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Author Topic: Should the Pope be arrested?  (Read 6233 times)

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Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2010, 08:57:08 PM »
Aren't most crimes also sins?  Bearing false witness, stealing, killing...

Offline Sabby

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2010, 09:32:03 PM »
Aren't most sins fixed by kneeling and talking to a man behind a dark screen?

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Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2010, 09:36:57 PM »
Only if you're Catholic.

If you're Jewish, most sins are fixed by kneeling and sacrificing some sort of animal.

If you're Buddhist, most sins are fixed by kneeling and being reincarnated.

If you're Muslim,  most sins are fixed by kneeling and praying to the east five times a day.

And if you're Protestant, most sins are fixed by kneeling and praying to a man you don't even see.

Offline Brandon

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2010, 10:04:14 PM »
It's not up to the church to handle such problems though.  All they should do is report pedo-priests to the local authorities and let them handle it.  What gives them the right to police the members of their institution when they've broken local law without reporting it?  I'm pretty sure that's a crime.  You don't get to determine the punishments that your members (even your citizens) make on foreign soil, they're subject to the law of the land, and if they're willfully subverting the execution of that law, then they're basically committing a crime as an institution against our entire government and country.  We've gone to war for less.They've repeatedly shown, in my opinion, that they only have an interest in protecting themselves from scandal.  Moving a sex offender to a different location without any other punishment other than "private penance" is not going to stop the molestation, but it will stop the victims from having their day in court.

The vatican is by law a nation so by every right they do have the authority to create an internal group to handle such accusations. Its very similar to the police in every country around the world and even the police have police (internal affairs in the US) in some places. I fully agree that priests that are convicted, plead guilty, or no contest to these crimes should pay their debt to society. Sending them to another part of the world after a conviction and before punishment is wrong IMO but if a priest pays his debt to society then he should have the opportunity to continue being a priest (although I would be fine with supervision for crimes like child molestation). To err is to be human after all and while still men of faith they are human and thus make mistakes.

However priests that are not convicted or settle outside of court shouldnt be held to that same standard because the victim 1) couldnt prove it happened or 2) decided that money was more important then justice. A priest that is only accused (and never convicted) should never be punished but that wont happen because most Americans demonize anyone accused of sexual misconduct whether convicted or not. Its just how our society is

Aren't most sins fixed by kneeling and talking to a man behind a dark screen?

Thats part of it Sabby but theres also always some kind of penance. As I said once before in another thread, in our faith intent means something. If you arent truly sorry for something you wont be forgiven. How can a human be 100% sure that a confession is sincere or not though? I dont have an answer to that question so the confession has to be taken at face value as truth

Offline Illun

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2010, 10:17:06 PM »
I'm not exactly a fan of the Catholic church, but this is just a sad group of atheists who saw an opportunity to grab headlines.

I saw an interesting article on the Huffington Post about the evolution of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Initially it was considered a moral individual sin that could be overcome with prayer. It then evolved into a mental illness that should be treated professionally. It is not being seen as a crime.
And this is very critical in the hypothetical prosecution of this case. A foreign government generally will get away with not endorsing the laws of other nations where they differ. While most intelligent people see sex abuse at any age, particularly involving children, as a horrible crime, but we're applying our laws and morals to another group of people.

If this were anything other than an anti-faith publicity stunt, it would be seeking extradition and trial of the individual priests with evidence to back up the demand for extradition. THAT is the proper legal course of action, not arresting a head of state on trumped up charges before any real attempt has been made toward due course.

The "widespread" also doesn't hold up either. While you can point to numerous cases of accusations, there were 406,411 Catholic priests in 2005, not counting other titles that have been accused. The percentage is comparable to any other group. This isn't a "Catholic" problem, it's a worldwide problem in all populations. It's easy to point fingers at the Catholic church because we expect their leadership to be somehow pure and untainted by sin. At that, only 6% of those accused in the US (where most of the accusations are sourced) have been convicted, yet the full count of accusations (even those disproven) is touted by pundits and idiots like the ones behind this stunt. When the rates are the same or lower than in the general population, it's not a "crime against humanity", it's a series of individual crimes that should be addressed individually.

