On April, The latest catholic stumbling block ,which was unsurprisingly linked to child abuse came to light. An American priest with a record of molesting children had been continually shielded from the public defrocking by the church. As it turns out, One of the people in charge of making this decision was then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who is now Pope Benedict XVI. This seems to have been a spark and ignited a huge backlash on the catholic church.
The catholic church has had a lot of scandals,some with no other obvious purpose other than to create controversy . The church has been accused of alleged ties to the Nazi regime, the mafia and other clandestine organizations,It has been alleged to colluding to spark violence in Rwanda, Congo and Nigeria, the church has been known for controversial policies like barring use of condoms in AIDS ridden parts of Africa, and abortions, even in emergency cases. There have also been countless sexual crimes in clergy and you also have to remember that these ethically unacceptable actions or malfeasances are only in this generation of the church. The whole history of the catholic church is full of things like the inquisitions, abuse of authority, holy wars,anti-Semitism e.t.c.
Should the catholic church as a whole face some sort of litigation for their crimes? Can there be steps that can to achieve some sort of justice or some sort of penalty? To try and deter such questionable future actions.Is it possible strike back at the religious catholic society for the wrongdoings it has committed?
Richard Dawkins is planning to have the pope arrested on charges of crimes against humanity when he visits Britain on September of this year, of course this charge is brought on mainly due to the fresh charges of cover-up of child abuse after the 2008 scandal still involving the pope, and the endless litany of scandal after scandal involving the catholic church.Part of Dr. Dawkins task though is to obtain some legal reprieve from the catholic religious society for their collective crimes against humanity.
But some questions do arise.
How can you define a religious society?
A religious society as I see it is a self conscious, and self promoting organism in that the religious institutions that make up a religious society are mainly used to promote theology and to sell its respective religious dogma to the masses.
What is it that people accomplish in religious institutions, what are the detriments associated with these institutions?
There are many reasons that individuals choose to go to church, the mosque or whatever religious institution and/or practice a given religion, but we can derive one general purpose from almost all religious adherents. Each and every person is constantly always in the process of building and rebuilding their lives, or defining and redefining themselves. The church is a recognized temperate for an admirable, good and respectable character. When humans are building themselves, in a process somewhat similar to house construction i.e. brick by brick, many of them use the religious teaching, the religious community and such as building material for their personalities, minds and life outlooks. Like the Cornerstone analogy the Christians use,
So this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who trusts will never be dismayed.
Many believers of religion decide to use this religious stuff as a central support structure in their lives, buying into the religious society.For example, while the catholic adherents can claim to a lot of progress in the modern age to the catholic order, They are also stuck defining themselves using stuff like catholic sex scandals, inquisitions, torture,murder and genocide from the present, and the past. They either have to confront or ignore these wrongs, while the rest of us can accept their reality much more easier because they don't directly affecting our mindsets.
That is why when any atheist should for some reason choose to go to church, confrontational approaches to beliefs of these religious adherent in the church often becomes very explosive. Its like when you build a stack of cards or a brick structure and some dude just comes and takes a brick or card off the bottom and your structure comes tumbling down.
What can Dr. Dawkins hope to accomplish?
It is highly unlikely that Dr. Dawkins legal manoeuvre succeeds. I do hope that it does at least put the pope in a court or even succeed in assigning legal guilt for crimes of the catholic church on the Vatican, but all we can hope for is that the move puts religious organizations back under legal jurisdiction. Maybe then, in time people will be able to strip the Vatican of its country status, make religious organizations pay taxes and exert more legal oversight on religious matters.