Sepp Blatter and the disgraced ex-Pope Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger have always had, to me, alot in common.
Both are O.A.Ps who are heads of extremely powerful, greedy and corrupt organsations.
Both are extremely out of touch with the common man and woman in the street.
Both think the are untouchable, that their organisations have a divine right too spread their message -In the ex Popes case Religion in Blatters case Football- and everyone else is a heretic.
Both are elected by undemocratic men in closed door elections that have a history rife with blackmail, corruption and intimidation.
Both said they would resign but are still hanging about like a bad smell
But is there something else the disgraced ex Pope and Sepp Blatter have in common?
Sepp Blatter was recently in Russia for the draw of the Qualifying group stages of the world cup in said country which is notable for two reasons.
One, it was his first appearance outside his bolt-hole in Switzerland since two separate corruption inquiries being carried out by the FBI and the Swiss authorities into the conduct of senior officials at the world governing body.
Interpol, who are helping the US agencies, put six men linked to FIFA on their most wanted list, issuing international alerts for two former FIFA officials and four executives on charges including racketeering and corruption.
Two, the only place Sepp Blatter can feel safe from the authorities after FIFA is the country of Russia.
Yip it was the first time wee Sepp had dared to leave Switzerland. Which is unusual for the little free loading creep and the rest of his corrupt FIFA officials as They normally turn up to the opening of a letter if they are being treated like Emperors, wined and dined and sixty nined by some “high class” Eastern European hookers -with presumably good gag reflexes if they have look at wee Sepp and his cronies wrinkly auld dinkles- in various 5 star hotels throughout the world all paid by dollar bills stuffed into brown envelopes.
Do you really think Wee Sepp would have missed out on the FIFA Womans world cup and the chance to leer at -as he put it- Girls in tight shorts if he never thought he was gonna get his collar felt by the FBI?
This scenario got me to thinking off the disgraced ex-Pope Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. HE “resigned” Ironically nearly a year to the day that Craig Whyte/HMRC put Rangers into Administration.
On 11 February 2013, Benedict announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a “lack of strength of mind and body” due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013 Ironically the same day the SPL found Rangers not guilty and Rangers kept all their rightfully won titles.Now if God does exist he is quite cleary a Rangers fan.
But like Blatter, Benedict XVI is still here. He has not vanished into monastic silence like he said he would. He’s still offering comfort for those -ultra right wing conservative Catholics- who prefer his vision to that of Pope Francis
Last month Benedict was still giving speeches, dressed in papal robes in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo with no signs of the illness and old age that saw him make a sharp exit 2 years ago.
So could the once Head of the Roman Catholic church be on the FBI’s most wanted list just like sleaze-ball Sepp Blatter?
This is not a fanciful Idea, this is not mere hyperbole.
In 2010 when the United Kingdom in a time of austerity and just after the worse financial crisis the world has seen spunked between £10 million and £12 million on the Papal visit of Pope Benedict XVI. This was when at a time when a survey by ComRes found that 77% of people think taxpayers should not be funding the trip, while 79% have “no personal interest” in the tour.
Also at a time when hundreds of tickets had to be reallocated by the Catholic Church following the failure of several dioceses to meet their targets for sales.
At the same time Uber-athesists Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens were exploring legal options with solicitor Mark Stephens and human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC for then Pope Benedict XVI to face trial in UK for crimes against humanity.
At the same stime 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”.
This is the advice they were given by their lawyers – solicitor Mark Stephens and human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC.
“I’m convinced we can get over the threshold of immunity,” said Stephens. “The Vatican is not recognised as a state in international law. People assume that it has existed for time immemorial but it was a construct of Mussolini, and when the Vatican first applied to become a member of the UN, the US said no. So as a sop they were given the status of permanent observers rather than full members.”
Stephens said there are three lines of approach to put the pope in the dock. “One is that we apply for a warrant to the international criminal court. Alternatively, criminal proceedings could be brought here, either a public prosecution brought by the Crown Prosecution Service or a private prosecution. That would require at least one victim to come forward who is either from this jurisdiction or was abused here. The third option is for individuals to lodge civil claims,”
He said he had recently been approached by seven wealthy individuals who donated money to the Catholic church and were dismayed their money had not only been used to fund abuse but also buy the silence of victims. These people could potentially sue the pope, Stephens suggested.
Writing in the Washington Post on Friday, Dawkins described Ratzinger as a “leering old villain in a frock … whose first instinct when his priests are caught with their pants down is to cover up the scandal and damn the young victims to silence.”
Without admitting that he had consulted lawyers he added: “This former head of the Inquisition should be arrested the moment he dares to set foot outside his tinpot fiefdom of the Vatican, and he should be tried in an appropriate civil – not ecclesiastical – court. That’s what should happen. Sadly, we all know our faith-befuddled governments will be too craven to do it.”
So have “our faith-befuddled governments” suddenly grown a set and appled the law to the bishop of Rome just like it would do to everyone else?
Is the former Nazi Hitler youth member Ratzinger hiding out in the Vatican just like the stolen Nazi gold from the Jews in the second world war? Is he hiding from justice just like those prominent Nazis hid with the help of the Vatican and were then smuggled in Africa and South America?
Richard Dawkins explains the case better than I could ever do here below.
The pope should stand trial
Why is anyone surprised when Christopher Hitchens and I call for the prosecution of the pope? There is a clear case to answer
Sexual abuse of children is not unique to the Roman Catholic church, and Joseph Ratzinger is not one of those priests who raped altar boys while in a position of dominance and trust. But as so often it is the subsequent cover-ups, even more than the original crimes, that do most to discredit an institution, and here the pope is in real trouble.
