I noticed a letter from Pope Benedict XVI released last night. I took a brief look at it, then spent a bit more time with it today. It’s a frustrating read. I understand complaints about 1968, and about moving forward in theology. The focus on pedophilia and ignoring institutional scandal just shows our last pope was out of his depth in diagnosing the problem.
People with power victimizing people who are weak has always been with us. B16 assessing this as godlessness is true enough. It happens in the realms of economics, law (or lawlessness), bullying, gossip, education, work, and even families. And yes, where sex is used as a tool for abusing persons.
Pedophilia is not a new thing. It didn’t develop in 1968. And it was never endorsed by moral persons. It was hidden, covered up, and excused by bishops–probably for generations.
Pope Benedict earns an F for overlooking the nature of the scandal since 2002. For the past seventeen years, Catholics have known their bishops and the Vatican have been groomed by predators and have been part of various conspiracies of lies, intimidation, and cover-up.
In perusing commentariats in a few places, it seems some former B16 fanboys and fangirls have soured on their hero. I find that unfortunate. Human heroes are imperfect. They have blind spots and flaws. When they are elderly and retired, I think there’s a time to be a quiet mentor. In a church context, a ministry of intercessory prayer. I’m sorry to see this document released. I don’t see it as constructive or helpful for the situation today. Just sad.