The Catholic Church is in serious trouble and may have nowhere to run, depending on who you ask.
"I warned them about all of this," declared author Christopher Hitchens, appearing on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night. "Nothing good can come of a church that has as its' slogan, 'Leave no child's behind.' And then they went and chose as pope the man who was personally responsible, in his dioceses, and institutionally responsible for the cover-up. So now, there's no escape."
The child rape scandals that have savaged Catholic ranks for years starting in the United States, then flaring up in Ireland, Germany, Italy and other locations around the world, have finally come to implicate Pope Benedict XVI, according to recent reports.
At time of this writing, the most recent scandal flare-up involved a school for the deaf in Wisconsin, where up to 200 boys were molested by a man whom Hitchens said "was allowed to walk free and was buried with full honors as a priest."
Even with his role in covering-up child molestations at his former dioceses in Munich, Pope Benedict offered an apology for the sexual abuse so rampant in the church, but did not call for any law enforcement action.
Hitchens called the pope's apology a request for "wiggle room" on the "rape and torture of children."
"It's funny because in this society... Even in prisons, there is a hierarchy of crimes," said Maher. "The child molesters are the ones who even hardened criminals shun, or actually kill."
"This is the one crime no one can think about without vomiting, that the once great, moral church wants wiggle room for," Hitchens summarized.
"This present pope is the head of a state, a political state, as well as the church. So, it's not just that the spiritual leader of a big cult is a proven protector of child molesters, but the head of a government is, with- has an embassy in Washington. Well, can he land here from now on? Shouldn't Congress become seized with the matter? Shouldn't the European Union be asking, 'Can this guy travel freely?' Isn't he wanted for the foulest crime of all? These are questions that, I promise you, are going to continue being asked."
This video was published to YouTube on March 26, 2010, as snipped from HBO by Mediaite.