29 September 2012

Pope's ex-butler vs. Pope's sex cover-up

It is quite remarkable that the reaction of the Vatican to the stealing of confidential documents by Paolo Gabriele, the Pope's ex-butler, was so quick. In almost no time, the Pope decided that it was illegal to have documents revealing corruption be stolen, and reacted by sending Gabriele to the justice. He may face a few years' imprisonment in an Italian prison (because the Vatican is not a State and has no prisons).

Now, compare this with the sex cover-up by the Pope. For decades, one could molest children from his position as a priest in the Catholic church, without fearing any legal prosecution.  The Pope, particularly when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1981 to 2005, protected the abusers through the Church’s Canon Law and ignored the victims. It took years and years for him to say a lukewarm sorry, without ever acknowledging that he actually protected the sex abusers and, therefore, without facing the legal implications. For a great description of the Pope's involvement in the sex scandals, I recommend Geoffrey Robertson's, The Case of the Pope.
For stealing of documents, one faces the law. For abusing children, thousands are protected by the Church. I don't think more should be said.

As for the argument that the Pope is the head of a State, and that he has immunity from the law, this is wrong. According to international law, the Vatican is not a State. Here is a quick explanation for this, by  Anthony Aust, international law expert on statehood and sovereignty.

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What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant