It’s kind of Eric Reguly of The Globe and Mail to point out that much of the child sexual abuse scandal played out prior to Ratzinger’s run as pope…
A bit too kind. Let’s remember that while this is technically true, he did have a prior career in the church. And that when he presided over the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he sent a confidential letter to clergy in which he threatened excommunication for reporting child abuse to outside authorities. An act lawyers for abuse victims called a clear obstruction of justice.
Let’s not mince words. Ratzinger holds the office of a mediaeval absolute ruler. Merely to call this office an anachronism is also far too kind. That such rulers and offices persist to this day, in their limping fashion, centuries after the Enlightenment, and such men as this still imagine it is their place to pronounce with the authority of an imagined god what should be the policy of nations on, say, reproductive medicine (or, really, on anything at all) is at the very least a cringe-inducing embarrassment for our species. That anyone pays attention to such pronouncements as he delivers is a larger embarrassment, still.
So what pope to replace him with?
Why, none at all. The world needs a pope–and rulers like them–like it needs ebola.