Some analysis from the UK by Damian Thompson with my emphases and comments:
Some liberal Catholics are thinking: It’s payback time, Ratzinger!
By Damian Thompson
There is still no good evidence that Pope Benedict XVI is seriously implicated in the atrocious child abuse scandals that are – rightly – blackening the reputation of the institutions of the Catholic Church. But still the attempts to join the dots continue. To put it bluntly, there is an increasingly frantic media campaign against the Pope in which headlines are being written first and then facts shaved to fit them. [What’s on the masthead of Hell’s Bible again? "All the news that fits"?]
It is also clear that many prominent liberal Catholics are turning a blind eye to this media vendetta because they don’t like Pope Benedict. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?] They are happy for him to take the rap for diocesan cover-ups initiated, in some cases, by liberal prelates. Those relates are grateful for the opportunity to pass the buck to the one man who, though his record on this matter is certainly not beyond criticism, has done more than any other to rectify the Church’s lax procedures – Joseph Ratzinger.
Some Catholics, such as our blogger Cristina Odone, have protested against the unjust treatment of the Pope. God bless her, for I know that Cristina is not sympathetic to some of the Pope’s views; yet she can spot the hidden agenda here.
I have to ask myself: if a liberal, liturgically wet Pope was castiagted unfairly in this way, would I stick up for him? I can’t be sure, but how shameful if I did not. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]
If I was Benedict XVI, I’d be asking myself if I even wanted to visit Britain this autumn. For, when he does, he will meet English bishops, Catholic journalists and self-appointed spokesmen for the Catholic community who did not dare offend liberal opinion by defending him properly, or whose judgment was clouded by personal dislike of the Pope and his agenda.
Some Catholics – not many, but they are prominent – are actually thinking: it’s payback time, Ratzinger. If we can make this mud stick, then [and this is the moral of the story…] we can continue to sabotage your liturgical reforms. [Because everything, eventually, hinges on worship.] In other words, they are using the victims of clerical child abuse to fight internal political battles. Why am I not surprised?
I wrote the other day that…
…to a certain extent we are going to have to lie here and be kicked by anyone who walks by… until they decide that kicking someone else gets them what they want… that and must continue to revitalize our worship of Almighty God, who alone can see us through to the other side.
The battle is vicious and the stakes are high.