British authors and atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, whom Terry Eagleton has affectionately referred to as the combined entity known as “Ditchkins,” are joining legal forces to see if Pope Benedict XVI can be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. —KA
The pair argue that Pope Benedict XVI should be arrested when he visits Britain in September and put on trial for his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. Last week a letter emerged from 1985 in which the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger urged that a paedophilic priest in America not be defrocked for the “good of the universal church”.
The Vatican has already suggested the pope is immune from prosecution because he is a head of state. But Dawkins and Hitchens believe that because he is not the head of a state with full United Nations membership, he does not hold immunity and could be arrested when he steps on to British soil.