This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

The Pope's unholy alliance with the dictator

Thanks to LWS for the link.

Alexander Lukashenko, still president of Belarus thanks to a rigged election, has found an ally in the Vatican

Scandal is too mild a term to describe the abuse of children at the hands Roman Catholic priests. But whatever word you fix on – "atrocity", "obscenity", I can't find the right one – you cannot doubt that rape was all about power, as the feminists of the 1970s once said. The power of the old to groom and force themselves on the young was complemented by the power of the Vatican to protect rapists from justice and cover up their crimes.

If the church believed its own doctrine, one might have expected the papacy to show a smidgen of contrition and to seek repentance. After presiding as Cardinal Ratzinger over a parallel justice system in which there was one law for his church and another for everyone else, however, Pope Benedict XVI is showing that he will forgive his own sins but learn nothing from them.

It is not too hyperbolic to say that the dictatorship of Alexander Lukashenko is raping Belarus. From the moment crowds gathered in Minsk to protest about last month's rigged elections, secret policemen have been forcing themselves on their victims. They have arrested and assaulted hundreds, jailed seven of the nine opposition candidates for the presidency and beaten unconscious one of them, Vladimir Neklyayev, as they dragged him from a hospital where he might have found sanctuary.

In a tribute to the tactics of the communists, Lukashenko is threatening to send the children of dissidents to orphanages – his own form of child abuse. After the authorities tried to pick up Danil Sannikov, the three-year-old son of the jailed opposition leader Andrei Sannikov, a local political analyst explained that "by using children they are able to get their opponents to confess, to capitulate politically, to appear on state television and make a repentant speech".

Or as the boy's grandmother put it as she clung to the child: "The terrible Stalinist times are returning to Belarus. I can't believe that this is really happening."

Read more

TAGGED: HUMAN RIGHTS, POPE, VATICAN/ROMAN CATHOLICISM


RELATED CONTENT

Does this set a record for smug...

Richard Dawkins - RichardDawkins.net Comments

Does this set a record for smug nastiness?

Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The...

- - human rights first Comments

Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The Consequences of Criminalizing “Defamation of Religions”

Richard Dawkins gets it right. Sarah...

Eric MacDonald - Choice in Dying Comments

Richard Dawkins gets it right. Sarah Wollaston misunderstands.

Pregnant teen dies after abortion ban...

Rafael Romo - CNN Comments

Mississippi church refuses to marry...

AP - CBC News Comments

A Mississippi couple says the church where they planned to get married turned them away because they are black.

Dominican Republic abortion ban stops...

Rafael Romo - CNN Comments

In the Dominican Republic, a ban on abortion is preventing a teenage girl from receiving treatment for a life-threatening disease.

MORE

MORE BY NICK COHEN

The racism of the respectable

Nick Cohen - The Spectator Comments

To be a racist in Britain, you do not need to cover yourself in tattoos and join a neo-Nazi party. You can wear well-made shirts, open at the neck, appreciate fine wines and vote Left at election time.

The spectre of militant secularism

Nick Cohen - The Spectator 40 Comments

If you turn on the news tonight and hear of a bomber slaughtering civilians anywhere from Nigeria to the London Underground, I can reassure you of one point: the bombers will not be readers of Richard Dawkins.

The secret scandal of Britain's caste...

Nick Cohen - guardian.co.uk 11 Comments

Science has vanquished religion, but...

Nick Cohen - Guardian.co.uk 31 Comments

The Pakistan killings are not about...

Nick Cohen - Observer 41 Comments

Only religious thugs love blasphemy laws

Nick Cohen - Observer 95 Comments

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment