At long last, an official investigation into Medjugorie. In my view, long overdue. The phenomenon is, by all accounts, so unedifying. I find it very hard, for example, to believe that our Lady would call all religions true, or say anything to encourage the disobedience of some Franciscans to the bishop of the diocese. But this is a rough and unresearched reaction. A meticulous inquiry should sort the matter out. Perhaps, for example, scientific methods could be employed: the 'seers' being interrogated in the Daniel-and-Susanna style.
And the Leadership mummble mummble of Women Religious, at long last, is being examined. It is hard to feel that here, again, the criticism will be that it should have happened a long time ago. And the new ICEL texts ... what I want to know is: why their Advent was postponed from 2010 to 2011; by whose decision and for what reasons. If it was because the Fischpersonns were convincing in their arguments for long and thorough catechesis, well, I think disgusting hypocrisy has won a victory here. Let us hope that the Holy Father will live long enough to ensure that, while having won a battle, they go on to lose the War.
Because we are left praying for the longevity of a Pope who is already frail and has already had serious health problems. I wonder if his delay in attending to his Augaean Stables was the result of a very human desire not to seem to continue as God's Policeman after being elected as the pastoral successor of S Peter. But I do suspect that the main criticisms that historians may make of him will not concern anything he will have done, but his delay in doing it.
The other massive scandal that he inherited, of course, concerned pedophile priests. It is not difficult to imagine the revulsion which this horrible business must have created in him. But if only he had been a little more proactive a little earlier ... I wonder if there is a certain truth in Morris West's rather bloated rhetoric about the Pope having the sins of the world like a leaden cope around his shoulders.
And the big thing which combines all these matters is: are they linked, at least in being the result of the same cultural matrix? Did the Bright Young Men of the Sixties ... even perhaps Fr Ratzinger ... fail to see how much of Satan there was in the giorno which to be was addressed by the aggiornamento? Was there an excess of self-confident optimism about the goodness of human nature in that Conciliar Decade?
Is it too much to hope that the Vatican/SSPX debates will address this radical question?