Saturday, July 12, 2008

What Place Has the Highest Crime Rate?

According to the Catholic News Service, "Per capita, Vatican City has the highest crime rate in the world." (read more) I was surprised to hear that. I'm guessing that if one considered violent crime, the ranking would be practically inverted because of the ability to control security there. Then again, who knows. Bottom line: Vatican City is no more heavenly than any other city on earth.

-TurretinFan

UPDATE: as Ben notes in the comments below, part of the reason for the high crime rate is that there are an enormous number of tourists, which draws pickpockets (who - in turn - contribute disproportionately to the criminal statistics for the burg.

8 comments:

Ben Douglass said...

It makes perfect sense when you read the article:

"The vast majority of penal cases handled by the court usually involve theft, especially pickpockets, but the perpetrators never are caught in a very high percentage of those cases.

"According to the most recent published statistics, 472 criminal cases were reported in 2006 -- almost one crime per resident for a country with only 492 inhabitants.

"But those figures are deceiving since the high crime rate stems from the sheer volume of people -- some 18 million each year-- that stream through the Vatican to visit St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums."

The Vatican gets lots of tourists. Pickpockets gravitate to places with crowds of tourists. Unless the Vatican has a soul-reading priest handy, they're not going to be able to keep all the pickpockets out.

Turretinfan said...

Is a "soul-reading priest" something that's actually part of the religion, or is it kind of like saying "if we had Superman with his X-ray vision"?

I guess it makes sense that pickpockets would be an issue, given the large number of tourists.

Thanks for the clarification!

-TurretinFan

Ben Douglass said...

Dear Francis,

Yes, soul reading is an actual part of the religion. It is a gift which God has given to certain saints such as St. John Bosco and St. Pio of Pietrelcina for the more fruitful exercise of the Sacrament of Penance. By it they can see the spiritual state of the people around them, so that they can encourage people in mortal sin to go to Confession, and prevent their penitents from making sacrilegious Confessions (by hiding some mortal sins). If someone hid some of their sins, St. Pio would tell them, "you left out X, Y, and Z; if you do that you're better off not going to Confession at all."

Come to think of it, Vatican security would also be a lot easier if the Swiss Guards could levitate and bilocate, but I guess God does not give these gifts for such trivial purposes.

natamllc said...

The question:

"what place has the highest crime rate?"

My answer: my heart and mind and hearts and minds of the 6 plus billion humans on the planet today!

One, after reading Matthew's Gospel, chapters 5,6,7, wondered why there were not more people repenting of their high crimes and misdemeanors? :)

My prayer: "Even so Lord, come quickly"

Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.


But now, more down to earth, I have been to Italy and it is a very immoral place to be or live, dirty too in most places! But, if you are into fashion and want to know next years' fashion colors, go to Milan and look at the this years' river flows down stream. :)

Turretinfan said...

Dear Ben,

Your religion is full of so many curious legends, it's truly amazing. Thanks for clarifying. Obviously, each of the alleged gifts you mentioned are quite rare (and sadly none happens to be anywhere I could conveniently go to investigate in person).

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Natamllc,
Yes, the heart of man is incredibly deceitful disparately wicked: who can know it!
Italy is no exception to that rule.
-TurretinFan

Ben Douglass said...

Your religion is full of so many curious legends, it's truly amazing.

Dear Francis,

The gift of reading souls is the same gift God gave to St. Peter in Acts 5:1-11 to expose the dishonesty of Ananias and Sapphira. So, I don't see upon what grounds you can so quickly dismiss the testimonies about St. John Bosco and St. Pio as "legends." In fact, many of the miracles which are recorded in the lives of the saints are very similar to the miracles in the Bible (e.g., the sun stands still in Joshua 10, the sun dances at Fatima; Jesus raises the dead, Benedict, Bernard, and Vincent raise the dead; Jesus lay incorrupt in his tomb awaiting the Resurrection, Bernadette lays incorrupt in her tomb awaiting the Resurrection, etc.). We should expect this because Jesus says in John 14:12 that "he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do." In this passage, "works" includes, and perhaps refers primarily to, miracles.

Obviously, each of the alleged gifts you mentioned are quite rare (and sadly none happens to be anywhere I could conveniently go to investigate in person).

That is true. You can, however, evaluate testimonies, using the same standards which apologists use to build a historical, evidentiary case for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Ben,

I believe that Christ and the apostles worked miracles. That, however, does not bind me to believe every claim to a miracle that is set forth. It doesn't bind you to that, either.

There's a good reason to think that miracles have ceased: the miracles were primarily a testimony to the inspiration of the miracle-workers. With very few exceptions (perhaps Gregory of Nazainsius?) when we read the early church fathers, we don't see testimony of the teachers performing sign gifts that testify to their ministry.

I don't want to get into a full discussion of cessationism here, but that would be the high level overview.

-TurretinFan