There's a major rift inside the Catholic hierarchy, with the corrupt old guard epitomized by Angelo Sodano finally being pushed back on by reformists like Christoph Schoenborn. If you have any doubts which side Benedict is on, set them to rest:
The Vatican on Monday admonished a leading cardinal for having publicly criticized the former Vatican No. 2 for his handling of clerical abuse cases. In a remarkable statement, the Vatican said only the pope can make such accusations against a cardinal, not another so-called prince of the church. In April, Vienna's archbishop, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, accused the former Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, of blocking a probe into a sex abuse scandal that rocked Austria's church 15 years ago. Schoenborn also accused Sodano of causing ''massive harm'' to victims when he dismissed claims of clerical abuse as ''petty gossip'' on Easter Sunday.
Schoenborn has also questioned the Vatican obsession with demonizing and ostracizing gay people and gay relationships, along with its sclerotic bureaucracy and legacy of enabling Marcial Maciel. Grant Gallicho notes how bizarre it is that Benedict is now owning the "petty gossip" dismissal of child rape. It seems to me that those still claiming that Benedict is a force for reform in the church on clerical child rape have some explaining to do.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.