Friday, 15 February 2013

Monopoly provides the answer to the question "What does a retired pope do next?"

In general terms this is a virtually meaningless question because most popes do not abdicate and retire.  No doubt it will be a while before we hear the real reason for the retirement of Pope Benedict, even if we ever find it out.  The Roman Catholic Church could hardly be say to be famous for its openness.

Like his brother, Pope Benedict has been accused of quite a number of misdemeanours during his professional life.  It is asserted that he has personally been responsible for covering up the nefarious child abuse activities of many Catholic priests.  Although it is not implied that he was actually involved in the rape of children, it would be regarded as a very serious crime in any civilised jurisdiction to take actions intended to impede the police in their investigation of crime.  And yet this is exactly what he has been accused of.  Aiding and abetting one criminal would be serious enough, but it if is true that Ratzinger's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith activities have been systematically confounding law enforcement then someone should take personal responsibility for it.  That someone should clearly be the head of the organisation.

Now that Ratzinger will no longer be acting as 'The Pope', and therefore no longer the head of state of that 'non-country' called 'The Vatican', one might hope that he is getting rather worried.

Please think about that and feel some satisfaction at my optimism.

His immunity to prosecution must surely have been rescinded along with the other responsibilities of the position.

Surely, just like that other notorious European tyrant Mladic, Ratzinger should be arrested and denied bail while his alleged crimes are thoroughly investigated and he is ultimately brought to trial. 

Therefore the answer to the question of his retirement plans should come directly from the Monopoly board!

Ratzinger - 1st March - Go to Jail. Go Directly.
Ratzinger - 1st March - Go to Jail. Go Directly.

Go to jail.  Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect £200 (or whatever currency or culture you prefer).

After all this is a man who should know more about morality than anyone else on Earth if the claims of his church are true.  If God really set the standards of objective morality, then the Vicar of Christ (and his older brother) should have been able to tell that it is immoral to shelter his fellow priests from justice (or whatever his older brother is accused of).

There is little evidence that they have grasped that concept yet.

Go to jail.

Update: 22:30.  This evening I attended an event in Oxford, where Stephen Law and Richard Dawkins were in discussion as part of 'Think Week'.  One of the questions from the audience was on exactly this topic.  RD has been involved in a previous discussion about an attempt to prosecute the pope and together with Christopher Hitchens had paid a top lawyer to look into the idea.  Sitting in the audience this evening and knowing that this post was scheduled I felt quite amused.

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