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Ratzinger to Stay at Vatican for Immunity

Now this report makes more sense to me than the one from that weird group the International Tribunal on Crimes of Church and State. Pope Benedict, who will return to being Joseph Ratzinger after his resignation is official, will continue to live at the Vatican so he can have that state’s protection against criminal prosecution for his role in covering up the rape of children by Catholic priests.

Pope Benedict’s decision to live in the Vatican after he resigns will provide him with security and privacy. It will also offer legal protection from any attempt to prosecute him in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, Church sources and legal experts say.

“His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn’t have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else,” said one Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It is absolutely necessary” that he stays in the Vatican, said the source, adding that Benedict should have a “dignified existence” in his remaining years.

It doesn’t really make sense for him to resign because of potential criminal prosecution, since remaining the head of a sovereign state would provide him more protection than not being one. Nor does the idea that he resigned to protect the church in the case of such prosecutions make much sense in light of the fact that they are going to continue to make sure he’s immune from such prosecution. So I tend to think that he really did resign for health reasons, with the guarantee of immunity and protection from the Vatican giving him the necessary protection until he dies.

Comments

  1. Trebuchet says

    I couldn’t do it. Retire from Pope, I mean. Going back to regular-sized hats? Madness!

    Not to worry — he’ll no doubt still be at least a bishop and probably a cardinal. Both positions allow for the wearing of a mitre, as well as other funny hats.

  2. says

    @2..in a just world, he’d spend a week in agony for every child’s tear shed at the hands of one of his priests.

    Long, slow, debilitating and endlessly painful.

    However, this is why I’m sure there is no god. Nothing of the sort will happen.

  3. says

    Trebuchet, sure, but he’ll get hats, but it won’t be the same. Every time he sees New Pope walk past, he’ll catch a glimpse of his hat and, knowing what he gave up, his heart will break.

  4. anubisprime says

    @ OP

    So I tend to think that he really did resign for health reasons

    Well it is always possible they learnt a lesson from the shambled debacle that was JP2, but RCC does not do learning that is 3/4 of their problem.

    I think that continuing to sit as head of a virtual potentate he would be the lightening conductor and the one that organizations would call on directly to answer some very awkward questions.
    Now that does not mean he would…more likely a rather ponderous mish mash of vague and unrelated bollix would be the response but it is being noticed that he is in the frame and the questions and charges just keep piling up.
    There is only so much a Vatican spokesperson can cover up and the scandals are not going away and are the ones where he is affectively skewered because arguably he was the architect of the subsequent cover up’s.

    The clue is in the OP…

    “His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn’t have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else,” said one Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    And why would he need security…

    It will also offer legal protection from any attempt to prosecute him in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, Church sources and legal experts say.

    So there we have it…the Vatican are well aware of his / their problem.

    This is a blatant admittance that Benny has a prima facie case to answer, where before now they clucked and mumbled and prevaricated and shuffled feet and looked away and pretended to be distracted by something else.

    They do not want him exposed to the world and be seen blatantly avoiding or ignoring questions at gatherings or press conferences…the dude is a liability, a walking time bomb, to the RCC…they are not going to risk it especially as age rots what is left of a toxic little mind and obvious deficit in actual IQ.

    So by all means buy the RCC line, and pretend it is all legit.
    But RCC and legit in the same sentence…diametrically opposed contexts there, name one time in the last 2000 yrs when the RCC were actually acting legitimately in any context that was not to their own ultimate glory?

    IT DOES NOT EXIST!

  5. siveambrai says

    I was actually just talking with my Catholic mother about this exact thing this weekend. I was explaining that the church would attempt to protect him from lawsuits or extradition for crimes.

    As someone who was raised Catholic this move makes more sense from within the church as well since it means he can be kept in their sight and power, preventing the potential for another schism (cause yes, that’s what catholics are actually worried about right now).

