Catholic Europe: How Damaged is the Papacy? – TIME

On Good Friday 2005, as a dying Pope John Paul II watched via video hookup, worshippers outside the candlelit Way of the Cross ceremony in Rome’s Colosseum recited meditations written by the man who would be his successor. Breaking with tradition, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s musings veered away from Christ’s Passion and into the Catholic Church’s current problems. “How much filth there is in the Church,” he wrote, clearly referring to the charges of sex abuse by priests that had rocked the church in the U.S. “And even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him!”

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