The only viable strategy for the Vatican
Making Levada the point man in responding to media criticism of the pope was a dicey move. Pope Benedict chose Levada in 2005 to succeed him as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
But choosing Levada to bring justice to the Vatican was always problematic, given his record as archbishop of San Francisco and before that, Portland, Ore. Levada used the same tactics of other bishops in sheltering perpetrators, which spurred civil lawsuits and bad headlines. Moreover, Levada stands alone among American bishops in having been sued, successfully.
The Vatican continues its self-destructive response to the firestorm threatening the Roman Catholic Church. There is a Vatican response that offers hope. But does the Church have the spiritual resources needed to succeed?
The Vatican is far from approaching these matters with any relationship to the true depth of the problem. It is still in the embattled and defensive mode of self protection. So long as this spirit persists problems will worsen. If the Vatican can itself experience the horror perpetrated under its watch, if it can shed the mentality of us and them, a narrow passage way could open.