Just a couple of weeks ago, around Easter, I began to have doubts whether the pope would have the gumption (forget the audacity) to make the scheduled trip to Britain in September, September 16 – 19 to be precise.
This was at the height when European prelates, who should have had more sense, were tripping over themselves to see who could out do the other when it came to mind boggling faux pas such as trying to link the clergy abuse with homosexuality and comparing the heat felt by the Vatican to the historic persecution of the Jews. It was also the period when incriminating documents with the pope’s signature were being ‘outed’ with metronomic regularity. And if all of this wasn’t bad enough the pope himself appeared to be acting unnecessarily coy, though he was looking increasingly haggard in his daily photographs.
I was well aware of the efforts in Britain to seek an arrest warrant against the pope, on grounds of crimes against humanity — with Dermot Ryan, one of the indefatigable leaders of this ‘arrest pope’ movement, keeping me informed of their stalwart work, with daily emails.
As a Brit myself, I remembered the arrest in Britain of Chilean General Augusto José Ramón Pinochet in 2000 — for human rights violations. Yes, he was a Catholic too. The Vatican, indubitably, remembers this incident.
As somebody who grew up with diplomatic immunity, with a father who was an international diplomat for three decades, I also had a better than average understanding on the general boundaries of immunity-related protocols.
That the Vatican City State may not be a bona fide country was, however, something I had not thought of before — prior to the gallant UK activists highlighting it as a major plank in their contention that the pope could indeed be arrested. Now when I think about it, the creation of the Vatican City State was really a very internal Italian maneuver masterminded by no other than Benito Mussolini! In this context, it is indeed intriguing to realize that the United Nations does not recognize the Vatican as a country and thus only affords it Permanent Observer status (with the US having been in the fore in objecting to it being treated as a country). If you also think about it, the Vatican kind of fails the most basic litmus test for a country — it has an acute paucity of kids (at least in public)!
Then this week we heard that Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyo, a papabili in 2005, had written a letter in 2001, when he was the head of the Congregation for the Clergy, praising a French bishop for not reporting a pedophile priest to the police. To make matters worse he then implicated John Paul II (#265) by stating that his letter was ‘blessed’ by the then pope. Amazing. Why is he still a pope? Well, I guess Cardinal Law, who took the law into his own hands, is still a cardinal. In the case of Hoyo, all I can HOPE, is that he partook in what Colombia is most famous for. In my mind, that alone would be the ONLY mitigation that he could offer. ‘Sorry, but I was under the influence. I wasn’t thinking clearly then and I am even more confused now.’
<< Read this related AP article, of April 22, with Hoyo still defending his actions but now implicating Benedict XVI in addition to John Paul II. Nice going. >>
All this said, things are quieting down! The pope’s trip to Malta was without major incident. He supposedly spoke with a number of victims and expressed some regret.
Right now, I think the pope will go ahead with his trip to the U.K. in September. I don’t think the U.K. government will do anything to embarrass him. It is kind of mind boggling.
But, doesn’t this make you think? It is, as if, somebody ‘up there’ is protecting the pope, the Vicar of Christ, and the Vatican.
It is scary! This is the ONE aspect that has really bothered me about this whole sordid scandal. In truth, I really don’t care too much about what the pope did or didn’t do when it came to clerical abuse. He, like me, is but mortal. But, there is a chain of command, even for the pope. Given that the pope continues to prevail … and most likely visit my beloved U.K. in September, without having to worry about whether handcuffs will hurt his delicate wrists or whether he will have to share a cell with an avowed homosexual child molester … what I want to know is what HIS SUPERIOR thinks about all of this. How come in this matter, the buck stops at the pope? It is like giving credit to Joe Biden for the Health Care Reform bill without ever mentioning Obama.
In meus mens.
Think Free, Or Die.
Grace, and may peace be with you.