popebenedictxviIt’s no surprise that we take a dim view of Pope Benedict XVI, but now even the Vatican is turning against him. A Vatican insider told the London Telegraph last week that the pontiff is “a disaster” who is “out of touch with the real world”. Another says that he’s “isolated and fails to adequately consult his advisers” and a third remarked “He’s got too many jobs. There’s talk that he is going to go.” Just how has the Holy Father mucked up the Church? Let’s count the ways.

Papal Screw-up The Issue Benedict’s Response The Mess He’s Made
Condoms in Africa
The African continent is devastated by AIDS infections, with 22 million people living with HIV. Healthcare workers have been introducing contraceptives as a way to combat the disease. AIDS “cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems” Benedict contradicted Catholic bishops and priests in Africa, who have said that condoms are a key to fighting the disease.
Abortions in Brazil
A group of doctors were excommunicated after they performed an abortion on a nine-year-old girl who had fallen pregnant after being raped by her stepfather. Who knows? Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, a senior Vatican figure condoned the excommunication, but days later Archbishop Rino Fisichella, another senior figure, contradicted him. Vatican officials believe the Pope has become isolated and incapable of sending out a clear message in the digital media age.
The Church remains conflicted on its stance towards gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders, with conservatives maintaining that its a disorder. Benedict called transsexuals “a violation of the natural order”, adding, “The tropical forests do deserve our protection; but man, as a creature, does not deserve any less.” Even by the standard of the Catholic Church, Benedict’s stance that LGBT people don’t deserve protection from discrimination is extreme.
Holocaust Deniers
British Bishop Richard Williamson has said about the Holocaust, “I believe there were no gas chambers”, among other things Nothing, until Anti-Defamation groups demanded a response. Initially, the Church asked Williamson to deliver an apology, claiming excommunication was out of the question. Eventually, the Pope was forced to apologize. The slow response from the Vatican convinced many observers that the Pontiff is asleep at the wheel.
Protestant Put-Downs
The Dominus Iesus, a dormant, but longstanding document, calls Anglicans and Protestants “not true Churches.” Benedict restated the decree in 2007, angering faith communities across the globe. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark wrote, “It has a destructive effect on ecumenical relations if one church deprives another church of the right to be called a church.” Benedict’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II worked to reach ot to other Christian communities, while Benedict’s actions have only exacerbated divisions.
Papal Screw-up The Issue Benedict’s Response The Mess He’s Made

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