Put out an APB for Cardinal Bernard Law
Hitchens gently suggests that the pope should be questioned like anyone else.
His apologists have done their best, but their Holy Father seems consistently to have been lenient or negligent with the criminals while reserving his severity only for those who complained about them.
As this became horribly obvious, I telephoned a distinguished human-rights counsel in London, Geoffrey Robertson, and asked him if the law was powerless to intervene. Not at all, was his calm reply. If His Holiness tries to travel outside his own territory—as he proposes to travel to Britain in the fall—there is no more reason for him to feel safe than there was for the once magnificently uniformed General Pinochet, who had passed a Chilean law that he thought would guarantee his own immunity, but who was visited by British bobbies all the same.
The law is not at all powerless to intervene. This is very good to know.
Also being considered are two international approaches, one to the European Court of Human Rights and another to the International Criminal Court. The ICC—which has already this year overruled immunity and indicted the gruesome president of Sudan—can be asked to rule on “crimes against humanity”; a legal definition that happens to include any consistent pattern of rape, or exploitation of children, that has been endorsed by any government.
Now that is very interesting – because the Vatican wants to be considered a state, with Ratzinger as its (flagrantly unelected and unaccountable) head. Well if it is a state, then it is a state that has endorsed (by protecting) child rape, and apparently that makes it subject to the ICC. That is fascinating.