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ladyvincenza
04-30-2011, 01:40 AM
Anyone reading this probably knows that Hitch and Dawkins spearheaded a movement to arrest Pope Benedict, which as far as I can tell didn't work because as a "head of state," (which the job of Pope arguably isn't), he has immunity.
I'm sketching out a novel in which the guys really DO arrest the pope. Does anyone out there know (I've asked a couple of atheist lawyers, haven't heard back yet) what, if anything, would enable us to do this, and what the process would look like?
I don't think it takes a vehement anti-theist to want to apprehend the pope for his crimes, btw. Just sayin.'

veinglory
04-30-2011, 01:45 AM
I obviously have not being keeping track, but what crimes is he accused of?

ladyvincenza
04-30-2011, 01:54 AM
Sheltering child abusers. This is considered to be "crimes against humanity," in this case, on a global scale.
Plus I'd say other stuff he's done, while not crimes, do deserve to be apprehended somehow, like denouncing condoms to AIDS-ravaged Africa. He needs to be brought to justice.

Amadan
04-30-2011, 02:12 AM
Legally and politically, it would never fly and doesn't work as anything other than a grandstanding scheme (or a farcical novel).

HarryHoskins
04-30-2011, 02:29 AM
Legally and politically, it would never fly and doesn't work as anything other than a grandstanding scheme (or a farcical novel).

Or satire.

veinglory
04-30-2011, 02:38 AM
Well, that was a systemic crime. I would expect to see it charged as a conspiracy by a group. Or, as is more usual, an inquiry and restorative justice.

MarcMcClure
04-30-2011, 03:07 AM
but I agree that arresting the pope would never fly.

The pope is the head of Vatican City, which is recognized as an independent nation. Arresting him would open a can of worms - no head of state could ever feel safe travelling, as they would surely be disliked in at least SOME country.

So while I am all for arresting church leaders who commit or facilitate the committing of crimes, I think it would be cause world-wide chaos to arrest the pope.

Now there is an interesting novel: they arrest the pope, and the aftermath is that different nations go around arresting leaders they don't like. Maybe it starts WW3?

MattWalker
04-30-2011, 08:15 PM
Now there is an interesting novel: they arrest the pope, and the aftermath is that different nations go around arresting leaders they don't like. Maybe it starts WW3?

Oooh, I like that.

MarcMcClure
05-01-2011, 05:32 AM
Oooh, I like that.

Thanks Matt! Now write it and sell it. Just give me a nod in the Acknowledgments.
:tongue

Maxx
05-01-2011, 10:34 PM
but I agree that arresting the pope would never fly.

The pope is the head of Vatican City, which is recognized as an independent nation. Arresting him would open a can of worms - no head of state could ever feel safe travelling, as they would surely be disliked in at least SOME country.

So while I am all for arresting church leaders who commit or facilitate the committing of crimes, I think it would be cause world-wide chaos to arrest the pope.

Now there is an interesting novel: they arrest the pope, and the aftermath is that different nations go around arresting leaders they don't like. Maybe it starts WW3?

Arresting Popes used to be easier. Boniface the VIII was beaten up and so humiliated that he either gnawed off his own arm or smashed in his own skull or both. And then Dante put him in Hell.

see the Wikipedia on Boniface VIII.

MarcMcClure
05-02-2011, 01:45 AM
Arresting Popes used to be easier. Boniface the VIII was beaten up and so humiliated that he either gnawed off his own arm or smashed in his own skull or both. And then Dante put him in Hell.

see the Wikipedia on Boniface VIII.

The wonderful days of yore, when people did whatever the hell they wanted.

Sarpedon
05-02-2011, 06:13 PM
Italy could decide to abolish the Vatican city as an independant state.

the Vatican City was granted independence by order of none other than Benito Mussolini. It was a reward for the Catholic Church's support for his coup.

If Italy were to decide to repossess the Vatican City, there would be murrmurs of protest, but nothing substantial.

veinglory
05-02-2011, 06:19 PM
The Pope could also potentially be arrested while traveling overseas.

zornhau
05-02-2011, 09:40 PM
Then you have the head of state problem.