Did they fubar the situation? Yes. But that doesn't make a publicity stunt like this meaningful or acceptable.

No one's saying "kill or imprison the Pope."  Throwing that out there was either a non-sequitur or a strawman, I'm not sure which.
Actually, look at what "crimes against humanity" carries as punishment. If they were serious about this campaign, "kill or imprison the Pope" is exactly what they would be seeking. I have trouble believing anyone sees this as more than a publicity stunt, though.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2010, 10:32:55 PM »
The vatican is by law a nation so by every right they do have the authority to create an internal group to handle such accusations. Its very similar to the police in every country around the world and even the police have police (internal affairs in the US) in some places.
No, it's really not at all similar for several reasons.

1)  Catholic Priests are not citizens of this Vatican Country, but the Nation in which they live.
2)  Police, internal affairs, and even the U.S. military (outside of wartime) only operate inside territories that they have permission to do so in.  No one gave the Vatican's permission to bypass local law.
3)  People are accountable for the crimes they commit where they commit them regardless of the location of the crime.  You can't kill someone in London and then say "I'm a U.S. Citizen so the U.S. can decide my punishment."  There are circumstances where such a thing occurs (I believe, I'm no legal expert) but I'm pretty sure it's with the permission of the country that is losing the right to prosecute them.  We gave the Vatican no such permission to determine the punishments of Catholic Priests who are U.S. citizens.  If this was any other "Nation" defending and covering up their citizen's egregious, illegal actions, we'd be threatening them in some fashion and bringing it up before the U.N.  If they're going to be recognized as a separate entity they should be treated like one.
I fully agree that priests that are convicted, plead guilty, or no contest to these crimes should pay their debt to society. Sending them to another part of the world after a conviction and before punishment is wrong IMO but if a priest pays his debt to society then he should have the opportunity to continue being a priest (although I would be fine with supervision for crimes like child molestation). To err is to be human after all and while still men of faith they are human and thus make mistakes.
I agree, so long as they're published as sex offenders and follow the same rules as all other sexual offenders, but how are we going to punish them when the Church maintains its own internal code of silence and attempts to cover up the crimes for the sake of their own influence?  That's precisely the problem.  Not only are they not punished for what they do, but the information that there's a potential threat is kept from the public.  How would you feel if your child was hanging out with a pedo-priest who the Vatican KNEW was a pedophile?  What if such a child was molested by this priest and it was entirely preventable?

This is what has happened.  Look up the School for the Deaf incidents.
However priests that are not convicted or settle outside of court shouldnt be held to that same standard because the victim 1) couldnt prove it happened or 2) decided that money was more important then justice. A priest that is only accused (and never convicted) should never be punished but that wont happen because most Americans demonize anyone accused of sexual misconduct whether convicted or not. Its just how our society is
What're you basing this off of?  I saw you make similar claims earlier and you were mentioning the jury being likely to convict.  Is this your opinion based on personal observation or do you have statistics to back this up?  Are you a legal scholar who has studied such incidents, or is this extrapolation based on a limited scope of the situation?

And regardless of any of that, there have been examples of priests confessing that they did it and getting off without any real punishment thanks to the Vatican decrees of silence.  Let me repeat that:  Vatican policy knowingly assisted a heinous, dangerous criminal in covering up his actions.  How can you possibly defend that?
Thats part of it Sabby but theres also always some kind of penance. As I said once before in another thread, in our faith intent means something. If you arent truly sorry for something you wont be forgiven. How can a human be 100% sure that a confession is sincere or not though? I dont have an answer to that question so the confession has to be taken at face value as truth
"I'm sorry" is not enough in America.  We have laws that dictate what the acceptable penance for your crime of child molestation is.  Apparently they're in conflict with the Catholic Church's own standards on the matter, and that's fine.  If they want to give pedophiles an easy time, their policy should be made known to the public.  And doing that still wouldn't give them the right to their own justice.

