‘Vatican Quest’ Game Depicts Pope Benedict as Pimp for Pedophile Cardinals

RoundGames.com has created a Vatican-themed video game — try it out here! — that has sparked outrage amongst Spanish Catholics in particular:

Players take on the role of a pixelated pontiff, who bears a distinct resemblance to ex-Pope Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. The Pope leaps to high balconies to retrieve altar boys, then delivers them to shifty-eyed cardinals who disappear with the youngsters into darkened Vatican rooms. To complicate things, the Pope must avoid or attack roving reporters with cameras and microphones, bent on exposing the scandal. If a reporter catches the pontiff with a boy in tow, it’s game over for the Catholic Church.

The game’s social commentary, placing the Pope in the role of top-secret pimp for child molesters, is hard to ignore. It’s easy to see why some Catholics find it offensive. (No word yet on why the outcry should be larger in Spain than in other Catholic communities.)

Spanish group MasLibres, which calls itself a “social initiative in favour of religious freedom,” has called for the game to be removed from the Spanish platform that carries it. Spokesperson Miguel Vidal complains that the game mocks both abuse victims and Catholics generally:

Reducing to caricature the drama of child sexual abuse, and then profiting from it, offends the victims and their families. This trend of hurting the Church and Catholics must have a limit. Unfortunately, on some web pages that are currently hosting the game, it has become the most popular with its readers.

Commenters disagree about whether the game trivializes child rape or fairly satirizes the Catholic hierarchy’s failure to respond to endemic abuse. Others ask why other religions’ unsavoury histories with child abuse haven’t been depicted in online games. (Muhammad’s marriage to a child bride is a popular topic.) Some call it an example of anti-Catholic bias, but plenty think the Church deserves the criticism.

Perhaps the most offensive part of the game, however, is the “Game Over” screen, which depicts the Pope character hovering above Rome, sporting wings and a halo.

Depicting the Pope as a pimp procuring underage victims for prelates may offend some Catholics… but the idea that a man who has overseen a systematic conspiracy to conceal widespread sexual abuse of children could be rewarded after death is an idea that should offend everybody.

In other words, it’s not the game that’s offensive.

It’s the fact that the game is based on things the Catholic Church has actually done.

"Being a nuisance to your neighbors is very different from allegedly affecting property values. The ..."

Man With Private Junkyard Says Town ..."
"I think his brain is regressing into "Dagnabbit!" mode. My own bias, perhaps: He's 77 ..."

Richard Dawkins’ Tweet About Muslim Prayers ..."
"from a distance when you are already awakeMethinks you hit the nail on the proverbial ..."

Richard Dawkins’ Tweet About Muslim Prayers ..."
"Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be saviors."

Forensics Experts Say the Shroud of ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment