Richard Dawkins is still at it:
The pope should stand trial.
Why is anyone surprised, much less shocked, when Christopher Hitchens and I call for the prosecution of the pope, if he goes ahead with his proposed visit to Britain? The only strange thing about our proposal is that it had to come from us: where have the world’s governments been all this time? Where is their moral fibre? Where is their commitment to treating everyone equally under the law? The UK government, far from standing up for justice for the innocent victims of the Roman Catholic church, is preparing to welcome this grotesquely tainted man on an official visit to the UK so that he can “dispense moral guidance”. Read that again: dispense moral guidance!
A few obvious questions:
- What law is the Pope supposed to have broken?
- Assuming he has broken an international law, where is the presumption of innocence for the accused?
- Much of what Dawkins writes in this article is based on the Kiesle letter which appeared to imply that the Pope favoured the Church’s reputation over exposing an abusive priest. This contention has been refuted convincingly enough to introduce at least a reasonable doubt here. Where is Dawkins’ scientific detachment in all this?
- If, as some claim, the predominant problem turns out to have been one of homosexual priests in the Catholic Church, would Dawkins approve of a ban on homosexual priests before or after admitting that the sun revolves around the earth?
Dawkins and Hitchens, for all their moralistic posturing, have no basis for their self-appointed positions as ethical arbiters of how the Roman Catholic Church should cope with the child abuse scandal. As atheists, not only can they not appeal to moral absolutes, but the principles that fire their affected indignation are not even their own: they were derived from the very institution they are out to destroy, the Christian Church.