When you come to our country you agree to abide by our laws, and if you want to be in good relations with us, then you absolutely must respect our sovereignty; this is not doing that.  This is the Vatican abusing its dual position as a secular and religious institution, the influence they have throughout the world, and worst of all they're probably going to get away with it.

I'm not even sure how a government like our own can possibly recognize a religious conclave as a state-entity when Separation of Church and State is a fundamental premise of our society.  If there was even concrete evidence that they did something terribly wrong that was unquestionably and universally accepted as a prosecutable offense, could we even do it due to that clause?

A church is not a state.  It doesn't matter that they've been recognized as such by entities throughout the world, the very concept of the Vatican as a nation is ridiculous.  It doesn't fit the true definition; they have no citizens and they have very limited territorial holdings.

Say you choose to grant them statehood for the sake of argument, then what does it make the Pope?  The head of a morally absolutist theocratic-dictatorship who claims infallibility, holds sway over citizens of nearly every nation across the world, disrespects other nation's sovereignty, dictates to people how they are supposed to act if they are going to be saved from an eternity of suffering; maybe our next stop on the good ole USA world-liberation tour should be Vatican City.

Actually, look at what "crimes against humanity" carries as punishment. If they were serious about this campaign, "kill or imprison the Pope" is exactly what they would be seeking. I have trouble believing anyone sees this as more than a publicity stunt, though.
There's a difference between seeking a trial and seeking that particular punishment.  In order for that punishment to be carried out in a trial, there's the requirement of examination of the evidence and unbiased deliberation.  Saying "I want that person dead" is not the same as saying "I want that person to be arrested, the evidence to be accounted for, and the truth to come out, and if it comes out that they are guilty of the crime they have been accused of, I want to see them punished for it."
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 10:39:11 PM by Jude »

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Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2010, 10:42:44 PM »
Should he? Yes.

Will he? No.

I honestly wish they would arrest him. Even if he's totally ignorant of the child abuse, thats a crime in itself.

No its not. Not knowing about something is not a crime in itself man if you are not participating in it.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2010, 11:41:09 PM »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2010, 11:48:19 PM »
I'm sorry..the Catholic church has repeatedly and extensively hidden, covered up or avoided responsibity for decades. I mean just look at the extensive and systematic abuse in Ireland for DECADES, there was rampant and widespread abuse in the church run schools, hostels, orphanages and such.  (from the 30s to 90s) and what came of it?

Next to nothing. The abuser's identities were hidden and the victims were denied the right to sue (The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, started in 2002). The Church has been very reluctant to do anything to aid prosecution or change the system.

That being said, harrassing the Pope won't do anything to fix this. Political pressure from the world leaders and governments is needed. Of course  there is nothing that anyone has done to date to put the pressure to force change in the way the church handles allegations. Problem is not at the Pontiff's level but at a lower level where the 'shuffling' of priests and stonewalling authorities is done.

Getting the Pope (and his advisors) to do something will take more than empty actions like this.

Though for the life of me I can't imagine WHAT type of action would be able to be used to pressure the Vatican to act.

Offline Brandon

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2010, 01:10:03 AM »
No, it's really not at all similar for several reasons.

1)  Catholic Priests are not citizens of this Vatican Country, but the Nation in which they live.
2)  Police, internal affairs, and even the U.S. military (outside of wartime) only operate inside territories that they have permission to do so in.  No one gave the Vatican's permission to bypass local law.
3)  People are accountable for the crimes they commit where they commit them regardless of the location of the crime.  You can't kill someone in London and then say "I'm a U.S. Citizen so the U.S. can decide my punishment."  There are circumstances where such a thing occurs (I believe, I'm no legal expert) but I'm pretty sure it's with the permission of the country that is losing the right to prosecute them.  We gave the Vatican no such permission to determine the punishments of Catholic Priests who are U.S. citizens.  If this was any other "Nation" defending and covering up their citizen's egregious, illegal actions, we'd be threatening them in some fashion and bringing it up before the U.N.  If they're going to be recognized as a separate entity they should be treated like one.I agree, so long as they're published as sex offenders and follow the same rules as all other sexual offenders, but how are we going to punish them when the Church maintains its own internal code of silence and attempts to cover up the crimes for the sake of their own influence?  That's precisely the problem.  Not only are they not punished for what they do, but the information that there's a potential threat is kept from the public.  How would you feel if your child was hanging out with a pedo-priest who the Vatican KNEW was a pedophile?  What if such a child was molested by this priest and it was entirely preventable?

