The recent announcement that Pope Benedict will retire at the end of the month and continue to live in the Vatican has little to do with his faith, and a lot to do with being protected from ending up in prison.
According to church and legal sources, the Pope’s continued presence in the Vatican will protect him from prosecution for his connection to, and complicity in, child abuse cases around the world.
“His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenceless. He wouldn’t have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else,” a Vatican official told Reuters.
Benedict has already been named in several law suits as a defendant for failing to take action against priests that have been involved in child sex abuse scandals.
“(If he lived anywhere else) then we might have those crazies who are filing lawsuits, or some magistrate might arrest him like other (former) heads of state have been for alleged acts while he was head of state,” one source said.
While Benedict continues to live in the Vatican he will retain immunity to prosecution under the Lateran Pacts made in 1929 even if he travels to Italy as a citizen of the Vatican.
Benedict is no stranger to controversy, having described homosexuality as ‘evil’, condom use should never be permitted, and that women who fall pregnant as a result of rape are not entitled to seek an abortion.
It seems that whatever a citizen of the Vatican does legal or otherwise, is accepted provided it does not affect the church directly.
When an organisation such as the Catholic Church can claim itself as a state, when in fact it is a cult enclave, and this is accepted and recognised by the UN, they become a powerful force who can abuse and manipulate the vulnerable, and can hide the truth among their ranks.