To a certain degree, the Pope is allowed not to be a political creature; he's acknowledged as one of the world's great contrarians (the birth control and celibacy stuff). But even for popes there are the rules of media and PR. And this pope either knows nothing about those rules (is unworldly in the way that is, on the one hand, refreshing, and on the other, also ignorant of non-Catholic concerns like the Holocaust), or is going to war with those rules.
The message here may be not only that the Pope does not care what the modern world thinks about the Vatican, but he's not above throwing it a little red meat. That is, you would not make such audacious and belligerent moves unless you were a benighted fool, or had a specific point to make.
The point, if it is not mere dimness and incompetence, is a terrifically hostile one. A screw you. A nose-thumbing. The finger, in fact. The reasonable protocols of secular discussion abandoned. The Pontiff's inviting a backlash, begging for one.
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