This is what has happened.  Look up the School for the Deaf incidents.What're you basing this off of?  I saw you make similar claims earlier and you were mentioning the jury being likely to convict.  Is this your opinion based on personal observation or do you have statistics to back this up?  Are you a legal scholar who has studied such incidents, or is this extrapolation based on a limited scope of the situation?

And regardless of any of that, there have been examples of priests confessing that they did it and getting off without any real punishment thanks to the Vatican decrees of silence.  Let me repeat that:  Vatican policy knowingly assisted a heinous, dangerous criminal in covering up his actions.  How can you possibly defend that?"I'm sorry" is not enough in America.  We have laws that dictate what the acceptable penance for your crime of child molestation is.  Apparently they're in conflict with the Catholic Church's own standards on the matter, and that's fine.  If they want to give pedophiles an easy time, their policy should be made known to the public.  And doing that still wouldn't give them the right to their own justice.

When you come to our country you agree to abide by our laws, and if you want to be in good relations with us, then you absolutely must respect our sovereignty; this is not doing that.  This is the Vatican abusing its dual position as a secular and religious institution, the influence they have throughout the world, and worst of all they're probably going to get away with it.

I'm not even sure how a government like our own can possibly recognize a religious conclave as a state-entity when Separation of Church and State is a fundamental premise of our society.  If there was even concrete evidence that they did something terribly wrong that was unquestionably and universally accepted as a prosecutable offense, could we even do it due to that clause?

A church is not a state.  It doesn't matter that they've been recognized as such by entities throughout the world, the very concept of the Vatican as a nation is ridiculous.  It doesn't fit the true definition; they have no citizens and they have very limited territorial holdings.

Say you choose to grant them statehood for the sake of argument, then what does it make the Pope?  The head of a morally absolutist theocratic-dictatorship who claims infallibility, holds sway over citizens of nearly every nation across the world, disrespects other nation's sovereignty, dictates to people how they are supposed to act if they are going to be saved from an eternity of suffering; maybe our next stop on the good ole USA world-liberation tour should be Vatican City.
There's a difference between seeking a trial and seeking that particular punishment.  In order for that punishment to be carried out in a trial, there's the requirement of examination of the evidence and unbiased deliberation.  Saying "I want that person dead" is not the same as saying "I want that person to be arrested, the evidence to be accounted for, and the truth to come out, and if it comes out that they are guilty of the crime they have been accused of, I want to see them punished for it."

Once again, you are completely out of line Jude.

Did I ever say that a convicted priest shouldn't be punished under the laws where the crime took place?

Did I even once say that penance was enough to circumvent punishments dictated by the law?

Did I ever say that covering up any crime or helping a convict avoid punishment was OK?

This is the last time I'm going to tell you. Stop putting words in my mouth

Let me spell this out so theres no confusion. Any priest that committed any crime, and any priest that helped them avoid punishment after a conviction or avoid a trial should be extradited, tried, and if found guilty punished under the law. The inquisition office should also aggressively go after priests accused of wrong doing and give all of their findings to the local authorities once their investigation is completed.

On top of that, I believe that in every single case that was settled out of court, the Vatican should go back, charge them with extortion, and refuse to settle outside of court. Let the false accusers spend some time in prison and let the cases that actually happened come out so those men can face real justice.

None of that will happen and for a lot of reasons. I believe that the only way to end this is pressure from the church itself, not world leaders, not governments, and not other religions (including atheism). Yet we've been going through this emotional rollercoaster for years, having most cases turn out to be false, and we just want it the black mark to be gone. Sometimes it feels like we're back to being that ancient cult that has to hide itself for fear of being cut down (with words rather then swords though)


Offline Kip

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2010, 04:05:18 AM »
Politics and Religion are always heated debate topics - combined, they become more so.