  6. Moggie says

    It’s not just a question of immunity, I think. When he announced his plan to resign, he said said his physical and mental strength was no longer up to the task. What if he’s been diagnosed with the onset of Alzheimer’s? That would certainly impair his ability to do the job – but it also means that he couldn’t be counted on not to get confused and spill the beans, so to speak. An ex-pope who sometimes doesn’t know who he’s talking to is a ticking time bomb.

  7. Didaktylos says

    There was a late-nineteenth Century Pope (I forget which one, the one who was in charge when the House of Savoy finally completed the reunification of Italy in 1870) who styled himself The Prisoner of The Vatican.

  8. julial says

    Kevin @ 6

    .in a just world, he’d spend a week in agony for every child’s tear shed at the hands of one of his priests.

    Agreed, but only if he had knowledge of the transgressions which caused and opportunity to mitigate, avoid or punish those responsible for said tears. Otherwise you are advocating torture for crimes not committed. That should remain a monopoly of the theists.

    However, this is why I’m sure there is no god. Nothing of the sort will happen.

    This is a significant reason for theistic faith of simple people; to make axiomatic the punishment of those who escape justice during their lifetimes.

  9. says

    Now would be a good time to consider abrogating the treaty that gave the Vatican the legal status of a sovereign state. Seriously, get their “embassy” off our soil and tell the Italian Government we’ll henceforth consider that piece of Rome to be part of Italy, under Italian law.

  10. Artor says

    Obama seems fond of extrajudicial drone strikes in foreign lands. Ratzinger as a candidate would conflict me between hating the program and loving the results. Of course, those drone strikes often kill everyone in the building with the target, but I hear there will be a council soon, with all the top leaders of an international crime syndicate present…

  11. abb3w says

    @12ish, Didaktylos

    There was a late-nineteenth Century Pope (I forget which one, the one who was in charge when the House of Savoy finally completed the reunification of Italy in 1870) who styled himself The Prisoner of The Vatican.

    (Pius IX, plus also P-X and P-XI.)
    So, there’s even recent precedent.

  12. tainthammer says

    It seems pretty clear to me that he resigned because, as pope, he would be expected to travel, and as soon as he did, he might be arrested. So if you can’t avoid leaving the Vatican while pope, you’d better stop being pope.

  13. says

    So the Big Question – What role does the Catholic Church play in an increasingly secular world? – has been answered. They’ll hide pedophiles and pedophile conspirators from criminal prosecution by allowing them to live safely within their city state. Yes, the church will always have a strong role to play in executing the worst possible crimes against people.

  14. Alverant says

    I don’t think he’s resigning for health reasons. He schemed so much to get this job he wouldn’t give it up unless someone had some serious blackmail material on him. He resigned to prevent further embarassment to himself and the RCC. Now the next pope can attribute any mistakes to Ratzi while keeping him safe from having to take responsibility for those crimes.

    The way a pope is selected is, in part, determined by the previous pope. Since this one is resigning he could say that he has to approve whoever the cardnals chose, giving him ultimate veto power and the ability to effectively hand pick the next pope. One that will protect him and his “good” name.

  15. tbp1 says

    I think his health may be a part of the issue, but I cannot help thinking there’s something else at play, as well. It’s been almost 600 years since the last Papal resignation, and as a result of that it’s certainly not unusual for popes to stay pope years after they are no longer up to the task. As much as I disliked JPII, I was embarrassed for him in his public appearances the last few years of his life. No one should be put on display in public in that kind of condition. Apparently, though, that wasn’t an obstacle to the RCC then, for for 600 years, so why now, all of a sudden? I will be VERY curious to see what comes out about this in the next few months/years.

  16. says

    Benedict should have a “dignified existence” in his remaining years.

    While the thousands of rape victims that he covered up are just shit outta luck. Right, Ratzi?

  17. anubisprime says

    Yep…Leopards change not their spots…nor tigers their stripes lose..even the manes stay attached to the lion head…so it is with the RCC.

