Andrew Sullivan, a devout and serious Catholic, writes on the failures of Pope Benedict. He desperately hopes for renewal in the church now but sadly, I think, that’s a fool’s dream. Benedict has made sure the Cardinals are as reactionary as he is – and they are the ones who elect the Pope from their own ranks. The deck is rigged. There will be no change. And Benedict has left wreckage.
In Ireland, the collapse has been close to total. At the start of his papacy, Benedict declared his intent to bring Catholicism back to intellectual life in Europe. He didn’t just fail; he failed catastrophically, accelerating the Church’s demographic, spiritual and moral decline in the West. Key pillars of the Wojtila-Ratzinger counter-reformation – like the Legion of Christ, the creation of the repeat child rapist and drug trafficker, Marcial Maciel – crumbled to dust. Key enablers of abuse were given rewards – Boston’s Cardinal Law springs to mind; other minor figures – including the monster who raped over 200 deaf children, Father Lawrence Murphy – were allowed a quiet retirement with no serious punishment; I called for the Pope’s resignation two years ago, as the full extent of his complicity in the child-rape crisis came into closer view.
There is another moral stench coming from the Catholic Church besides that of institutionalized pedophilia (which has been going on for decades if not centuries.) The Vatican Bank is corrupt and associated with organized crime. This goes back to at least the 1970′s and Michele Sindona and continues to today with the VatiLeaks scandal, all of which Benedict has actively tried to cover up.
If anything, the next Pope will be even more reactionary because the Catholic Church has no reformers or even moderates at the level of Cardinal.