I'm locking this topic for people to take a time out - I'll unlock it in a day or so....  In the meantime consider the following please -

 Don't attack each other in the P&R forums - debate the issue.  When personal challenges are being thrown between people, it's no longer considered debate and that's starting to happen here.  Understand that people may interpret your words differently to what you intended, that they may respond in unintended ways as a result and that tangents will be discussed as well.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2010, 11:29:05 AM »
Once again, you are completely out of line Jude.

Did I ever say that a convicted priest shouldn't be punished under the laws where the crime took place?

Did I even once say that penance was enough to circumvent punishments dictated by the law?

Did I ever say that covering up any crime or helping a convict avoid punishment was OK?

This is the last time I'm going to tell you. Stop putting words in my mouth
I'm sorry that I was ambiguous with my statements and I understand why you took it that way.  It wasn't my intention to insinuate that you were okay with any of that, that wasn't even the impression that I got from what you were saying, but I believe everything I said was the ultimate logical consequence behind the positions you were taking.
Let me spell this out so theres no confusion. Any priest that committed any crime, and any priest that helped them avoid punishment after a conviction or avoid a trial should be extradited, tried, and if found guilty punished under the law. The inquisition office should also aggressively go after priests accused of wrong doing and give all of their findings to the local authorities once their investigation is completed.
This is where I am very confused.  You seem to agree with the premise of the thread and with me if you truly believe this, because that's exactly what the Pope is guilty of.
On top of that, I believe that in every single case that was settled out of court, the Vatican should go back, charge them with extortion, and refuse to settle outside of court. Let the false accusers spend some time in prison and let the cases that actually happened come out so those men can face real justice.
Agreed, but what I find troubling is your insinuations in this post and other posts that this is a common occurrence.  You've made references to accusations that were unfounded as if this has happened regularly.  I didn't question that claim of yours in a previous post to be a jerk, I did it because if you have information which is relevant to this situation I'd be willing to change my perspective on it.  It's true that I suspect that you don't have statistics on the matter, or much in the way of hard facts, which also needs to be pointed out to people reading this thread and engaging in this argument so that they can make up their mind for themselves.
None of that will happen and for a lot of reasons. I believe that the only way to end this is pressure from the church itself, not world leaders, not governments, and not other religions (including atheism). Yet we've been going through this emotional rollercoaster for years, having most cases turn out to be false, and we just want it the black mark to be gone. Sometimes it feels like we're back to being that ancient cult that has to hide itself for fear of being cut down (with words rather then swords though)
As stated, I'd like to see what you're basing this "most cases turn out false" thing on.  As far as I can tell with this recent bout, there's a flood of cases which almost undeniably occurred.

I don't believe that the religion has a right to fix its problems internally at this point when its problems are affecting countless societies externally.  There's a ridiculous amount of pedophile priests out there who have been protected from the consequences of their actions because of Vatican abuse of power.  I think that it's naive to expect that the abusers of that power are going to reform their institution unless they pay a price for what they've done (otherwise their actions will be vindicated).

Offline Brandon

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2010, 12:07:47 PM »
I'm sorry that I was ambiguous with my statements and I understand why you took it that way.  It wasn't my intention to insinuate that you were okay with any of that, that wasn't even the impression that I got from what you were saying, but I believe everything I said was the ultimate logical consequence behind the positions you were taking.This is where I am very confused.  You seem to agree with the premise of the thread and with me if you truly believe this, because that's exactly what the Pope is guilty of.

Thats incorrect. The court of public opinion has no place in the law. You can believe whatever you want but until a trial has happened and a jury has convicted him of a crime he is still innocent till proven guilty. No one can talk about trials, convictions, and extradition and then forget the most important statement in our judicial code because its inconveinant to their opinion

Agreed, but what I find troubling is your insinuations in this post and other posts that this is a common occurrence.  You've made references to accusations that were unfounded as if this has happened regularly.  I didn't question that claim of yours in a previous post to be a jerk, I did it because if you have information which is relevant to this situation I'd be willing to change my perspective on it.  It's true that I suspect that you don't have statistics on the matter, or much in the way of hard facts, which also needs to be pointed out to people reading this thread and engaging in this argument so that they can make up their mind for themselves. As stated, I'd like to see what you're basing this "most cases turn out false" thing on.  As far as I can tell with this recent bout, there's a flood of cases which almost undeniably occurred.

