A reader writes:
I'm sorry Andrew, but there has been no fairer American observer of the Vatican over the years than John Allen. And comparing him to Jackson Diehl? Please.
I have two kids in Catholic School. Because of the reforms that Benedict has made, every one of the parents, teachers, parish staff (including the clergy), bus drivers, chaperones, catechists, playground supervisors, nursery care workers - anyone who has the slightest amount of exposure to kids at all in our faith community - is required to submit their names for a criminal background check and attend a training session on how to look for signs of abuse and how and where to report any of your suspicions.
No one is allowed to take a step onto school property without having submitted themselves to this process.
What other school system in the world has such rigid standards? None of this would be in place without the meaningful and substantive reforms ushered in by Benedict. To gloss this record over and attempt to impugn John Allen in the process is disingenuous.
Don't get me wrong. I am deeply disturbed by the latest revelations and completely agree that the Pope needs to come clean on this. But to deny the real efforts that have been made in recent years is simply not fair.