„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:
»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.«
For me, the great tragedy of Benedict was his panic after the Second Council. There is no disputing the elegance of his mind or the exquisite meticulousness of his perfect, orderly German theology – and his work alongside the more consistently modernist Hans Kung will stand the test of time. But his post-1960s theology had as much relationship to the real challenges of the 21st Century as the effete, secluded German scholar, embalmed in clerical privilege for his entire adult life. And his early promise as a theologian calcified into the purest form of reaction and fear when given the power to enforce orthodoxy, which is what he essentially did for well over two decades. It was excruciating to watch such a careful, often illuminating scholar turn into a Grand Inquisitor. It was revealing that a bureaucrat who never missed even a scintilla of heresy was able to turn such a blind eye to the monstrous rapes of so many children.”