One of the articles posted earlier makes mention of over 400 counts of abuse happening by priests but only 6% turning out true. Thats 24 people convicted of a crime and 394 that were falsely accused and had their names dragged through the mud. 394 people that Americans can never trust again because they've been accused of child molestation (not convicted, just accused). Even some of the pedofiles priests that were sent away settled outside of court and are thus innocent in the eyes of the law. Go ahead and find any article about a number of priests being accused of abuse and you'll find that only a small number of them turned into actual convictions

Now I know what some people are thinking here. "You dont give someone $100000 if something didnt happen." but I think the exact opposite. My thought is "You dont take $100,000 if something really did happen. You fight to see that person punished, no matter what you have to endure you sacrifice everything to see see justice done and most importantly make sure they think twice before  hurting someone else."

Im not saying it doesnt happen, Im saying that its a very small number of proven cases yet theyre all getting labled as child molesters because of the accusation. False accusations are just as much part of the problem as the real pedofiles in the clergy, or am I the only one that thinks that?

I don't believe that the religion has a right to fix its problems internally at this point when its problems are affecting countless societies externally.  There's a ridiculous amount of pedophile priests out there who have been protected from the consequences of their actions because of Vatican abuse of power.  I think that it's naive to expect that the abusers of that power are going to reform their institution unless they pay a price for what they've done (otherwise their actions will be vindicated).

I think that because they are seen as a seperate entity they have every right to police their own but they should also turn over all information gathered by the office, to the local police when they discover a crime has been committed.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 12:12:11 PM by Brandon »

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2010, 12:23:18 PM »
Thats incorrect. The court of public opinion has no place in the law. You can believe whatever you want but until a trial has happened and a jury has convicted him of a crime he is still innocent till proven guilty. No one can talk about trials, convictions, and extradition and then forget the most important statement in our judicial code because its inconveinant to their opinion
There's clearly enough evidence linking him to the allegations.  I don't think he should be considered guilty, but he should definitely be tried.  If he was anyone else, he would be.
One of the articles posted earlier makes mention of over 400 counts of abuse happening by priests but only 6% turning out true. Thats 24 people convicted of a crime and 394 that were falsely accused and had their names dragged through the mud. 394 people that Americans can never trust again because they've been accused of child molestation (not convicted, just accused). Even some of the pedofiles priests that were sent away settled outside of court and are thus innocent in the eyes of the law. Go ahead and find any article about a number of priests being accused of abuse and you'll find that only a small number of them turned into actual convictions
You're twisting facts here Brandon.  You're talking about the number of accusations that turned into convictions, not the number of accusations that were proven false.

Just because so many of the accusations did not lead to convictions does not mean that the percentage of false accusations is high.  That could just be a testament to the church's power and influence.  The fact that so few were convicted could very easily mean that they simply did a good job of covering it up.

It's fair to say very few convictions have come of those accusations, that much is true.

By the way, I can't even find the information you claim is in the previous articles and I've scanned them.

EDIT:  Did some research of my own and found the data.

To date, the police have been contacted about 1,021 priests with allegations of abuse, or 24% of our total. Nearly all of these reports have led to investigations, and 384 instances have led to criminal charges. Of those priests for whom information about dispositions is available, 252 were convicted and at least 100 of those served time in prison. Thus, 6% of all priests against whom allegations were made were convicted and about 2% received prison sentences to date.
The 6%, is 6% of 4000 incidents, you completely misquoted the data.  So basically, of the cases that actually made it to court, 65% convicted the priests... very different from the number you were claiming.

