Richard Dawkins calls for arrest of Pope

Richard Dawkins

‘Richard Dawkins, the atheist campaigner, is planning a legal ambush to have the Pope arrested during his state visit to Britain “for crimes against humanity”.’ (Times.UK)

Update

Dawkins feels this is abit inaccurate:

‘Needless to say, I did NOT say “I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI” or anything so personally grandiloquent. So all the vicious attacks on me for seeking publicity etc are misplaced. The headline is, in fact, a barefaced lie.

Marc Horne, the Sunday Times reporter, telephoned me out of the blue and asked whether I was aware of the initiative by Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens to mount a legal challenge to the Pope’s visit. Yes, I said. He asked me if I was in favour of their initiative. Yes, I said, I am strongly in favour of it. Beyond that, I declined to comment to Marc Horne, other than to refer him to my ‘Ratzinger is the Perfect Pope’ article here: http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5341
How the headline writer could go from there to “Richard Dawkins: I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI” is obscure to me.

The history is as follows. Christopher Hitchens first proposed to me the idea of a legal challenge to the Pope’s visit on March 14th. I responded enthusiastically, and suggested the name of a high profile human rights lawyer whom I know. I had lost her address, however, and set about tracking her down. Meanwhile, Christopher made the brilliant suggestion of Geoffrey Robertson. He approached him, and Mr Robertson’s subsequent ‘Put the Pope in the Dock’ article in The Guardian shows him to be ideal:

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5366

The case is obviously in good hands, with him and Mark Stephens. I am especially intrigued by the proposed challenge to the legality of the Vatican as a sovereign state whose head can claim diplomatic immunity.

Even if the Pope doesn’t end up in the dock, and even if the Vatican doesn’t cancel the visit, I am optimistic that we shall raise public consciousness to the point where the British government will find it very awkward indeed to go ahead with the Pope’s visit, let alone pay for it.’

8 comments

  1. Hal

    Hmm, the previous comments are interesting if for no other reason than they are simply ad hominem attacks that do not address the content of your post re: Dawkins, Eliot. Sadly, my comment will not rectify that condition.
    I must reluctantly admit that I agree 100% with about 75% of what Chris Hitchens and R. Dawkins have to say. The other 25% of what they say typically causes my head to explode and my situational Tourette’s to flare up, rather badly. This comment of Dawkins is in the aforementioned 75%, however.
    Thanks for the link.

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  2. ackbar

    Well I think he’s the perfect Pope because he looks like he was drawn by Charles Addams.

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  3. Tony

    He does indeed! I immediately noticed a more than passing resemblance to Pugsley.

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