The thing to do would be to fall back on the Medieval trick of setting up an Anti Pope.

Sarpedon
05-02-2011, 09:56 PM
Maybe you could bribe the swiss guards to overthrow him, and set up the Free Republic of the Vatican City.

Aaron Wilder
05-02-2011, 10:21 PM
Who would be arresting him? The U.N.?

MarcMcClure
05-02-2011, 11:01 PM
Started this like 2 hours ago and got interrupted. Sorry if it's a bit late.


The Pope could also potentially be arrested while traveling overseas.

Technically he can't. To do so would be to throw out international law. It's like the Pinochet thing: after being Chile's dictator for 20 years, torturing and killing political opponents (as well as anyone else he/they damn well wanted to) he could still move freely around the world for YEARS, until red tape was unraveled enough to allow for his arrest.

I still say write the novel as:


Terry Jones goes rogue (again) and places the Pope under a citizen's arrest. Italy freaks out and arrests US Secretary of State. France says, 'Wha-? We wont een on ziz, too!' and arrest Prince Harry for that Nazi costume thing. Incensed, ol' Liz seizes control of Parliament and declares war on France. The Germans, oddly enough, have wanted to pay France back for WWI and WWII, so they jump to France's side. The Portuguese, who have been notoriously overlooked in our latest wars, dive in on the side of England. Meanwhile, Terry has Benedict locked up in Florida, the ATF have the place surrounded. Terry holds another kangaroo court, finding Benedict guilty. As sentence is passed, Benedict opens his mouth overly wide, like a snake about to swallow a rat - only instead of swallowing, out pops Satan, shedding Benedict like old skin. He thanks Terry for opening the seventh seal. The end of days has begun.
Come on, guys ... run with it!

veinglory
05-02-2011, 11:09 PM
Technically he *shouldn't*. But once he is within the boundaries of another country they might just choose to not give a damn about international law (which in lesser ways happens quite a lot). The whole idea is a bit of a stretch but not impossible. Out of country arrests of former heads of state have happened (e.g. Pinochet).

veinglory
05-02-2011, 11:12 PM
Oh, I forgot, in 2009 there was an arrest warrant out right now for current Sudan head of state Omar Bashir. If he left the country they would have brought him in.

agent.grey
05-03-2011, 01:25 AM
Anyone reading this probably knows that Hitch and Dawkins spearheaded a movement to arrest Pope Benedict, which as far as I can tell didn't work because as a "head of state," (which the job of Pope arguably isn't), he has immunity.
I'm sketching out a novel in which the guys really DO arrest the pope. Does anyone out there know (I've asked a couple of atheist lawyers, haven't heard back yet) what, if anything, would enable us to do this, and what the process would look like?
I don't think it takes a vehement anti-theist to want to apprehend the pope for his crimes, btw. Just sayin.'

I think the biggest question for the process is who 'us' would be in this context.

The U.N. rarely gets involved in arresting Heads of State. The only examples are people widely regarded as directly responsible for genocide. I don't think you would easily convince a large number of countries that the current Pope falls into this category.

An individual country can do it if he sets foot on their soil. But in most countries the warrant would need to be in place before the visit. I would think planned visits would be postponed/cancelled. Even assuming a nation does arrest him, how will they weather the storm of outrage? Catholicism has around 1.2 billion adherents, many of whom will be less than amused.

If you are planning this as a serious (as opposed to satirical/farcical) plot then these issues need addressed. Not that there is a problem with doing so - the fallout from the arrest could be interesting material.

ladyvincenza
05-03-2011, 03:41 AM
Thanks, guys.

Maxx
05-03-2011, 03:30 PM
Then you have the head of state problem.

The thing to do would be to fall back on the Medieval trick of setting up an Anti Pope.

I agree. The antipope is the way to go. I would have him consecrated by one of the Patriarchs of the pre-Roman Church (there used to be Patriarchs for Alexandria...)
a Copt would do.

Komnena
05-03-2011, 04:25 PM
Used to be? There still are. www.patriarchateofalexandria.com

zornhau
05-04-2011, 03:37 PM
Send Cataphracts to arrest the Pope!

