Monday, June 28, 2010

Made in his own image: The Catholic Church faces another scandal

Made in his own image: The Catholic Church faces another scandal

Joseph Ratzinger is having a terrible year. But as the Catholic Church faces yet another scandal, blame is falling on its most popular figure of modern times, Pope John Paul II, writes Peter Popham The Independent


Monday, 28 June 2010

There is a cruel paradox in the career of the man who, in September, will become only the second pope in history to visit Britain. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope in April 2005, he set about purifying the Catholic Church and returning it to its core values. He also pledged to get his charismatic predecessor, John Paul II, canonised as quickly as possible.


But as a new church scandal exploded last week, hard on the heels of the paedophilia storm, this one involving allegations of massive corruption at the heart of the Roman Curia, Pope Benedict's papal career risks being eclipsed by the dark shadow of John Paul's legacy.

Nobody doubts that the Pope would like the church to be a cleaner, leaner, quieter, purer institution, purged of paedophile priests and greedy careerists; he said as much again last week. But this man, who proposes himself as a new broom and wags his finger at those who take a permissive, typically Italian view of venality, has been at the heart of the church for half a lifetime. All these people are his old colleagues. If this is Sodom, he has been a citizen in good standing for 40 years.

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