Leave it to Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the totems of the British Atheist movement, to once again point out common sense, noting that the Pope's political sidestep is not recognized by the UN.
The Catholic Church has chosen the comfortable approach to its communications during this ongoing sex abuse scandal: to cloister itself. Systematically, it has closed down any venue or platform for discussion.
The days of papal apologies and expressions of contrition and shame have come and gone. The Church now lays blame on the reporters, not on the perpetrators and those who overlooked their transgressions.
The Vatican -- not a local parish, or a local papal leader, but the Vatican itself -- stands accused of halting an investigation into a Wisconsin priest believed to have molested 200 deaf boys over a 20-year period.
Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI called sexual abuse "truly terrifying." In his frank comments to reporters, he seemed to rebut Vatican curial officials who have sought to portray the crisis as somehow generated from the outside.