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, SJ, said on Nov. 30 that the charges provoked “curiosity and smiles of amusement” at the Holy See, “beginning with the Pope himself.”
Report from Catholic News Agency