Not a strange dream to have at Eastertide. Christ, blooded with scourging and the crown of thorns, being mocked by his tormentors. But my waking mind saw clearly that the figure was Christ and Pope Benedict at the same time.
It is part of my job, and often my penance, to see virtually every comment on the Pope which is published in the English-speaking world. And, although the latest batch started with his statement on condoms and Aids in Africa, they now of course refer to his attitudes towards paedophilia, as Archbishop of Munich, as head of the CDF and as Pope. And we can be sure that these remarks will come thicker and faster as the Papal visit approaches.
I have no intention of producing an apologia for the Pope. Sometimes he has done or said exactly the right thing, sometimes more prudence and less naivety would have been helpful. But in no instance has he acted without loving and thoughtful concern. Which is a great deal more than can be said of many of his critics, in their smug and ignorant righteousness.
That may be uncharitable, so I will try to make up for it by redoubling my prayers for the Pope this Easter.
O O O
I have not found it possible to give a brief, yet adequately detailed, account of the various elements in the stories which led to the accusations being made about the Pope. But below I give links to pieces which will help those who want to investigate them. And indeed to comment, where appropriate. I need hardly say that most of the world’s press have shown a greater interest in hate headlines than in constructive commentary.
A detailed and expert account regarding the secrecy imposed on those involved in paedophila cases.
Account of the Pope’s level of responsibility and attitude towards paedophile cases.
Vatican statement on Fr Lawrence Murphy
A revealing account by the Church judge in the Murphy case.
Discussion of the New York Times story on Fr Peter Hullermann