A number of months back, I began reading Pope Benedict’s book on Jesus. I found it to be solid, fascinating, and approachable to me, a protestant. But since the scandal in the Catholic Church broke lose in full force, I have had trouble picking it up and continuing to read it. If the pope, when he was a cardinal, knowingly buried or downplayed or hid priests who were involved in pedophilia, can he be a valid source of spiritual insight?
Of course, another side of me rolls in with a vengeance when I think those thoughts. Who am I to judge him? Are not we all flawed? If it takes an unflawed person to offer valid spiritual insights, then might not all religious books and all sermons be pitched aside? And what if he didn’t really know? What if it is all in the press? Then the other side argues back, “But there are so many cases. It happened in so many places. He wasn’t a minor figure when all this was being covered up.” I’m not a catholic but still it is hard. I respect the tradition even if I am not a part of it.
It is just that that particular crime is so heinous that to ever, even remotely, keep the door open to it happening again is just unacceptable to me. And so, right or wrong, I have trouble reading his book.
But each time I look at it, it makes me think.
Tom’s random musings on a Monday night.