As an Atheist I believe our actions have consequences and no god/religion/easter bunny will remove the stain of those actions if they are wrong and immoral. In nature, the relationship between different parts of it affect the whole and create the future.
In a spiritual sense this can be referred to as Karma, but when you take the mysticism from the idea, then what you have left is the purity of action reacting to something done to it. For example, a drought will kill the vegetation and wildlife, and a flood will do the same. A volcano will erupt and destroy all life within the path of its destruction, but over time the ground will absorb the volcanic debris and create rich, fertile soil. It is a delicate and timeless dance throughout time of balancing the actions with the reactions.
For me, life, as in nature is all about seeking and maintaining that balance, so when asked recently what I, as an Atheist, would do about someone like the Pope, I first measured the enormity of the crimes committed over time by the organization he heads.
This is no different than examining the history of a company like Exxon spilling oil and fouling nature before determining what the punishment would be if they repeated that action. Or a petty criminal whose crimes add up to lifetime criminal status before he or she is locked away for society's protection.
Included in the punishment of both these examples is the concept of retribution such as a fine that might go to the victims, or a requirement that certain amounts of money go to clean up the damage done by neglect fed by long-standing corporate philosophy. The same criteria should apply to the Pope when you consider the crimes committed by the corporation he heads.
Most of us are familiar with the
The Crusades. They are often cited as the dark side of Christianity.
But that was a minor mass murder committed in the name of religion. The crimes go far deeper and cover more people. For example, religion also killed Pagans, those considered Heretics, Atheists, Witches, Jews, and others that don't get nearly the same press, such as many of the 20th Century crimes committed against humanity in the name of religion. Many native people were slaughtered in the name of god. During the second world war, death camps were also run by Catholics. Christianity had its foul little hands in mass murders in both Vietnam and Rwanda. Read more on this.
In light of this criminal history, what should be the punishment for the current CEO of the Catholic Church who looked away, denied, and covered up the abuse of children by his Priests? How about something that restores balance to the planet by taking into account the concept of Karma, the act of natural cleansing, and consequences for committed actions? Here is my proposition:
Find one of those dungeons/catacombs where witches, pagans, heretics and others were tortured and left to die? Strip the Pope naked and let him hang by chains on one of the dank walls like those who were treated this way by his church. Once a day throw some slop at him so he will continue to live. Hose him down and let him drink his own urine to survive. Isolate him so he can't infect others anymore. And pray he lives a long life so the Karmic debt his corporation inflicted on humanity evens out and restores balance to our planet.