David Gibson, one of the best journalists on the Catholic beat wrote a perceptive essay for The Washington Post's Outlook section yesterday enumerating five myths about the child rape scandal in the church. These include that Pope Benedict XVI is the primary culprit, that gay priests are to blame and that journalists are biased against the church. The article is pointed, yet evenhanded, and well worth a read.
Meanwhile, the pope's old antagonist, or perhaps its vice versa, the Rev. Hans Kung, has written an open letter to all Catholic bishops in the Irish Times in which he laments almost every development of Benedict's five-year papacy and urges the bishops to reform the church. One of his six recommendations:
Act in a collegial way: After heated debate and against the persistent opposition of the Curia, the Second Vatican Council decreed the collegiality of the pope and the bishops. It did so in the sense of the Acts of the Apostles, in which Peter did not act alone without the college of the apostles. In the post-conciliar era, however, the pope and the Curia have ignored this decree. Just two years after the council, Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical defending the controversial celibacy law without the slightest consultation of the bishops. Since then, papal politics and the papal magisterium have continued to act in the old, uncollegial fashion. Even in liturgical matters, the pope rules as an autocrat over and against the bishops. He is happy to surround himself with them as long as they are nothing more than stage extras with neither voices nor voting rights. This is why, venerable bishops, you should not act for yourselves alone, but rather in the community of the other bishops, of the priests and of the men and women who make up the church.
Kung hat tip to Wounded Bird.