The arrival of Pope Benedict XVI as head of the Catholic church was widely greeted with enthusiasm given his scholarly expertise and experience in higher echelons of the Vatican. However, the past year has witnessed a series of incidents which raise questions as to whether or not the Pope is being well served by his assistants. The recent controversy over his allowing the return of three bishops blew up when one made clear he did not believe there was anything such as a Holocaust and the Pope had to hurriedly meet with Rabbis to calm down the storm created by those comments. A few days ago, a priest who blamed Hurricane Katrina as being caused by sins of people in New Orleans, asked the pope to rescind his appointment as an auxiliary bishop in Austria. Vatican expert George Weigel in a recent essay says the Vatican is the scene of “chaos, confusion and incompetence.”
The appointment of the bishop in Austria resulted in hundreds of calls from people saying they would not attend any church in which he served. There apparently is a growing under current of people who have more liberal views than those of individuals now leading the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict has been reaching out to conservatives, it is now time to reach out to liberals?