Wednesday, April 20, 2005


New Pope explains priestly sex scandal

One of the few items of interest in today's NPR coverage of the Pope was their pick-up of an interview with him on Italian TV just before his elevation. As Sylvia Poggioli translated, Cardinal Ratzinger said,
We must seriously analyze what has happened. The church is also subject to worldly temptations. Perhaps misunderstanding the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, many priests adopted worldly behavior and lost their anchorage to Christ. [my transcription]

Ah, yes. The Second Vatican Council, a so-called liberalization of the Roman Catholic Church that has been the bane of "traditionalist" churchmen everywhere. When it was announced in 1959 by Pope John XXIII, he is reported to have said "I want to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in."

John Paul II set about re-closing the windows, and Benedict XVI, who is if anything more extreme, can be counted on to draw down the curtains.

When asked about reforming the Roman Curia, the Vatican bureaucracy, Cardinal Ratzinger replied,

I don't know how because it's very complicated machinery. It's very difficult to repair complicated machinery. It requires great competence, which I do not have. [my transcription]

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