Maxx
05-04-2011, 03:54 PM
Send Cataphracts to arrest the Pope!

Where are the Byzantines when you need them? Always using that obliterated empire excuse to do nothing.

Actually, I think Byzantine ecclesiastical authority might have technically devolved onto the Primate of Moscow.

Get a giant genetically enhanced Russian ape to arrest the Pope. Since the ape would not be human, human laws would not hinder him in the execution of his ecclesiastical errands.

RyanCE
05-05-2011, 07:55 PM
what did he do to be arrested???

Sarpedon
05-05-2011, 08:40 PM
Please have your story involve a car-chase in the Popemobile.

Maxx
05-05-2011, 08:51 PM
Please have your story involve a car-chase in the Popemobile.

Have the Pope and the ape trapped in there. And the pope deliver his famous line: "Can no one free me from this tumultious ape?"

Of course, theocratic enlightenment eventually comes to the benighted ape and he is belatedly granted sainthood, which he wears as lightly as his apehood.

He dies eventually, going happily to eternal damnation (since only humans can be saved since God became man and not woman or ape or marmoset) or perhaps not so eternal damnation since a sequel to all of human history is planned: the coming of Monkey Jesus (though this still leaves the apes, women and marmosets -- to name a few -- out in the cold -- the relative mental cold -- of pure flamming Hell).

Which leaves things open for a more Dan Brown kind of sequel: Women, Apes and Marmosets (WAM).

Char
05-05-2011, 09:33 PM
I still say write the novel as:
Terry Jones goes rogue (again) and places the Pope under a citizen's arrest. Italy freaks out and arrests US Secretary of State. France says, 'Wha-? We wont een on ziz, too!' and arrest Prince Harry for that Nazi costume thing. Incensed, ol' Liz seizes control of Parliament and declares war on France. The Germans, oddly enough, have wanted to pay France back for WWI and WWII, so they jump to France's side. The Portuguese, who have been notoriously overlooked in our latest wars, dive in on the side of England. Meanwhile, Terry has Benedict locked up in Florida, the ATF have the place surrounded. Terry holds another kangaroo court, finding Benedict guilty. As sentence is passed, Benedict opens his mouth overly wide, like a snake about to swallow a rat - only instead of swallowing, out pops Satan, shedding Benedict like old skin. He thanks Terry for opening the seventh seal. The end of days has begun.
Come on, guys ... run with it!


This.

Somebody PLEASE write this book.

Pretty please?

Aaron Wilder
05-05-2011, 10:19 PM
I agree. The antipope is the way to go.

Or, from the makers of Pope - new Pope Zero. Same Pope taste, but with zero calories :)

MJNL
05-06-2011, 12:38 AM
Italy could decide to abolish the Vatican city as an independant state.

the Vatican City was granted independence by order of none other than Benito Mussolini. It was a reward for the Catholic Church's support for his coup.

If Italy were to decide to repossess the Vatican City, there would be murrmurs of protest, but nothing substantial.

I kind of disagree. I think under the right circumstances it could lead to all out revolution. There are about a billion people in the world who would take it as a personal and religious affront if Italy decided to “reclaim” the sovereign nation.

Synovia
05-06-2011, 01:32 AM
I kind of disagree. I think under the right circumstances it could lead to all out revolution. There are about a billion people in the world who would take it as a personal and religious affront if Italy decided to “reclaim” the sovereign nation.
I'm not sure I agree with that. There would certainly be some outcry, but if Catholics worldwide are anything like most american Catholics, there'd be a whole lot of "NO!, they didn't" followed by flicking back to Oprah.

There are a whole lot of Catholics right now who have a whole lot of problems with the church heirarchy because of all of the molestation and corruption cases over the last couple of years. They believe in the church on a local level, but above that, they just see corruption.

Sarpedon
05-06-2011, 01:33 AM
It didn't bother them much in 1798, or 1870.

Please, name a country that would declare war on Italy over this.

