more documents are being demanded – and produced – it is becoming increasingly clear that before ascending to the Papal See, Ratzinger was individually responsible for keeping authorities unaware of abuse and for using international law to hide and protect priests who engaged in the most horrific abuse of trust. And even more likely is that a nation will refuse entry to a known criminal.

As head of state of the Vatican, Benedict would have diplomatic immunity. But the embarrassment would be seriously detrimental to the Church’s continued influence. And even if the Pope were to have continued in his position, he would have been forced to limit his travels to the extent that he would be a virtual prisoner in the Vatican. Reuters suggests that this is probably his fate in any case.

Pope Benedict’s decision to live in the Vatican after he resigns will provide him with security and privacy. It will also offer legal protection from any attempt to prosecute him in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, Church sources and legal experts say.

“His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn’t have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else,” said one Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It is absolutely necessary” that he stays in the Vatican, said the source, adding that Benedict should have a “dignified existence” in his remaining years.

And, indeed, if he does leave the compound, his life will increasingly be less dignified. Though it’s unlikely he’ll ever be arrested for his crimes, fewer political leaders will wish to be gracious to a man whom they know chose with full knowledge to turn the young children entrusted to his Church’s care over to pedophile rapists.

Yes, his criminal past has made it impossible for him to meet the demands of extensive international travel.



Lindoro Almaviva
February 19th, 2013 | LINK

He could still be tried and convicted in absentia. That would surely make a bigger statement. Having the Vatican harbor a convicted felon might even force them to face the reality of what they have done.

February 19th, 2013 | LINK

Typo: His former name was Ratzinger. (And word is he won’t go back to it.)

George A
February 19th, 2013 | LINK

Too bad Spandau has been demolished; ‘twould have been the perfect retirement spot.

February 19th, 2013 | LINK

Sadly I fear the only real threat of prosecution Ratzinger faced was due to the Vatican bank scandal and not the ongoing cover up of rape. For those crimes, comprising the largest criminal conspiracy in human history, Joey and his fellow church leaders will continue to enjoy th protection their exalted status conveys.

Timothy Kincaid
February 19th, 2013 | LINK

Thanks Marcus

February 19th, 2013 | LINK

He has said that he will “feel safer” living within the Vatican. An interesting statement, for sure, but I think that that’s really the whole of it for him.

Elsewhere (Germany? Italy?), he would face a greater risk of physical attack, or kidnap for ransom, or any number of other genuine threats. These worries are minimal inside the Vatican.

As for legal difficulties, these will complicate the rest of his life. But he has clearly lived within a bubble and among yes-men, and unless something much bigger than has already been charged is in the works, I doubt that he ever thinks of those possibilities, or even knows of them.

Bill T.
February 19th, 2013 | LINK

If an Islamic nation had committed the crimes that Catholic priests committed, we would already have declared war and commenced carpet bombings. It’s not too late to send in the drones and level the Vatican.

February 19th, 2013 | LINK

It is about time the rest of the world called the Vatican for what it is: the world’s largest organized crime syndicate. Extortion, slavery, human trafficking, prostitution, sexual exploitation of children, racketeering, money laundering, blackmail, grand theft, conspiracy, murder, torture, rape and the list goes on.

Don’t destroy the buildings or the art though; the Vatican would make a fine museum. Just relocate the inhabitants to a prison. Something decorated in late Inquisition perhaps.

Timothy (TRiG)
February 19th, 2013 | LINK

As Fred Clark pointed out recently, it’s only 17 years ago that the Catholic Church had slaves.

Yes, in 1996, Bill Clinton was president, Yahoo’s search-engine was two years old, and the Roman Catholic Church had slaves.


February 19th, 2013 | LINK

Sadly, he’ll most likely die of old age NOT in a prison cell. Too bad we can’t dump him and the unchained war criminals, W., Cheney, Kissinger (is he REALLY still a free man 40 frigging years after his crimes???), Assad, and friends in a deep dark pit somewhere.

It’s tough sometimes not believing in heaven or hell. :-/ I sorta believe in Karma, though, so I guess I’ll have to be happy with that.

February 19th, 2013 | LINK

He should also be tried for the genocidal campaign they are waging in Africa where they have probably killed hundreds of thousands by telling them that condoms are ineffective and can even cause AIDS.

February 19th, 2013 | LINK

Those Palpatine-esque photos of him really freak me out.

February 20th, 2013 | LINK

One addendum: the former Pope covered up child RAPE, not simply child molestation.

February 20th, 2013 | LINK

Steve: Joe Rat.’s murder of thousands through his lies about condoms gets a free pass in the West while Pakistani fundamentalist Muslims are criticized for attacking polio vaccine staff and de-railing the (ultimate) extinction of polio. Both are equally heinous and free from factual basis. One believes it’s a secret American plot to kill Pakistanis and the other believes spirits will persecute condom-users for trying to avoid a horrible death (from HIV and other STDs).

February 20th, 2013 | LINK

I find it inappropriate to compare Catholic Priests to Sith Lords.

Seriously, there are certain things Sith Lords just won’t do…

February 20th, 2013 | LINK

Snowman: I stand corrected!

Mark F.
February 20th, 2013 | LINK

It’s one thing to lie about condoms, but you can’t argue that not having sex is not effective against getting HIV.

February 21st, 2013 | LINK

True, Mark F. You also can’t argue that not driving is not effective against getting in a car accident. Doesn’t make it any less stupid to say.

Rob Tisinai
February 21st, 2013 | LINK

Mark F, here’s an important distinction: the difference between “not having sex” and “trying not to have sex.” We’re stuck with the latter, and it’s got a high failure rate.

I remember a columnist in 80s or early 90s once wrote: “Vow of abstinence break more often than condoms.”

Donny D.
February 24th, 2013 | LINK

I’ll bet that vows of abstinence break FAR more often than condoms do.

The Catholic Church has grossly exaggerated the failure (breakage) rate of condoms. Which I think is a truly evil thing to do.

(In my experience, while condom breakage is always possible, it’s unusual if the condom is treated with a bit of respect.)

It’s nice to think that Ratzi could become the international travel pariah that Augusto Pinochet did. :)

Priya Lynn
February 24th, 2013 | LINK

“I’ll bet that vows of abstinence break FAR more often than condoms do.”

Love that pithy observation.

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