Pope Benedict XVI is the head of the institution as a whole, but we can’t blame the present head for what was done before his watch. Except that in his particular case, as archbishop of Munich and as Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (what used to be called the Inquisition), the very least you can say is that there is a case for him to answer. See, for example, three articles by my colleague Christopher Hitchens here, here, and here. The latest smoking gun is the 1985 letter obtained by the Associated Press, signed by the then Cardinal Ratzinger to the diocese of Oakland about the case of Father Stephen Kiesle, mercilessly analysed by Andrew Sullivan here.
Lashing out in desperation, church spokesmen are now blaming everybody but themselves for their current dire plight, which one official spokesman likens to the worst aspects of antisemitism (what are the best ones, I wonder?). Suggested culprits include the media, the Jews, and even Satan. The church is hiding behind a seemingly endless stream of excuses for having failed in its legal and moral obligation to report serious crimes to the appropriate civil authorities. But it was Cardinal Ratzinger’s official responsibility to determine the church’s response to allegations of child sex abuse, and his letter in the Kiesle case makes the real motivation devastatingly explicit. Here are his actual words, translated from the Latin in the AP report:
“This court, although it regards the arguments presented in favour of removal in this case to be of grave significance, nevertheless deems it necessary to consider the good of the universal church together with that of the petitioner, and it is also unable to make light of the detriment that granting the dispensation can provoke with the community of Christ’s faithful, particularly regarding the young age of the petitioner.”
“The young age of the petitioner” refers to Kiesle, then aged 38, not the age of any of the boys he tied up and raped (11 and 13). It is completely clear that, together with a nod to the welfare of the “young” priest, Ratzinger’s primary concern, and the reason he refused to unfrock Kiesle (who went on to re-offend) was “the good of the universal church”.
This pattern of putting church PR over and above the welfare of the children in its care (and what an understatement that is) is repeated over and over again in the cover-ups that are now coming to light, all over the world. And Ratzinger himself expressed it with damning clarity in this smoking gun letter.
In this case he was refusing the strong request of the local bishop that Kiesle should be unfrocked. Vatican standing orders were to refer such cases not to the civil authorities but to the church itself. The current campaign to call the church to account can take credit for the fact that this standing order has just changed, as of Monday 12 April 2010. Better late than never, as Galileo might have remarked in 1979, when the Vatican finally got around to a posthumous pardon.
Suppose the British secretary of state for schools received, from a local education authority, a reliable report of a teacher tying up his pupils and raping them. Imagine that, instead of turning the matter over to the police, he had simply moved the offender from school to school, where he repeatedly raped other children. That would be bad enough. But now suppose that he justified his decision in terms such as these:
“Although I regard the arguments in favour of prosecution, presented by the local education authority, as of grave significance, I nevertheless deem it necessary to consider the good of the government and the party, together with that of the offending teacher. And I am also unable to make light of the detriment that prosecuting the offender can provoke among voters, particularly regarding the young age of the offender.”
The analogy breaks down, only in that we aren’t talking about a single offending priest, but many thousands, all over the world.
Why is the church allowed to get away with it, when any government minister who was caught writing such a letter would immediately have to resign in ignominy, and face prosecution himself? A religious leader, such as the pope, should be no different. That is why, along with Christopher Hitchens, I am supporting the current investigation of the pope’s criminal complicity by Geoffrey Robertson QC and Mark Stephens. These excellent lawyers believe that, for a start, they have a persuasive case against the Vatican’s status as a sovereign state, on the basis that it was just an ad hoc concoction driven by internal Italian politics under Mussolini, and was never given full status at the UN. If they succeed in this initial argument, the pope could not claim diplomatic immunity as a head of state, and could be arrested if he steps on British soil.
Why is anyone surprised, much less shocked, when Christopher Hitchens and I call for the prosecution of the pope, if he goes ahead with his proposed visit to Britain? The only strange thing about our proposal is that it had to come from us: where have the world’s governments been all this time? Where is their moral fibre? Where is their commitment to treating everyone equally under the law? The UK government, far from standing up for justice for the innocent victims of the Roman Catholic church, is preparing to welcome this grotesquely tainted man on an official visit to the UK so that he can “dispense moral guidance”. Read that again: dispense moral guidance!
Unfortunately I must end in bathos, with a necessary correction of a damaging error in another newspaper. The Sunday Times of 11 April, on its front page, printed the headline, “Richard Dawkins: I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI.” This conjures up – as was doubtless intended – a ludicrous image of me ambushing the pontiff with a pair of handcuffs and marching him off in a half Nelson. Blood out of a stone, but I finally managed to persuade that Murdoch paper to change the headline in the online edition.
Never mind headlines invented by foolish sub-editors, we are serious. It should be for a court to decide – a civil court, not a whitewashing ecclesiastical court – whether the case against Ratzinger is as damning as it looks. If he is innocent, let him have the opportunity to demonstrate it in court. If he is guilty, let him face justice. Just like anybody else.
Now I started this Blog demanding the answer did BIG KEITH KNOW? months later the most senior Roman Catholic in the United Kingdom had gone along with the Pope.
Now it would be nice to think my bravery and courage in speaking out in Scotland on-line about the Roman Catholic church that could see me and other imprisoned for a maximum of 5 years simply because I happen to be a Rangers fan -agnostic or not- I had played a part in this momentous moment in world history.
But that would mean one thing that the Roman Catholic church actually gave a shit about their own people they abused. Oh yeah they wouldn’t want the financial hit of a law suit and that’s the crux of the matter and why I think it is more to do with the Question why is Pope Benedict XVI hiding in the Vatican.
I mean there’s no point being the so called Vicar of Christ when you cant spread the message around the world is there?
And you can read it dear reader in a follow up blog you lucky things you!