The Irish bishops come to town and are sent away assured that nothing serious is going to happen to them. Pedophile scandals proceed to break out on the Continent, centering on Germany. The pontiff’s brother, Georg Ratzinger, does a Sgt. Schultz, saying he knew nothing about allegations of abuse at the schools affiliated with his elite choir. Osservatore Romano says all this wouldn’t have happened if there were more women in positions of ecclesiastical authority. Cardinal Schönborn almost says this wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for priestly celibacy. The Vatican’s chief exorcist says the Vatican is possessed by the Devil.
So are the wheels coming off the pope-mobile? That’s pretty much Rocco’s take. To be sure, by medieval standards, it may not seem like much. No one’s elected an anti-pope or forced the Curia to pack up and move to Avignon. But think of the lurches from insulting the Muslims at
Regensburg to freaking out the Jews over the Tridentine Mass and the
canonization of Pius XII to dissing the Anglicans with Anglicanorum coetibus to
appalling just about everybody by cozying up to the Lefebvrists.
It’s getting hard not to see the Benedictine papacy as a comedy of errors. Or maybe, a tragedy.