Jamesaritchie
05-06-2011, 01:41 AM
Italy could decide to abolish the Vatican city as an independant state.

the Vatican City was granted independence by order of none other than Benito Mussolini. It was a reward for the Catholic Church's support for his coup.

If Italy were to decide to repossess the Vatican City, there would be murrmurs of protest, but nothing substantial.

There would be a world-wide revolution, and Italy would most likely be stomped into the mud. If the 55,000,000 Catholics in Italy alone didn't do the stomping, the more than 1,000,000,000 around the world would.

And Italy does not have the legal authority to repossess Vatican City.

Nor did Vatican City become a state by order of Benito Mussolini. Italy annexed the Vatican, but the Vatican never recognized this, and every Pope from 1871 until 1929 considered himself a prisoner. Mussolini simply gave back what always was, really had no choice at the time, and it was the right thing to do, which is why no Italian government since has failed to honor the treaty.

Jamesaritchie
05-06-2011, 01:45 AM
It didn't bother them much in 1798, or 1870.

Please, name a country that would declare war on Italy over this.

Almost every country out there, including the U.S. You don't seem to have a clue how many Catholics there are in the world, or how powerful they are. Even ninety-six percent of the Italian population is Catholic, so exactly how would the Italian government go about bothering Vatican City without an internal uprising?

Jamesaritchie
05-06-2011, 01:46 AM
The Pope could also potentially be arrested while traveling overseas.


No. By international law, wherever he is, whatever the country, the ground he stands on is still Vatican City ground.

Jamesaritchie
05-06-2011, 01:53 AM
Sheltering child abusers. This is considered to be "crimes against humanity," in this case, on a global scale.
Plus I'd say other stuff he's done, while not crimes, do deserve to be apprehended somehow, like denouncing condoms to AIDS-ravaged Africa. He needs to be brought to justice.


The first charge is just dumb, and the condom notion is just, well, so filled with egomania that it's hard to believe you're serious. I'm glad you want condoms in Africa, but to think you have the right to say everyone else must share this opinion. Pope or peasant, is true megalomania.

And, of course, which Pope do you arrest? Or do you consider one arrested Pope is as good as any other, even if he just became Pope?

Sarpedon
05-06-2011, 01:53 AM
They didn't stomp on italy the last time.

How many people are willing to die for the Pope?

Seriously.

Sure there's a billion Catholics. So what? Don't tell me that religion is more of a big deal now than it was in 1870, because it isn't.

Catholics didn't do squat then, and they won't do squat now.

And the fact that the popes considered themselves prisoners for 60 years proves only that 60 years passed and the world's Catholics did nothing to help the pope. Because ultimately whether the pope has a country or not is utterly irrelevant to Catholics.

veinglory
05-06-2011, 01:54 AM
No. By international law, wherever he is, whatever the country, the ground he stands on is still Vatican City ground.

The same it true for any head of state, but several of them have still found themselves facing arrest if they left their countries (one example in my previous post). the International Court in theory and in practice has the power to order their arrest for sufficiently serious crimes. And more realistically, a country could just do so unilaterally whether it is illegal under international law or not (I mean, by international law we aren't meant to just kill people in foreign countries either or commit genocide either, but it has happened over and over).

Sarpedon
05-06-2011, 01:58 AM
Almost every country out there, including the U.S. You don't seem to have a clue how many Catholics there are in the world, or how powerful they are. Even ninety-six percent of the Italian population is Catholic, so exactly how would the Italian government go about bothering Vatican City without an internal uprising?

Don't be insulting. I know how many people are nominally Catholic. What I dispute is the number of people who would actually take up arms to support the pope's claims to rule an independant state. History has shown that the answer to that question is zero.

The United States would never declare war on one of our most important allies over the Pope. Period. Its simply naive to think so.

Catholics around the world routinely ignore the pope's decrees. He's a figurehead.

And an uprising in Italy over the Pope? Won't happen. There was an uprising in Italy the last time the pope's pretend country was abolished. An uprising of Italian Catholics. Against the pope. The subjects of the papal states welcomed the Italian troops as liberators.

