Yesterday morning, the the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (Official) Facebook page posted the following bombshell:
According to the new laws, revealing or receiving confidential Vatican information is now punishable by up to two years in prison, while newly defined sex crimes against children carry a sentence of up to twelve years. Because all sex crimes are kept confidential, there is no longer a legal way for Vatican officials to report sex crimes.
This was startling stuff, and of course it wasn't long before Dawkins's devoteees began to chime in. One fan compared the Vatican to Islamic Sharia law:
Catholic law, as with Sharia law, should NEVER be above the law of the land! If Vatican officials want to report the crimes of priests, surley if they leave the Vatican, they are no longer bound by their medieval laws, and can report with complete immunity to those barbaric laws?
Another fan sees this is as just one more reason why Catholics should be leaving the Church:
This is why people should be flocking away from Catholicism, but nooooo. Who cares if your children are safe, as long as you have a spot in Heaven! Stuff like this is why even if I could bring myself to believe in a sky wizard, I would refuse to worship a God so messed up!
As of 3:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon, this post had 3,934 "likes" and was shared more than 6,000 times on Facebook.
Atheists sure know how to get the word out.
The only problem is that this article came from a parody web site (similar to the Onion) called Newslo. The site describes itself this way:
Newslo is the first hybrid News/Satire platform on the web. Readers come to us for a unique brand of entertainment and information that is enhanced by features like our fact-button, which allows readers to find the line between fact and commentary.
Unlike the Richard Dawkins Foundation Facebook page, Newslo has a button you can select that highlights the bits in an article that are fact-based. At the time of this writing there is no indication that the Dawkins Foundation was aware that this bit of Vatican "news" is not.
It would be almost comical, if not for the thousands of people in Dawkins's atheist legion who seem to think it's real news—just more proof of Catholicism's folly. If you see links to this article popping up in social media, be sure to set people straight.
UPDATE: It appears the Dawkins Foundation Facebook page has removed the original post.
(What Pope Francis really did was update the criminal laws of Vatican City in the area of child abuse. These amendments go into effect begining in September. The Catholic News Service has a great article about it here.)