Both men are brilliant and influential figureheads. Both have been accused of perverting the course of justice in cases of child abuse. But there the similarity ends between Pope Benedict XVI and Roman Polanski, the noted Polish film maker. Because, you see, although Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, he is an “artist”. When US authorities issued a warrant for his extradition last year, the creme de la creme of Hollywood was up in arms. Stars like Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Whoopi Goldberg petitioned for the director of The Pianist and the forthcoming The Ghost Writer to be let off. When he raped a child, Goldberg explained, it “was not rape rape”. It was something altogether different. Polanski, you see, was so talented, so special, mortal laws could not apply to such a genius. From NW3 to Manhattan, the chatteratis clucked about the provincial American justice system and their philistine mentality.