The Boston Herald managed to find the Episcopal priest teaching theology at the Jesuit Boston College to comment on the election of Pope Benedict XVI. (His bio says he worked in the Vatican in the 1960s; can we assume he left the Catholic Church? Yet he continues to teach theology at a Catholic school.)
His judgments on the new pope are laughably biased and out of touch with reality.
“Clearly, the cardinals decided to abort the legacy of John Paul II or at least narrow that legacy down to one or two of the dozens of features of that legacy,” said James Weiss, an Episcopal priest and professor of church history at Boston College who worked in the Vatican in the 1960s.
If the cardinals were looking for the one cardinal who was most likely to continue to the legacy of John Paul, they could not have picked anyone other than Cardinal Ratzinger, a fact with which nearly everyone agrees. In fact, Weiss acknowledges as much with his backhanded insult to both Ratzinger and Wojtyla in a second article in today’s Herald in which he’s quoted.
“John Paul’s papacy was being run by four people,” Weiss said. “Above all, Cardinal Ratzinger was doing his thinking for him.”
So which was it? If Ratzinger was “doing his thinking for him” then he John Paul’s legacy would have to be his legacy? So how could his election be an aborting of that legacy? He needs to get his pejoratives straight.
Of course, Weiss isn’t done because he needs to spread more disinformation about Pope Benedict:
Ratzinger is a shy, quiet man who failed as an archbishop in Munich, Germany, from 1977 to 1981, Weiss said. “Within two years of being archbishop his clergy and I believe his cathedral chapter demanded that he be removed,” Weiss said. “He was horrible. He lacked pastoral skills and he was divisive.”
That is a base and utter fabrication. There is no justification for Weiss’s charge, but he asserts it knowing that no one’s going to check him on that. Cardinal Ratzinger was called to Rome by his friend Pope John Paul II; it was as simple as that. He was not removed in disgrace.
So why is James Weiss suddenly the go-to guy for the Boston reporters? It couldn’t be that he was giving a lecture today on the conclave and the new pope. Darn, I missed it.