Thinking about this some more, it appears Andrew has missed my point entirely. The aesthetic argument was not my defense of Benedict at all. My defense is simply this: the Pope is innocent until proven guilty and nobody has in any way proved that the Pope has had any roll to play in covering up sexual abuse in the Church. Yet people would hang him sans trial just the same. There is only assertion and speculation, yet that – apparently – is enough. Thus, calling for his resignation is not at all about ‘accountability’ but rather about finding a scapegoat or as a personal political vendetta.
The aesthetic question was an attempt to explain why people so dislike Benedict and so loved John Paul II when the two men are so similar in every conceivable way. My explanation? They find this Pope sinister looking, unlike his predecessor. (Andrew surely links to plenty of sinister looking photos of the Holy Father…)
Either way, these are two entirely different arguments. If Andrew would like to address my actual defense of the Pope, fine. But he shouldn’t conflate the two arguments.
Now, of course, we will have the copy-cats rushing to nod their agreement at how silly my ‘defense’ of the pope is, ignoring entirely that this is not in fact my defense of the pope, but a separate argument altogether. It may be a roughshod attempt at psycho-analysis, but then again so is all psycho-analysis which is why I try to avoid that pastime as much and as fervently as possible.