From time to time I have opined about why the Pope says certain things that are sure to provoke controversy.
Some people have suggested that he is naive about the press (e.g., Regensburg, this condom thing).
I don’t buy that.
I have told you my story from years ago about asking the Pope (while still Cardinal Prefect) how he dealt with all the negative press. We were talking about an especially nasty story in an Italian daily. He quipped that if he didn’t read something like that, he’d have to examine his conscience. In other words, if they are not going after you, you are probably not doing your job.
No one who was Prefect of the CDF for that long, with that reputation, with that intelligence, can be naive about a press reaction. The people around him on the other hand….
Today during the Press conference about the book-interview with the Pope, Fr. Lombardi made it clear that Pope Benedict knew his new comments would spark debate.