Punitive actions for the pope

Tatiana Gee

Issues involving sexual abuse cover-up have recently surfaced revolving around Pope Benedict. There has been evidence that the Pope had known about sexual abuse involving multiple Priests, and had made an effort to cover it up. Now, the question that has risen is whether or not the Pope should have immunity, or whether he should be prosecuted for an alleged cover-up of sexual abuses. There is now an investigation involving the Pope, even though he has not been charged with any formal crime.

Benedict at a recent mass made some spontaneous and questionable remarks, ” We realize that it’s necessary to repent, in other words, recognize what is wrong in our lives,” Benedict said. The statements that were made were nothing short of dubious. After accusations of cover-up, followed by such remarks, many people are questioning what action should be taken if the allegations are in fact true. Should the Pope get immunity as the head of state or should he have to pay for his crimes just like anyone else would? Universal jurisdiction is a concept of international law, which states that, judges can issue warrants for nearly any visitor accused of grievous crimes, no matter where they live. In the past, British judges have been the most generous with the use of this law. The number one question on everyone’s mind is – does the Pope have the power and the support to get this sort of protection?

I think that this is absolute ludicrous that they could even be considering giving immunity to anyone. I don’t think that anyone deserves any type of immunity for crimes that they have committed, or even crimes that they have covered up. People that commit crimes should have to pay the price of that action. They chose to act out, or break the law – therefore they should understand that there are consequences.

Many people of power believe that they are not normal people and that they have rights and privileges that us “normal people” just do not have. I do not believe in that at all. I think that “normal people” elected almost all people of power. We elected them because we assumed they would act in favor of us the people, no matter if it regards business, religion, or government – people of power are suppose to improve the life of those who are not.
Equality is a big issue with me, and I think that no matter the person or the position, everyone should be issued equal rights, and equal rights come with equal penalties.

Even though the Pope is one of the most powerful and known figures around the globe, he is a person just like the rest of us, and when he acts incorrectly, he needs to be put into place.

Whatever the punishment is for the Pope, the crime and cover-up does need to be acknowledged and not just swept under the rug. The Pope needs to know that he cannot just tread over everyone, and have no repercussions.
Many could argue that since he didn’t actually commit a crime, and has such an important role in society, that we should not let something like this effect or change his impact. But, I think that cover-up may actually be worse then committing the crime itself. Knowing, but not helping, or neglecting to reveal the truth is something that cannot be forgotten. He had a chance to help the victims, but he chose ignore them and instead help his friends and colleagues. We need to hold Pope Benedict responsible for his actions, and most importantly, his crime.


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