I doubt there are many people living in the real world who have maintained an unqualified child-like trust in man’s goodness. Whether it be in banking, business, academia, hospitals, politics, or religious institutions, we bang up against not only the loving, but also against the self-serving — often in the same people.
It is not surprising, then, to read speculation that it is the in-fighting, the hypocrisy and back-biting within the Vatican that finally exhausted Pope Benedict and led to his conclusion that he no longer had the strength to carry on.
There have even been calls for Benedict to return to Germany rather than maintain his residency in the Vatican, where some fear that he will meddle by “advising” the new pope.
But there are two reasons why that is not going to happen, however much Vatican enemies may wish him to disappear. One is that Benedict’s physical safety will be much easier to safeguard within the Vatican, and attempts to assassinate Benedict’s predecessor suggest that this is a real concern.
The second reason is that Benedict will be beyond the reach of any legal attempts to hold him accountable for the paedophilia that has been rampant in the Church and quietly covered up for decades. Even his worst enemies in the Vatican will not want to see this issue subjected to the full rigour of a string of court trials around the world.