My thoughts when I heard Ratzinger was resigning? First, yet another hypocrisy from the church in flouting supposedly divine law for convenience, and second, the more than 10,000 children known to have been violated by Catholic priests.
The great crime in the Vatican's sex abuse scandal is not the existence of pedophiles within its ranks of priests, although that is bad enough, but the fact that the Church as a matter of policy transferred known pedophiles to unsuspecting parishes.
A new report argues the high incidence of sexual abuse by priests in the 1960s reflected the growing aberrance of American society during that period, including "an increase in premarital sexual behavior and divorce." Are they serious?
I know that for many British Catholics, their faith makes them think of something warm and good and kind -- a beloved grandmother, or the gentler sayings of Jesus. That is not what Ratzinger stands for.
The Catholic Church might be terrible at crisis management and the pope may not be perfect. But what might emerge from this dark episode is a more transparent, more accessible, and more sensitive Church.