Over at True/Slant I begin to lay out what I see as an emerging narrative of Pope Benedict (both as pope and as Cardinal Ratzinger) as the reformist waging an unseen war against an old guard devoted to maintaining the status quo of cover ups of sexual abuse.
This has been a suspicion of mine for some time (as made evident by Benedict’s actions when he took over as pope, and again in his letter following the revelations in Ireland) and it has only strengthened during the past few weeks as more and more people have begun calling for Benedict’s head while at the same time more and more evidence is emerging that Benedict has in fact been at the front of efforts to reform the church.
What inspired my latest writing on the matter is this excellent and in-depth investigative report by Jason Berry of the National Catholic Reporter which begins looking at the money trail of now-disgraced Fr. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the cult-like Legion of Christ in Mexico, and a man who found protection from Vatican insiders and from John Paul II himself, and who was finally toppled by Benedict XVI after years of sexual abuse, hush money, and other scandals.
In any case, read the NCR report and if you have time read my piece at True/Slant as well and let me know what you think. I for one am profoundly grateful that Ratzinger was elected as pope, and believe he is doing, quite literally, God’s work in rooting out corruption and cover-ups of sexual abuse from the Church.