The Vatican has suggested that the pope is immune to prosecution as
he is a head of state - Dawkins and Hitchens suggest that he is not
immune as the Vatican is not represented at the United Nations.
"I'm convinced we can get over the threshold of immunity," their
lawyer Mark Stephens told The Guardian. "The Vatican is not
recognized as a state in international law. People assume that it has
existed for time immemorial but it was a construct of Mussolini, and
when the Vatican first applied to become a member of the UN, the US said
no. So as a sop they were given the status of permanent observers
rather than full members."
While I'm all for holding the Pope to account over any crimes he may have committed or covered up, I can't help but think that this is shameless self promotion from Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. It's not that their rationale is wrong, it's the fact that both men literally leap at any chance to slam religion and do it mostly to further their careers. I have a lot more respect for Dawkins given his brilliance as a scientist and desire to educate people on the wonders of evolution, but Hitchens is a shameless fraud who has, and I quote Matt Taibbi, "Had
his intellectual face lifted so many times, he can't close his eyes
without opening his mouth."
I'll make a prediction here - in 5 years time, Christopher Hitchens will be a committed Christian. He won't be a fire breathing fundamentalist, but he'll make a new name for himself as a traditional conservative and get paid handsomely for his efforts (always the objective for Hitchens).