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Author Topic: Should the Pope be arrested?  (Read 6235 times)

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Offline Illun

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #75 on: April 19, 2010, 07:05:18 PM »
As far as the Vatican's nationhood goes, where exactly is that stated?  The article I linked to in the beginning explicitly says that the Vatican was not granted nationhood by the UN, it could be wrong, but I'd like to see your source if that is the case.  I realize they were granted observer status, and that implies nationhood, but that's only an implication.
Others have already addressed this from another angle, but even so, legal implication holds the weight of law, even in treaty law.

Quote
Relocation does not prevent prosecution, but it sure as hell makes it a lot less likely and more difficult to pull off.
Reassignment after an embarrassment is common. And for that matter, it's not like the church kept quiet on the forwarding address. If it wasn't important enough to seek extradition when it crossed jurisdictions, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Quote
Churches and embassies have different rules by far.  They're not the same.  Not to mention there's a lot more churches...
You said office buildings, and that's what I responded to. You did not say churches. The ownership of the church buildings is held by the local parish, NOT the Holy See.

who made the decision to ignore secular law in favour of church law?
The first Pope, by Catholic tradition, Peter, in Acts 5:29, accompanied by Catholic doctrine that the church represents God's will on earth.
Quote from: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+5%3A29&version=NIV
Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!"
I will point out, though, that nothing in scripture says a coverup is a good thing. In fact, it's demonstrated as bad when King David does it, and Jesus even says to "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar", which many Biblical scholars interpret as following the laws of your community so long as they don't require you to sin. This sort of "we've selected which verses benefit us today" approach is why I don't like organized religion. Community churches are what's described in scripture, and except for a few critical letters from Paul, they were independent of each other. If they stayed small, instead of pooling together in massive uncontrollable groups that insist on mindless slaves for members and forcing people to join for fear of being "the enemy" (like organized churches, multi-corporation unions, political parties, etc.), we wouldn't have these problems (or the Inquisition, or the massive industry strikes, or the last several Presidents...).

Offline mystictiger

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #76 on: April 20, 2010, 07:13:35 AM »
A few more articles that I found very interesting:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/236096

What we learn is that Catholic priests have ... shock horror... the same tendency to abuse kids as people who aren't catholics. I would go so far to say that it's not the Church or the Pope or anything that's at fault here, rather our own useless human nature.

This leads on to the interesting question - should we arrest the Dalai Lama for abuse carried out by budhist monks? No. Because he's warm and cudly.

Essentially the call to arrest the Pope arises from the high-profile nature of abuse scandals and not because of their number.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #77 on: April 20, 2010, 07:26:48 AM »
That's an excellent point.  Up until now, I wasn't aware that there had been abuse by Buddhist monks.  One question I would ask, though, is if the Dalai Lama is telling the monks not to 'denounce [an abuser] to the civil authorities', in the manner that the Catholic letter that HH posted earlier does.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #78 on: April 20, 2010, 01:07:47 PM »
This leads on to the interesting question - should we arrest the Dalai Lama for abuse carried out by budhist monks? No. Because he's warm and cudly.

Essentially the call to arrest the Pope arises from the high-profile nature of abuse scandals and not because of their number.

No, it's because he has been implicated as being part of a policy to cover up these crimes stretching back decades.

Offline Brandon

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #79 on: April 20, 2010, 03:22:12 PM »
An interesting note to what Im seeing in this thread is everyone blames the Pope for these moves of accused and convicted priests. Not one person (except me) has made mention of false accusations being part of the problem that lead to the Pope's actions. I continue to wonder, am I the only one that thinks false accusations are part of the problem?

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #80 on: April 20, 2010, 03:56:57 PM »
If you can prove that they are, I'll believe it too.  As of now, I see no reason to.

EDIT:  Don't need proof necessarily, I'll settle for convincing evidence.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 04:02:04 PM by Jude »

Offline Samael

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Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #81 on: April 20, 2010, 04:52:06 PM »
Not one person (except me) has made mention of false accusations being part of the problem that lead to the Pope's actions. I continue to wonder, am I the only one that thinks false accusations are part of the problem?

The only way to deal with accusations is to actually letting them be investigated.
Putting things under a rug and hope that no one saw will not help. It will lead to an explosion like this.

Offline Illun

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #82 on: April 20, 2010, 09:46:21 PM »
If you can prove that they are, I'll believe it too.  As of now, I see no reason to.

EDIT:  Don't need proof necessarily, I'll settle for convincing evidence.

Burden of proof is on the accuser though, not the accused. We're talking about jumping straight to arresting the Pope, rather than starting with requisitioning records on accused priests through legal routes. The whole "payoff" thing is, by its very nature, hearsay, since anyone involved in the transaction is either silent or suspect.

As for the notion that due course should be dispensed with in favor of a "cheaper" solution, that undermines the foundations of justice.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #83 on: April 20, 2010, 10:18:33 PM »
Burden of proof is on the accuser though, not the accused.
Legally, the burden of proof is on the accuser (at least in the United States as far as I'm aware).  When it comes to basic logic and trying to ascertain truth informally however, the burden of proof is on the person making the claim.  Brandon was making a claim that fraud is involved heavily in the accusations and I asked him for proof.  There was no discussion of the legality...
We're talking about jumping straight to arresting the Pope, rather than starting with requisitioning records on accused priests through legal routes. The whole "payoff" thing is, by its very nature, hearsay, since anyone involved in the transaction is either silent or suspect.
Quote from: Jude
We need to find legal experts who are as unbiased as possible (a mixture of people of all faiths including Catholics who are willing to entertain the notion of the Vatican having committed crimes) to review the evidence.  If there is sufficient evidence to bring about charges, I believe the Pope should be arrested and the charges should be brought up.  If there is not sufficient evidence, I don't think any legal action should be taken.
Quote from: Jude
I'm not a legal scholar, so I won't even bother to try and list them and claim which ones would and wouldn't work, but I think if there are grounds for indictment on any issue, they should be indicted.
Quote from: Jude
I don't condone anything being done unless it goes through the proper channels of legality, of course, I just don't think it's necessary to repeat that every post Brandon.
Quote from: Jude
The more we discuss this, the less feasible it seems to actually arrest the Pope.  I'm certainly not for breaking of legal conventions and international accords in order to do so, the rule of law is more important (in my estimation).  That does open up another question however, if there's no legal basis for arresting the Pope, what (if anything) should be done to punish the Vatican for their actions?
Quote from: Jude
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.
Quote from: Jude
If an official investigation is begun, they may find evidence which incriminates him (or exonerates).  The point is, refusing to do that investigation because of his status is wrong.  If he committed a crime, he should face the same penalty as anyone else.

More than likely, the Holy See will hide as much as they can if such an investigation occurs, which will at least show the public how secretive they are (thus have something to hide).
Yes, you're right, that's exactly what I was talking about, you're not misrepresenting my words at all.

Edited to put italics on sarcasm.  I think it makes it just that much more snazzy.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 10:25:06 PM by Jude »

Offline Brandon

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #84 on: April 20, 2010, 10:42:02 PM »
True but in this case, I dont have to provide proof because the courts and those that settled outside of court already provided it for me. Every person who settled or pursued a trial but didnt manage to convict them was accusing an innocent man of wrong doing. Thats how our justice system works.

I can personally only count for the case that I experienced but I can attest that the Father who was accused in our church never had an inappropriate moment with anyone and further more that government officials tried to convince us otherwise when an investigation started up. I can also say that the charges were dropped when they refused to settle outside of court and that he continued to serve the same parish till he passed away (which was 3 or 4 years later). Looking back on it it was a case that screamed fraud. It may only be 1 of thousands of cases but its enough for me to doubt the legitamacy of all claims.

Even so I would be a fool if I didnt admit that some priests do have inappropriate moments with followers of the church but because of my personal experiences and because of the lack of convictions I am convinced that a vast majority are false accusations. Some would say, thats all probability, so lets take a moment and pose a probability question. Is it more likely that in over 4000 cases that a priest risked his faith, freedom, and reputation or that someone thought they could make a quick buck without any risk to themselves?




Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #85 on: April 20, 2010, 10:51:53 PM »
True but in this case, I dont have to provide proof because the courts
Which held 380ish trials, in which they found 250ish of the people accused guilty... roughly 65%.
and those that settled outside of court already provided it for me.
Yes, but the proof doesn't say what you want it to.  The only information we have on the subject suggests that 65% of the accusations were valid, but then again just because 65% of the accusations that went to court were able to turn into convictions doesn't really mean anything either.
Every person who settled or pursued a trial but didnt manage to convict them was accusing an innocent man of wrong doing. Thats how our justice system works.
Legally?  Yes.  You keep forgetting there's a difference between legality and reality.  It's pretty obvious that O.J. Simpson killed his wife, he wrote a book later on called "how I would do it if I did it" and tried to get it published, and O.J. Simpson is "innocent" legally.

To establish if the accusations were largely false with any real predictive ability, you'd need to follow up a random sampling of the reports (with a fairly large sample size) and investigate whether or not they were completely unfounded.  Then you could statistically extrapolate based on those results to get some general overview--such information does not currently exist.  Could many of the cases be without merit?  Yes.  Is there any solid reason to believe that?  No way.
I can personally only count for the case that I experienced but I can attest that the Father who was accused in our church never had an inappropriate moment with anyone
So you think.  You obviously don't know for certain unless you spent every moment around him of every waking day.  People can do things you don't expect--remember what is always said of serial killers by their neighbors?  BUT HE WAS SO NICE.
and further more that government officials tried to convince us otherwise when an investigation started up. I can also say that the charges were dropped when they refused to settle outside of court and that he continued to serve the same parish till he passed away (which was 3 or 4 years later). Looking back on it it was a case that screamed fraud. It may only be 1 of thousands of cases but its enough for me to doubt the legitamacy of all claims.
So basically, one situation is enough to make you believe that a good portion of the accusations are false.  That's not even remotely rational Brandon.

