Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos seen in contrast to Pope on sex-abuse policy
April 26, 2010
Commenting on the increasingly uncomfortable position that Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos occupies since the revelations that he encouraged bishops not to report priestly abuse, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter notes that the Colombian cardinal's position over the years has clashed with that of Pope Benedict. Allen writes:
Throughout the most recent round of media coverage, there's been a serious mismatch between Pope Benedict's actual record on sex abuse -- as the senior Vatican official who took the crisis most seriously since 2001, and who led the charge for reform -- and outsider images of the pope as part of the problem.
While there are many reasons for that, a core factor is that the Vatican had the last ten years to tell the story of "Ratzinger the Reformer" to the world, and they essentially dropped the ball. That failure left a PR vacuum in which a handful of cases from the pope's past, where his own role was actually marginal, have come to define his profile.
One has to ask, why didn't the Vatican tell Ratzinger's story?
At least part of the answer, I suspect, is because to make Ratzinger look good, they'd have to make others look bad -- including, of course, Castrillón, as well as other top Vatican officials. Lurking behind that concern is a deeper one, which is that to salvage the reputation of Benedict XVI it might be necessary to tarnish that of Pope John Paul II.