    Popes do not resign unless it is of greater benefit to the RCC, it does not happen and the RCC is not an altruistic magisterium nor it it a particularly humane one…

    If there was not some over compelling reason they would expect, if not demand, that Benny sat on the seat to the end of his days in whatever state he was in…

    Remember they sell the sensationalist rubbish that the pope is as near as it is possible to get a god on earth, his special envoy, the peter of his generation, a saint in waiting etc etc etc…they do not take kindly to the notion that they can be fired, retired or changed just because, once pope that is it for life…that is their attitude and as far as I know always has been!

    So this nonsense is because their is compelling reason, they want him out of the media scrutinizing his every word…every gesture….every look.

    They cannot risk benny having a senior moment…that would bring the shit down on all of their heads.
    And in some style I would imagine.

    Nope better for them to bury the bad news away and pretend the new pope knows nothing anyway…the unpleasantness is all in the distant past.dah de dah de dah…they are trying to bury it simples it has done far to much damage and that damage is getting worse, they are trying to limit it, this is an example of extreme damage control…but they are desperate.

  18. cottonnero says

    Joss Ackland can consult, but Ian McDiarmid gets right of first refusal for the role. Besides, his character won’t be showing up in any Star Wars sequels, and he’s already established that he can play the leader of an evil empire.

  19. yoav says

    He should make sure all large vents are covered before asking Cardinal Vader to invite his secret son to the Vatican so he can be converted.

  20. Nemo says

    Pope Benedict, who will return to being Joseph Ratzinger after his resignation is official

    This was the first pope where I saw a substantial number of people never stopped referring to him by his pre-inauguration name. I think I’ve seen “Ratzinger” more than “Benedict” in the last eight years. It’s been great; I hope it continues.

  21. martinc says

    Were Pius IX, Pius X etc. actually really pious? I suspect they chose the name to make people think they were.

    In unrelated news, the next Pope is going to be called Pope NoPedosHere the First.

  22. says

    I’ve been picturing a piece of paper with the heading “Should I Resign?” A line down the middle with pro on the left and con on the right.

    More free time — Not enough hobbies.

    No monitoring of overnight visitors — Ganswein dumps me for new pope.

    That sort of thing

  23. says

    I say we give him the Manuel Noriega treatment. The thought of our military parked in Saint Peter’s Square with massive speakers blasting “Panama” and “We Built This City on Rock n’ Roll” until Ratzi surrenders would be awesome.

  24. says

    d. c. wilson,

    But seriously, this isn’t just about the Vatican. This would be an invasion of Italy. Yeah, they could land helicopters in St. Peter’s Square, probably killing a few toursists in the process, but do we really want to open an invasion-of-a-NATO-country can of worms, because notwithstanding the sovereign status of Vatican City, Italians would regard this as an invasion of Rome and a violation of Italian sovereignty. The diplomatic blowback would be incalculable.

  25. says

    “…Benedict should have a “dignified existence” in his remaining years.

    Why?”

    Because, in Benny’s words”

    “Si EGO sum subcribo , vos totus es subcribo me; quod aufero vestri foetidus , spurcus manuum ex meus mitre! Operor vos agnosco, podeces?”

    Loose translation:

    “If I go down, we ALL go down; and take your filthy, stinking hands offa my hat! Verstehen Sie,arschloch?*”

    * The popester sometimes slips into his native tongue. And we ALL know who else spoke german!

  26. says

    Dr. X: No need for an actual invasion. Just mention the possibility, move a carrier group or two within striking distance of Rome, wait for the Italians to protest — for the obvious reasons — and then take their protests as de-facto recognition that the Vatican is, in fact, part of Italy, not a “state” in its own right.

  27. yoav says

    We know that god cause all kind of natural disasters in response to THA GAYZ but that his aim is a bit off. It’s possible that we now have enough datapoints for a good mathematician to calculate where in the world should we legalize gay marriage in order to cause a volcano to erupt right under the vatican, making an invasion unnecessary.

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