There's an article by Dawkins on the Guardian website (guardian.co.uk) where he says that the idea that he will personally arrest the Pope was a bit of Murdoch nastiness - he says he managed to get the Times website to change this headline.
The zombie remains of Tony Blair were wheeled out by the Labour party as part of their general election campaign - he has recently become Catholic so it's hardly likely Brown will be down at Heathrow with an anti-Pope placard.
I also read that there are calls for the Pope's arrest in Turkey - for insults to Islam. Bloody hell, it's enough to make the Pontiff agoraphobic.
Justice for Child Abuse Victims
The Catholic Church is working against the interests of child abuse victims in state legislatures around the country. In recent weeks, lobbying by the church has blocked measures in Wisconsin, Arizona and Connecticut intended to widen the legal window for victims to file lawsuits against hidden predators.
We urge the New York State Legislature to rise above intense lobbying by the New York State Catholic Conference and Orthodox Jewish officials and pass the overdue Child Victims Act. Like a similar measure enacted in 2003 by California, it would create a one-time, one-year suspension of the statute of limitations for bringing civil lawsuits over the sexual abuse of children.
Once that window closes, people alleging abuse would have until age 28 to bring a claim. Current law sets the limit at 23 in most circumstances.
The measure recognizes that it typically takes many years before victims are ready to come forward. The measure also recognizes the Catholic Church’s history of intimidating victims and burying abuses in church files, creating a shroud of secrecy that extended in many cases until victims were in their 30s or older, well beyond existing time limits for prosecutions or civil lawsuits.
An earlier version of the bill passed the Assembly in 2006, 2007 and 2008, but the Senate, then under Republican control, refused to consider it. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver expresses strong support for the latest bill, amended to cover abuses by both religious and non- religious entities. But he is insistent that the Senate act first before requiring his members to cast another politically sensitive vote on the issue.
The Senate Codes Committee is set to consider the measure by mid-June. The committee’s chairman, Eric Schneiderman, Democrat of Manhattan, should work to ensure passage of the bill, which has safeguards against the filing of bogus claims.
The Catholic Church fears a wave of costly settlements and damage awards like those that followed California’s temporary lifting of the statute of limitations several years ago. Those concerns, and the difficulty of trying to judge decades-old accusations, are outweighed by the need to afford victims a measure of justice, the demands of public safety, and the injustice of rewarding any group for covering up sexual abuse of children.
Probably because Dawkins and Hitchens totally bungled this one. In this weird witch-hunt to try to pin something about the child abuse cases on Ratzinger (anything, really), they seem to have abandoned all critical analysis and all the need for doing homework. No wonder the case never materialized: there's no case to be made here.
The irony is that if we wanted to arrest a Pope for enabling child abuse, the former Pope John Paul II was a much better contester. Not only was he well known to protect several known child abusers and refused to reform the system that enabled this abuse, right up until the point that a certain Cardinal was eventually able to force the Pope to stop and put the authority and responsibility of dealing with these matters squarely on the Pope. That Cardinal was Joseph Ratzinger.
That's why this witch-hunt is so completely insanely nuts. The only guy who we know has made steps (in defiance of the then-Pope John Paul II) to protect children in these matters, is Ratzinger.