The Chances of Getting the Pope Arrested Are Quite Slim

Marco Evers interviews A. C. Grayling in Der Spiegel:

ScreenHunter_01 Sep. 16 09.57 Militant atheists want to arrest Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Britain over his alleged complicity in covering up abuse by priests. In a SPIEGEL interview, the British philosopher Anthony Grayling explained why he believes the pope is the head of a conspiracy and argues that the Vatican should not be a state.

SPIEGEL: Professor Grayling, will you really try to arrest the pope when he comes to Britain this week?

Anthony Grayling: If I got anywhere near him — yes, I would like to try it. English law provides for the possibility of a citizen's arrest.

SPIEGEL: But only if there is no doubt about the person's guilt, there is an imminent danger and there are no police around …

Grayling: … and that probably won't happen. There's also only a very slight hope that we will succeed through legal proceedings. All in all I'd say: The chances of getting the Pope arrested this week are quite slim, unfortunately.

SPIEGEL: Wasn't that idea a little over the top anyway?

Grayling: Let me explain this in the most neutral terms. For decades, priests have sexually abused thousands of children, in this country and in many others. These are serious crimes. The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has been systematically instrumental in covering up these crimes, hiding people who committed them from public prosecution and in numerous cases allowing the abuse of children to go on. The conspiracy has gone all the way to the top. We know there are questions on Pope Benedict himself. When he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he knew about some of these cases and participated in the cover-ups himself. That is a conspiracy — there is no other word for it. It is organized crime.

More here. [Thanks to Tauriq Moosa.]