Amadan
05-06-2011, 02:00 AM
Almost every country out there, including the U.S.


Seriously? Seriously?

We haven't declared war on anyone since WWII. If Italy took back Vatican City, the U.S. might protest, but they wouldn't even get a "police action" to oppose it.

No, nobody would declare war on Italy. Major political turmoil in Italy? Sure. (Keep in mind that "96% of Italians are Catholic" figure is like saying that something like 90% of Americans are nominally Christian -- it doesn't mean they actually vote that way. The Church is not as untouchable in Italy as you seem to think it is.)


I'm glad you want condoms in Africa, but to think you have the right to say everyone else must share this opinion. Pope or peasant, is true megalomania.

James calling someone a megalomaniac is so cute. :ROFL:

But seriously, dude, of course she has a right to say everyone else must share this opinion. (She didn't say that, of course, but never mind.) It would be kind of arrogant if she did, but not exactly megalomaniacal. Now, replace "must" with "should" and you have a perfectly reasonable statement.

agent.grey
05-06-2011, 02:36 AM
It didn't bother them much in 1798, or 1870.

During the period 1870-1929 various properties and rights of the Popes were affected but the Law of Guarantees allowed them to continue to send and receive ambassadors (and other lesser functionaries). Successive Popes elected to consider themselves prisoners of the Vatican. That seems a lot less likely to inflame passions than annexation of the Vatican City and arrest of the Pope for trial.

I do doubt that war or armed civil disorder would result if Italy tried this. But the political group(s) that passed the law are in for a pretty rough ride electorally if nothing else. Internationally Italy would certainly be in for some strong criticism from Latin America, as well as a fair number of countries that didn't like the precedent/example set. What would Italy, or any major political group within it, gain by either re-absorbing the Vatican or arresting the Pope?

The idea could still work in a serious (i.e. non-humorous/satirical) novel, but without at least some thought about the larger issues surrounding arrest of the Pope I think the most interesting aspects of this plot would be missing.

johnnysannie
05-06-2011, 04:38 AM
Catholics around the world routinely ignore the pope's decrees. He's a figurehead.

.

Well, as a practicing Catholic, I would say no, he isn't, not to the faithful of which there are many worldwide. The Pope - and it is actually capitalized as a title, people don't write president obama or queen elizabeth - commands a great deal of respect. Among Protestants, not much because they don't understand.

Amadan
05-06-2011, 04:41 AM
Among Protestants, not much because they don't understand.


Protestants understand fine, they just don't recognize the pope's claim to succession.

MJNL
05-06-2011, 05:37 AM
Some people here seem to be ignoring the one country taking over another--illegally--aspect. What, just because it's small it's not as politically valid as a larger nation? If the UK just decided to "reclaim" a former colony you can bet the UN would have issues. I don't see how this is different.

But, even though it's interesting, this discussion might count as thread derailment any way. I don't think the OP said anything about Italy taking over the Vatican. Sorry! But again, very interesting to think about.

Amadan
05-06-2011, 06:11 AM
Some people here seem to be ignoring the one country taking over another--illegally--aspect. What, just because it's small it's not as politically valid as a larger nation? If the UK just decided to "reclaim" a former colony you can bet the UN would have issues. I don't see how this is different.

But, even though it's interesting, this discussion might count as thread derailment any way. I don't think the OP said anything about Italy taking over the Vatican. Sorry! But again, very interesting to think about.


Yeah, I think the OP was asking in terms of "What would actually happen?" And what would actually happen is -- not much. There would be protests. A billion Catholics worldwide would be pissed off. There would be some riots. But no governments would fall (or be invaded) over it. Even if Italy took back Vatican City, there is a 0% chance of the UN doing anything more than passing a strongly-worded denunciation, and a 0.000% chance of the U.S. or anyone else declaring war on Italy.

However, the political reality is such that no one would actually do it (arrest the pope) because even worldwide disapproval and pissed-off Catholics would outweigh any possible benefits, since arresting the pope wouldn't actually accomplish anything. So it seems to me the biggest problem in a novel about arresting the pope is to come up with a plausible reason why.

