Liberals are stitching up the pope

Damian Thompson is still at it – still insisting that it’s all a diabolical plot against that nice man Joe Ratzinger.

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.

But even if it were true – and there is apparently a lot of evidence that it isn’t – that Ratzinger wasn’t personally ‘seriously implicated’ (what would non-seriously implicated be?) in the church’s furtive way with crimes against children, he still wouldn’t be radiantly blameless, because he is the head of the organization, and one who worked his way up over a period of decades. He’s not a new head brought in from the outside to clean up the rot, he’s someone who has been part of the church machinery for a long time.

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. If I was Benedict XVI, I’d be asking myself if I even wanted to visit Britain this autumn.

Tangential point – what is it with the British and the subjunctive? Two refusals to use it in that short passage; what’s that about? If I were his editor I wouldn’t let him get away with that. If a liberal pope were castigated; if I were Ben 16. Could do better.

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