I was just reminded of this by Fell’s post about Deliver Us From Evil:
Vatican City is a country. Vatican City has formal relations (embassies, diplomats, etc.) with nearly two hundred other countries, is active in the European Union and the United Nations, issues coins and postage stamps, has its own top level Internet domain (.va), and has a volunteer military. That Vatican City is governed by the Holy See – that is, the Roman Catholic Church – does not make Vatican City any less of a country. Iran and Saudi Arabia are no less countries due to their being Islamic theocracies, Israel is no less a country for being a Jewish theocracy, and in the same way Vatican City is no less a country due to its being a Christian theocracy.
Amnesty International has a long and rightfully proud history of criticizing governments that did not break their own laws but which clearly go against human decency. There are many countries in which torture is legal, but Amnesty International speaks out against them. There are many countries in which capital punishment is legal, but Amnesty International speaks out against them. Vatican City is a country through which child abusers were systematically sheltered for decades by people given diplomatic immunity to do so. It is appropriate that Amnesty International should speak out against Vatican City.
Read the whole thing.
I’d like to start some sort of letter writing campaign or petition to Amnesty International on this issue, but I’m not sure how to start. I’ve donated money to AI before, but I’m not a formal member so I suppose that would be the first step.