Sarpedon
05-06-2011, 05:23 PM
Well, as a practicing Catholic, I would say no, he isn't, not to the faithful of which there are many worldwide. The Pope - and it is actually capitalized as a title, people don't write president obama or queen elizabeth - commands a great deal of respect. Among Protestants, not much because they don't understand.

Actions speak louder than words. Say what you like, but until I see catholics actually obeying papal decrees, I won't believe it.

ladyvincenza
05-12-2011, 02:52 AM
The first charge is just dumb, and the condom notion is just, well, so filled with egomania that it's hard to believe you're serious. I'm glad you want condoms in Africa, but to think you have the right to say everyone else must share this opinion. Pope or peasant, is true megalomania.

And, of course, which Pope do you arrest? Or do you consider one arrested Pope is as good as any other, even if he just became Pope?

Sounds like you don't know what egomania and megalomania are...
Do you really think sheltering child abusers *isn't* a crime? Either way, what does that have to do with my ego?
I can assure you that arresting Pope Ratzinger *wasn't* my idea and I'm not the only person who feels this way. I bet if a priest raped your kid, you'd feel the same way.

ladyvincenza
05-12-2011, 02:54 AM
Thanks for the help, everyone:) The Terry Jones plot sounds interesting, but I'm looking for something realistic. I appreciate all the information and history you've given me. I suspect that in real life, the first step would be to take away the Vatican City's status as a nation, and hence the pope's status as a head of state.

M. Scott
05-12-2011, 04:09 AM
I think it would be interesting to make him a CIA target in a satirical novel. I think you would want to use a fictional Pope and involve him in Obstruction of Justice and Aiding and Abetting criminals. I think the route you could take is playing with the notion that they (priests, bishops, whoever) aren't allowed to repeat what is being said in confessionals. When it comes to some serious matters, like the relocating pedophilic priests and not turning them in, many believe it to be a crime. Just fictionally repeal some laws or add some degree of people not following international law.

I know, maybe a CIA agent who either was molested as a child or closely connected to one. You can play with the idea of a controversial bill that removes the Vatican's right to act as it's own state and use it as a tense backdrop.

Lastly, merely "telling" Africans not to use condoms isn't a crime, it's called free speech (yeah, yeah, I know Italy isn't in America so our laws don't apply). If one were to actively interfere with them receiving condoms or ruining a shipment, that would be a crime. Talking or writing isn't illegal (in most cases).

I'll say this, if Da Vinci Code and Avatar have pissed off parts of the church, the very premise of your book will as well. Then again, the church is perpetually pissed off about something, and I'm guessing the controversy could get you some sales. Go the route of the almighty satirical farce, I don't see any other immediate options.

ladyvincenza
05-13-2011, 11:38 PM
I know the condom thing isn't a crime. I'm just saying that the Pope has done some pretty awful stuff, illegal and otherwise.
In any case, I'm not really going for a satirical novel here, although these are really interesting ideas.

froley
05-17-2011, 10:36 AM
Even if the pope were arrested or abducted or assassinated (officially or otherwise), wouldn't they just put a new one in his place? The pope is only guilty of perpetuating the criminal philosophies of the Church, not necessarily instigating them.

I'd read your novel regardless--it's a fascinating idea. I'd also read a conflicting and difficult novel about terrorists who blow up the Vatican; criminals killing other criminals is always fascinating. I wouldn't know who to root for.

The Unseen Moon
07-14-2011, 08:47 PM
What you could do is create a secret organization that is dedicated to the downfall of the Catholic Church. What they would do is create false charges and spread rumors and innuendos against the Pope and any other members. Of course you would have to start small and then get bigger, and make it a complicated plot because in order to make false charges stick you have to hide the evidence that shows these charges are false.

And the crimes have to be more than just Child Molestation. That's just not going to cut it.

And other complications will include the millions of followers around the world. You're going to have to find ways of convincing them that the Catholic Church is doing these crimes against humanity.

And the best way to do that is start committing crimes against them in the name of the Pope. Eventually many of them will turn away from the Pope when they are victimized by the Catholic Church.