The Case of the Pope delivers a devastating indictment of the way the Vatican has been wrongly elevated to statehood and allowed to exploit its powers - not only to demean gays and women and damage UN efforts to combat AIDS but, in particular, to run a secret legal system that shields paedophiles from criminal trial and punishment.
Is the Pope morally or legally responsible for the negligence that has allowed crimes to go unpunished? Should he and his seat of power, the Holy See, continue to enjoy an immunity that places them above the law?
Geoffrey Robertson QC, a distinguished human rights lawyer and judge, evinces a deep respect for the good works of Catholics and their church, but he argues that unless Benedict XVI can divest himself of the beguilements of statehood and devotion to obsolescent canon law, the Vatican will remain a serious enemy to the advance of human rights. And more children will suffer.