PedoBear and the Pope

From the Times of Malta:

Two billboards in Marsa advertising the Pope’s visit to Malta got the unlikely addition of two stencilled images of what looks like a panda. It is not clear why the “artist” in question juxtaposed the bears with the Pope. The organising committee was alerted yesterday morning and it plans to erase the images.

Not clear? Welcome to teh internets:

The cartoon character “Pedobear” is a renamed version of the 2chan ASCII art character “kuma”.[citation needed] In his American incarnation, he is an anthropomorphic bear child predator that is often used within the community to mock contributors showing a sexual interest in under-age girls.[42] Pedobear is one of the most popular memes on non-English imageboards, and is gaining recognition across Europe. Although the meme is apparently unknown in Poland,[43] it has been used as a symbol of pedophilia by Maltese graffiti vandals.

Richard Dawkins Promises to Arrest Pope Benedict XVI

People keep sending me this story:

Professor Dawkins has hired a team of lawyers to see if Pope Benedict XVI can be charged over his handling of the sexual abuse scandal engulfing the Roman Catholic Church, according to The Sunday Times.

Professor Dawkins, who wrote The God Delusion, claims that the Pope has shielded paedophile priests from the authorities.

However, he and fellow writer Christopher Hitchens believe they can make a case for arresting the Pope during the Pope’s planned visit to Britain in September.

But if you go to Dawkins’ site you see this:

Needless to say, I did NOT say “I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI” or anything so personally grandiloquent. You have to remember that The Sunday Times is a Murdoch newspaper, and that all newspapers follow the odd custom of entrusting headlines to a sub-editor, not the author of the article itself.

What I DID say to Marc Horne when he telephoned me out of the blue, and I repeat it here, is that I am whole-heartedly behind the initiative by Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens to mount a legal challenge to the Pope’s proposed visit to Britain. Beyond that, I declined to comment to Marc Horme, other than to refer him to my ‘Ratzinger is the Perfect Pope’ article here: http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5341

Here is what really happened. Christopher Hitchens first proposed the legal challenge idea to me on March 14th. I responded enthusiastically, and suggested the name of a high profile human rights lawyer whom I know. I had lost her address, however, and set about tracking her down. Meanwhile, Christopher made the brilliant suggestion of Geoffrey Robertson. He approached him, and Mr Robertson’s subsequent ‘Put the Pope in the Dock’ article in The Guardian shows him to be ideal:
http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5366
The case is obviously in good hands, with him and Mark Stephens. I am especially intrigued by the proposed challenge to the legality of the Vatican as a sovereign state whose head can claim diplomatic immunity.

Even if the Pope doesn’t end up in the dock, and even if the Vatican doesn’t cancel the visit, I am optimistic that we shall raise public consciousness to the point where the British government will find it very awkward indeed to go ahead with the Pope’s visit, let alone pay for it.

Connecticut Bishops Fight Child Sex Abuse Bill

From CNN:

A bill in Connecticut’s legislature that would remove the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases has sparked a fervent response from the state’s Roman Catholic bishops, who released a letter to parishioners Saturday imploring them to oppose the measure.

Under current Connecticut law, sexual abuse victims have 30 years past their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit. The proposed change to the law would rescind that statute of limitations.

The proposed change to the law would put “all Church institutions, including your parish, at risk,” says the letter, which was signed by Connecticut’s three Roman Catholic bishops.

Related:
Louis CK learns about the Catholic church.