Even so I would be a fool if I didnt admit that some priests do have inappropriate moments with followers of the church but because of my personal experiences and because of the lack of convictions I am convinced that a vast majority are false accusations. Some would say, thats all probability, so lets take a moment and pose a probability question. Is it more likely that in over 4000 cases that a priest risked his faith, freedom, and reputation or that someone thought they could make a quick buck without any risk to themselves?
Except... if someone actually was intent on making a quick buck without any risk to themself, in those 4000 cases, wouldn't they have actually led to police reports?  You're honestly telling me that you believe the other 3000 people who made accusations about molestation--but did nothing to report it to the authorities and actually seek money--made it up in order to get money.  Yes... cause that makes sense.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 10:53:30 PM by Jude »

Offline Brandon

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #86 on: April 20, 2010, 11:17:31 PM »
I think this really boils down to our presumptions and doubts. I presume that everyones innocent till proven otherwise. One of the aspects of human nature is that once you start doubting its hard to stop, and I doubt the legitamacy of all accusations against catholic priests because of my own experience. Having one lier turn up and accuse a man who I am sure is innocent and having social workers try to convince us that the truth was false is enough for me because it maintains that someone is innocent when proof wasnt provided and is consistant with the fact that our society tends to side with the "victim".

I dont mind calling for an investigation within the church, but I also say that those that settled outside of court need to be investigated as well. Let the priests that commited crimes face justice and let the people that extorted money out of the catholic church spend some time in prison

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #87 on: April 20, 2010, 11:24:21 PM »
You're doubting someone no matter what Brandon.  The choice isn't optimism vs. pessimism, it's whether or not to believe the self-proclaimed victims over the priests.  There's still a winner and a loser, and you're calling them liars, you are pronouncing judgment on them, and if they are lying about that, then that is a crime you are accusing them of.  You're still making a pronouncement of guilty, just not on the priests.

Offline Brandon

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #88 on: April 20, 2010, 11:38:55 PM »
You're doubting someone no matter what Brandon.  The choice isn't optimism vs. pessimism, it's whether or not to believe the self-proclaimed victims over the priests.  There's still a winner and a loser, and you're calling them liars, you are pronouncing judgment on them, and if they are lying about that, then that is a crime you are accusing them of.  You're still making a pronouncement of guilty, just not on the priests.

Doubt and accusations are two very different things. Ive been clear that I doubt the legitamacy of all claims, but the only ones I would be ready to accuse outright are those that settled outside of court. Even then I would reinvestigate and if I found evidence to support the priests innocence charge them with extortion. Just like you Im asking for proper investigations through the right channels. Im just asking for the "victims" to be looked at

Offline Illun

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #89 on: April 21, 2010, 12:11:15 AM »
Legally, the burden of proof is on the accuser (at least in the United States as far as I'm aware).  When it comes to basic logic and trying to ascertain truth informally however, the burden of proof is on the person making the claim.  Brandon was making a claim that fraud is involved heavily in the accusations and I asked him for proof.  There was no discussion of the legality...
He didn't make a claim, he posited an alternative that seemed more likely to him. You insisted on proof that an alternative explanation was absolutely true.

Quote
Yes, you're right, that's exactly what I was talking about, you're not misrepresenting my words at all.
I'm wasn't representing your words at all, I'm referring to the discussion at hand, the arrest of the Pope. I've seen no articles posted stating that any attempt has been made through legal recourse to obtain the church records for any of these cases and not been met. Instead, I've only seen either denouncements of the Pope and bare assertions about what he is alleged to have done. I will grant the irony of the Catholic church being presumed guilty and denounced without due legal process, bearing a passing resemblance to what it did to heretics over the centuries, but poetic justice isn't the same as justice.


Edit: Since you seem to believe that editing in something is the same as posting, here's my response.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 05:57:33 PM by Illun »

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Should the Pope be arrested?
« Reply #90 on: April 21, 2010, 03:29:27 PM »
He didn't make a claim, he posited an alternative that seemed more likely to him. You insisted on proof that an alternative explanation was absolutely true.
Quote from: Jude
If you can prove that they are, I'll believe it too.  As of now, I see no reason to.

EDIT:  Don't need proof necessarily, I'll settle for convincing evidence.
Unfortunately at this point I need to ask you if you're even reading my posts at all.