The Real Victim

While Ross feels sympathy for Benedict XVI - by comparing him to the worse legacy of John Paul II! - it seems to me a shame that he cannot mention or cite the crimes at the heart of the scandal. "Abusive priests" is as accurate a term as "enhanced interrogation". The priest in the laicization case - where the current Pope urged delay and caution and reluctance to defrock because of the priest's young age - had tied up and raped two children. Spinning this as merely a function of Vatican bureaucracy is, in my view, to take the point of view of Rome, not the view of Jesus; to see things from the vantage point of those in power, not those stripped of all power and raped.

It is absolutely true that John Paul II's relationship with Marcial Maciel is a scandal, and any idea that John Paul II should be beatified or canonized is repellent, given his record of presiding over the collapse of the Church in Europe, the worst years of the sex abuse cover-up, and his preference for dramatic self-promotion over the harder job of actually runningĀ  global organization. But Ratzinger can no more be separated from John Paul II than Bush can from Cheney. And the cult of authority was John Paul II's and Benedict XVI's key contribution to the modern church. Now we see how this cult of authority was directly connected to enabling the church to enable, hide and defend the rapists of children ... there is no escaping the verdict of history.

The Pope must resign. He has no moral authority left. And a new Pope needs to be selected who represents an end to the euphemisms, an end to any tolerance for this, and who will seek to restore the balance of authority achieved by the Second Vatican Council.