Loading
Court drops seat belt charges against Pope Benedict
By Marianne Medlin
Pope Benedict moves through the crowd in his popemobile at World Youth Day in Madrid. Credit: Official WYD flickr.com-madrid11
Pope Benedict moves through the crowd in his popemobile at World Youth Day in Madrid. Credit: Official WYD flickr.com-madrid11

.- In a case that brought amusement to the Vatican, a German court decided to throw out charges against Pope Benedict for not wearing a seat belt during his recent papal visit to the country.

“There will be no fine for the Pope,” city spokeswoman Edith Lamersdorf told German news agency Badische Zeitung on Nov. 30. “The charges were quashed.”

Lawyer Christian Sundermann had filed a complaint on behalf of an unnamed Dortmund resident who voiced concern over the Pope's safety. In August, the pontiff visited his native country, making stops in the cities of Berlin, Freiburg and Erfurt, where he greeted locals from his popemobile.

Officials ruled on Wednesday that although Germany requires all citizens to wear seat belts—even in slow-moving vehicles—the law didn’t apply to the Pope since he was on public streets that were closed for papal events.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., said on Nov. 30 that the charges provoked “curiosity and smiles of amusement” at the Holy See, “beginning with the Pope himself.”

He explained the need for Pope Benedict to not be restricted by seat belts during his visits, since he “turns continually to the right and to the left to greet and bless the faithful.”

“Often he gets up and takes in his arms babies to bless, to the joy of the parents and everyone present,” Fr. Lombardi said. “All these gestures presume a certain freedom of movement.”

The spokesman was, nevertheless, “grateful for the affectionate concern for the Pope's safety.”

Pope Benedict could have been fined 30 to 2,500 euros ($40 to $3,300) if he was found guilty of the charges.

Attorney Sundermann clarified that her client's intent was to draw attention to the importance of supporting seat belt law enforcement rather than level an attack on the Church. 


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
19

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Gospel
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Homily
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: