The demeaning and of Pope Benedict is quickening in combination with the growing exaltation of Pope Francis in the secular world and among the "progressive" dissidents within the Church. Thus I believe a little review of his Pontificate is in order, as the signs of the times required him to shoulder a heavy cross and suffer a quiet type of crucifixion due to his exceptional faith and courageous writings and actions.
Pope Benedict took strong, long overdue and very necessary actions against moral corruption within the clergy, the religious orders and within Catholic aid agencies. He appointed many bishops faithful to the true Vatican II, and removed many who were a cause of scandal to the Church. He took actions on the liturgy and other issues that were not popular, but which he saw as essential to preserving Catholicism and Christian culture much as laid down in his The Spirit of the Liturgy. The full story of his papacy remains to be told.
“And blessed is he who takes no offense at me," Jesus told his disciples. The current, hateful Rolling Stone article is a tribute to how effective Benedict was in correcting things that needed correction within the Church and in teaching truths that most others inthe Church have avoided since Vatican II. I have experienced up close that many within the Church hated Benedict for undoing so much of the "spirit of Vatican II" Church they had created and cultivated since the tumultuous decade of the nineteen sixties.
Anyone who knows Benedict knows he was a very humble, quiet, selfless man, with an incredibly brilliant mind. He took bold actions on so many fronts where others feared to tread. He was not perfect, but was an effective pope in spite of his advanced age, physical weakness and the personal sufferings and public floggings that came to him for daring to imitate the most manly man of all time, Jesus Christ. Any leader courageous enough to do what Christ would do and say in such unbridled times as ours is certain to be ridiculed and hated, as was Christ himself. I am also certain that, like Christ, Benedict's response has been to love them all and to pray, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do".