However, don't start singing the Hallelujah chorus just yet. This does not mean that things will change. Any priest who has risen through the ranks is tainted by the "scandal" - if only by sins of omission, if not by sins of commission and by the conspiracy of silence.
I never fully explained the theological problem of "doubt" when I wrote my previous blog on the film, Doubt. Doubt in the authority and teachings of the Mother Church and the Papacy is a sin tantamount to heresy in a nun. One does not question. This is the double meaning of doubt in the film.
I have no love for the man but sitting in my chiropractor's office and hearing the news of his resignation, my first utterance was that he was "heartsick". My blog, Just what is the colour of the sky in their world, part 4, was probably on my mind when I said this. This is a man that has never had "doubt" as far as I can tell. He is a "true believer". At the same time, I cannot help but wonder whether or not it has finally become too much. As long as there were the odd priests here and there who abused children, it would not necessarily bring the true believer's faith into question. But it has been relentless. It hasn't let up since it began in the 80s - thirty years of relentless disclosures. Furthermore, it is worldwide. Therefore, it was not indigenous to the "degenerate world of North America".
I speculated earlier that the move of Charles Scicluna out of the Vatican was more than it appeared to be. The resignation of Benedict XVI/Ratzinger makes me wonder even further.
I cannot wish him well in his retirement. He has presided over the Inquisition and has hurt many, many good men and women of the church during his years of power. His refusal to deal seriously with the sexually abusing priest is the worst of it. If there is a "God", I can only hope that "he" will make sure that the years of decline will be fraught with questioning. May he actually suffer from "doubt" and begin to understand the full extent of the damage that he has inflicted (with the help of others, of course) on the faithful.
I don't hold out much hope.
And maybe he is showing signs of early Alzheimer's - if so, couldn't happen to a worthier recipient!