EDIT2:  4392 is the total number of incidents.  Only 1021 were reported to the police... that means over 3/4s of the alleged victims didn't even say anything to the police.  I think it's extremely unfair to color them as greedy or trying to ruin someone's reputation in making their claims when they didn't even go to the police.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 12:36:20 PM by Jude »

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Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2010, 03:51:54 PM »
It's all well and good going after the Pope, if you think he is guilty of covering the crimes up.  After all, no one should be above the law.

However, wouldn't it be better to get every single one of the actual abusers behind bars first?  The fact that Dawkins, Hitchens and co. are going after the Pope rather than urging the authorities to take the abusers into custody (apparently one Irish paedophile priest is currently in Spain making a living selling dodgy time-shares) shows that this is just a publicity stunt to discredit organised religion.  So the fact that they would rather discredit an organisation than get the guilty- and the guilty who pose a danger) behind bars brings them into disrepute in my eyes.

I've no love for the Catholic church but, frankly, it seems to me that in trying to make political (with a small p) capital out of the suffering of children puts Dawkins and Hitchens into an ethically dubious position.  Their big complaint is that, on seeing the situation, the Pope's first instinct was to protect the reputation of the Catholic church rather than to protect the children and bring the guilty to justice.  The fact that their instincts have led them to choose to blacken the reputation of the Catholic church rather than to bring the guilty to justice and prevent possible future abuse puts them in a moral sewer equivalent to that they claim the Pope is in. 

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2010, 03:54:08 PM »
With all due respect Neroon, I think that's a false choice fallacy.  There's no reason you can't go after the Pope and the pedophiles at the same time, and charging both of them at once may be instrumental to convicting them.

Offline Neroon

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Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2010, 04:05:12 PM »
With respect Jude I would point out that Dawkins and Hitchens have made the choice already.  They have not once urged the authorities to go after the paedophiles despite the fact, as you point out, that they could have done so at the same time as going after the Pope.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2010, 04:12:59 PM »
1)  I haven't seen Dawkins or Hitchens say don't go after the others.  I do agree they've emphasized the pope more from what I've read, and I haven't read enough to be able to proclaim they haven't advocated going after all of them (but if they have, I think they're wrong).

2)  Even if they have said that only the Pope should be targeted, that doesn't make the point of view of going after the Pope as well is incorrect, it just means Dawkins and Hitchens particular positions are questionable.

The underlying idea doesn't need to be thrown away because the people who communicated it made a poor judgment.

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Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2010, 04:21:03 PM »
I agree.  However, it is ironic that the people questioning another's judgment show in the way they question it that their own judgment is impaired.

In the end, they exemplify the main reason why I find evangelists wearing on the nerves, namely that they lose all sight of anything but the worldview they are pushing.  Evangelical atheists are no less immune to this than their more numerous theist equivalents.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2010, 04:23:39 PM »
I agree, I don't care for Hitchens or Dawkins to be honest.  It's actually very strange for me to be on the same side of them in an issue for once.  I think they've both done a lot to worsen relations between the religious and the non-religious (which isn't comprised entirely of atheists--I certainly consider myself in this category but I'm no evangelical atheist per se).  I really wish there was another group of people who would take up the cause.

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Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2010, 04:26:31 PM »
You and me both.

Offline Illun

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2010, 04:58:09 PM »
I agree, I don't care for Hitchens or Dawkins to be honest.  It's actually very strange for me to be on the same side of them in an issue for once.  I think they've both done a lot to worsen relations between the religious and the non-religious (which isn't comprised entirely of atheists--I certainly consider myself in this category but I'm no evangelical atheist per se).  I really wish there was another group of people who would take up the cause.

But that's essentially all this accomplishes. Realistically speaking, no court will give this case due process. It will either be thrown out by someone who, like me, sees no merit in it, or it will be a show trial, which would then be overturned by a higher court for political expediency. This does nothing but widen the rift between organized atheism and the rest of the world. It doesn't really embarrass the Catholic Church any more than they already are, instead giving them a position as the victim of political machinations from a group of antireligious zealots.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2010, 05:11:02 PM »
1)  You're committing the fallacy of argument from final consequences if you're arguing that the Pope's arrest is unjustified because the trial will not succeed.

