February 21, 2013

What the next pope faces

There's a story at the NYT today about Vatican intrigue. The upshot is that it won't be smooth sailing for the next pope. The story begins by recounting the theft of the pope's papers by his butler.
And if that original sin weren't enough, the content of the leaks confirmed that the next pope has a very messy house to clean up. The letters and memos exposed petty wrangling, corruption and cronyism at the highest levels of the Catholic Church. The dirt ranged from the awarding of Vatican contracts to a plot, purportedly orchestrated by senior Vatican officials, to out a prominent Catholic newspaper editor as gay.
Always thinking sweet thoughts, these princes of the church. What I want to know about is the "homosexual liaisons" at the Vatican. The butler pointed to this, but no one ever followed it up. Gee, I wonder why.

I think my favorite line is this:
And as cardinal, after priestly sex abuse cases bounced for years among Vatican offices, the former Joseph Ratzinger took them over himself in 2001. 
Yes, we've heard it before but it can't be stated too often. It's the information that won't go away: Ratzinger was in charge of the entire pedophilia scandal. The popey guy! Catholics are great at ignoring this but their lack of attention doesn't erase the issue. The whole world knows that the pope was in charge of sexual abuse cases since 2001. Most of the children who were abused after that date owe their pain and horror to one man: Pope Benedict. (Okay, the priest who attacked them is also responsible. Still, that's quite a pope they've got there.)

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