This post appeared in the Washington Post blog today. He is referring to Cardinal Bernard Law who resigned as archbishop of Boston in 2002 and was involved in a series of sex scandals involving underage youth. Mr Hitchens wrote the important and provocative work,Â God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. The pope is scheduled to visit the United States between April 15 and April 20 and will celebrate Mass and visit inter-faith religious leaders in Washington, D. C. and New York.
What I’d Ask the Pope
If [Ed: Pope Benedict XVI] Ratzinger is not asked at every stop he makes, and in level yet firm tones, why he and the Vatican continue to shelter Cardinal Law, our profession will have shamed and disgraced itself. We already know that the Pope is a Roman Catholic. What we need to hear is his reason for giving sinecure and asylum to the man who organized and excused the rape and torture of tens of thousands of American children. And then, when he has given his first answer, we need to hear how he answers all the supplementary questions. [Ed:Â I believe the figure of 600 is closer to the numbers possibly defiled by pedophilic priests in the Boston archdiocese. Cardinal Law was appointed to the position of archpriest of St Mary Major Basilica in Rome.]
What I would ask Christopher Hitchens?
Are you a hypocrite to raise the issue of pedofilia and sex crimes within the Roman Catholic church but dismiss your support of mass murder in Iraq in which hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died and over 4,000 American troops? Are you comfortable with your apparent disregard for the lack of proportionality and discrimination in this unjust war?
Why did you support a war of mass murder in Iraq? Were you blinded by an ultranationalistic, ethnocentricÂ Zionism which frankly created a monolithic RELIGIOUS entity in the middle of the Arab world which has led to sixty years of mass misery and apartheid for the Palestinians?
Why do you harbour such puerile notions that violence against Muslim peoples and in particular Saddam Hussein’sÂ secularist, Baathist governmentÂ was in the national interest and an example of appropriate realism?
While your question for the pope is important and worthy of discussion, only in militarised, sociopathic America would such a person as yourselfÂ apparentlyÂ escapeÂ Â a sustained Â challengeÂ of hypocrisy in your putative concern of protecting American children but insouciant in your support of a war in which so many Iraqi children have perished. Remember sirÂ Haditha and the genocide at Falluja!!Â
Additional comment on Washington Post blog: