In the flurry of disinformation sent out by the Catholic Church last week in response to accusations of Joseph Ratzinger's involvement in the coverup of pedophilia by Catholic priest, one idea that they snuck in was that Ratzinger has diplomatic immunity from prosecution because he is a "head of state".

Head of state? Where, exactly, did the idea come from that by changing his name to Benedict and wearing an expensive hat, Ratzinger became a head of state?

Unfortunately, one of the people who believes it is John B. Bellinger III, a lawyer for the George W. Bush administration who also believes that torture is a good idea. The Bush II administration acted to prevent bringing the Pope into pedophilia cases in 2005.

Fortunately, Bush is no longer president, and when a silly idea like "diplomatic immunity for the Pope" comes along, it doesn't matter whether 100 people or 100 million people believe it; it's still a silly idea.

A rational course of action for law enforcement authorities in Germany, Ireland, the US, and any other country where pedophile activity has possibly been covered up by Ratzinger, would be to issue warrants for Ratzinger's arrest. When Ratzinger sets foot in one of those countries, he could then be arrested, and possibly charged and put on trial. At the very least, he could be given a choice of giving testimony about priests suspected of pedophilia, or being prosecuted for contempt of court.

More on this subject from an article by Geoffrey Robertson in The Guardian: Put the pope in the dock.

Blog Against Theocracy

Update on April 10: It wasn't just Joseph Ratzinger; Karol Józef Wojtyła was in on it, too. See The Vatican's Watergate: Follow The Money, by Andrew Sullivan.