Monday, January 22, 2007

The Numbers Don't Lie

(Photo - Reuters)

The Vatican's attorney general Nicola Picardi released the astounding statistic at the start of 2007: The tiny nation's justice department in 2006 had to contend with 341 civil and 486 criminal cases. In a population of 492, that measures out to 1.5 cases per person -- twenty times the corresponding rate in Italy.

By this measurement at least, crime is soaring in the Vatican in spite of a security force that would put a police state to shame. The seat of the Catholic Church has one Swiss guard for every four citizens, not to mention museum guards and police assigned to the Vatican by Italy.

And this comes from a der Spiegel story called "Is the Vatican a Rogue State?" That news organization, incidentally, is native to the current pontiff's German Fatherland. "Let us pray," said the pontiff, "for the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary."

Maybe he should think about taking up karate instead.


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