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“He Doesn’t Want to Upset People”

In our Editorial, “Homosexuals in the Seminary: Why the Priesthood Will Continue to Become a ‘Gay’ Profession” (Feb. 2006), we commented on the new document on homosexuals in the seminary signed by Pope Benedict. We said that it “intended to satisfy as many people as possible.” We noted that the new document was “pretty murky.” The document was a retreat from the previous policy that barred all homosexuals from the priesthood.

That the new document intended to “satisfy as many people as possible” has been affirmed. As we all know, Fr. Joseph Fessio has been broadcasting his friendship with Pope Benedict far and wide. On January 5, 2006, Fr. Fessio was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt on his radio show. Fr. Fessio says Benedict “is very gentle, and he doesn’t want to harm people. He doesn’t want to upset people.” Fessio also says that “Joseph Ratzinger [now Pope Benedict] as a professor was very, very popular….” Well, if he doesn’t want to upset people, no wonder he was so popular.

If you don’t want to upset people, the document you sign will be pretty murky.

We said in our June 2005 Editorial: “Cardinal Ratzinger is a soft-spoken man, but with a spine of steel. There’s an old adage that says, ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’ That’s Joseph Ratzinger to a tee.” Yes, we can admit it when we’re wrong, and we were blazingly wrong. No, he doesn’t carry a big stick. We heard reports that he enjoys being Pope, enjoys the adulation of the crowds. Oh, to be so popular!

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