There was much ado this past weekend when a couple of dead Popes were honored. The link, written by a Professor of Law at a Catholic university, says there should be a sober evaluation of John Paul II.
It was John Paul II, the Pope before Benedict (who just retired), who put in place the weaknesses we now see in the Catholic Church. One of his weaknesses was the dislike of vigorous debate.
He preferred, instead, orthodoxy established from the top without dissention. This has made Catholic dogma on birth control and the sinfulness of homosexuality the trademark stances of the Church and, in turn, made it not relevant to modern society.
This played at least some role in the priest sexual abuse scandals. Had he set in place a church-wide policy that abuses are not dealt with internally but are instead directly turned over to law enforcement, much of the damage would surely have been avoided. Instead, he continued to praise, defend and shelter those he should have disowned.
John Paul II is said to be the leader who nurtured the view Catholic clergy are set apart from the rest of society and must circle that wagons against their enemies. We can see this attitude prevailing among Bishops yet today.
If ever there was an organization which should have recognized the weaknesses of humans and made provisions to reign in peoples’ dark side, it would be the Catholic church. History has shown us the proper provisions were not made and are not in place today.