Full disclosure: I am not Catholic, but I work for a Catholic organization.
This means that I am extremely interested in what the Catholic Church does, the policies, etc.
Ok, fuller disclosure: I also like conspiracy theories, the crazier the better. And the best always come out of the Vatican. Dan Brown wasn’t the first to come up with that idea.
So, Frontline just did Secrets of the Vatican. It was less conspiracy theory and more “these are the problems facing the new pope”.
For most of us, on the outside looking in, there are a lot of problems. Most of them institutionalized.
A priest, or any religious leader, should be better than we are. They should be good people, who serve their god, not their own ego. This is, unfortunately, pretty rare, in any religion.
A place like the Vatican, with all its pomp and ceremony, is a very easy place to be seduced by ego. And when a group of people are allowed to run rampant with little or no checks, well, you have the scandals we see: sexual abuse, financial abuse, ego outweighing good.
Ratzinger wasn’t my favorite guy when he was head of the Inquisition. As pope, I didn’t see much improvement. And he was a product of the institutionalized church, so how and why would he change anything.
Pope Francis though, he is an unknown quantity. LIke most of the world, I had no idea who he was before he was elected.
So far, so good. I hope he lives up to the promise he has created.