2)  Why don't you think someone shouldn't be arrested who assisted in the coverup of countless heinous crimes throughout the globe?  That's how I'm understanding your position at this point, there's really no grounds to argue on whether or not he did this at this point.  His signature is on documents moving these pedophile priests around after the fact that contain reports of what happened.

3)  This initiative wasn't started by anti-religious zealots.  Hitchens and Dawkins are jumping on-board of a movement started by human rights lawyers, they were not the genesis, and it's unfair to characterize everyone who believes the Pope should be punished for what he's done as an anti-religious zealot.

4)  Where exactly did you find the stated goal of this movement to "embarrass the Catholic Church?"  I haven't advocated such a position and I'm not sure I've seen anyone else arguing from that point of view either.  This is about justice, and even if it does not succeed, it will highlight the injustice of the Pope being held to a different standard than the rest of us.

EDITED for additional details.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 05:20:04 PM by Jude »

Offline Illun

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #48 on: April 17, 2010, 05:24:58 PM »
1)  You're committing the fallacy of argument from final consequences if you're arguing that the Pope's arrest is unjustified because the trial will not succeed.
I made my argument for it being unjustified in an earlier post. In the post you're referring to, I argued that it was an ill conceived effort, for which the final consequence is a valid point.

Quote
2)  Why don't you think someone should be arrested who assisted in the coverup of countless heinous crimes throughout the globe?
Because I think the charge is trumped up bullshit, after having looked at the facts. It's "countless" because there's not an accurate count, not because it's a large number. There are statistics out there that clearly show it's no worse than the general population, and there are plenty who have been charged in the legal systems where the alleged crimes occurred, only 6% of which in the US, for example, were found guilty.

Quote
3)  This initiative wasn't started by anti-religious zealots.  Hitchens and Dawkins are jumping on-board of a movement started by human rights lawyers, they were not the genesis, and it's unfair to characterize everyone who believes the Pope should be punished for what he's done as an anti-religious zealot.
The article this topic started with states that the group behind this are a group of atheists. If that is inaccurate, I apologize for not having found the information you're referring to.

Quote
4)  Where exactly did you find the stated goal of this movement to "embarrass the Catholic Church?"  I haven't advocated such a position and I'm not sure I've seen anyone else arguing from that point of view either.  This is about justice, and even if it does not succeed, it will highlight the injustice of the Pope being held to a different standard than the rest of us.
Justice may be the speaking point for the people arguing it here, but it isn't for those referenced in the initial article.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #49 on: April 17, 2010, 05:38:31 PM »
The people in the initial argument did not mention embarrassing the catholic church either.  You're putting those words in their mouth.

As for the 6% statistic, I discussed earlier why that number is false.  To reiterate:  6% of the total accusations resulted in convictions, around 24% of the total accusations were actually reported to the police to be investigated, enough evidence was found in only 382 cases to bring the Priests accused to trial, and only 252 of those people brought to trial were found guilty.  Meaning that 65% of people who were brought to trial were found guilty.

Just because they weren't brought to trial doesn't mean they're innocent, especially not when there's evidence of the Catholic Church working conspiratorially to silence victims and protect the church.

There are no statistics measuring how many of the cases were "proven false" or even "dismissed as lacking in sufficient evidence" that I have seen.

As far as it being as common as what happens in the general population incidence-wise, that's completely immaterial.  It does not matter if child abuse happens more often in the courts or out in the world, no one's been debating that, that isn't related to the discussion whatsoever.  The problem is that the Catholic Church has a habit of covering up the fact that it has happened in the name of preserving their good name to the detriment of the past, present, and future victims.

Plus what threshhold of coverups is OK with you?  Lets assume only 6% of these are true, are you okay with them covering up the 6%?

There are plenty of documented cases which I have linked to in this thread of the Vatican covering up and protecting pedophile priests who, without a doubt, were guilty.  The school for the deaf incident reported involved the abuse of over 200 children.

Isn't 1 cover up 1 cover up too much for the supposed "perfect society" housing the mouth-piece for god on earth?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 05:43:38 PM by Jude »