From Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa via Mirada Global:
It looks like one of the destinies that Benedict XVI, the theologian turned Pope at the age of 78, is similar to that of his predecessor Paul VI, who appointed him Archbishop of Munich, creating him cardinal in 1977- is that of being criticized by right and left alike even by those who profess themselves “Ratzingerians” and should therefore help him spread his message.
When he was elected Pope seven years ago, the media cliché that hung over Joseph Ratzinger —who had been Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for over twenty years— was that he was a conservative “panzerkardinal”, a rigid custodian of Orthodoxy who had allegedly “hindered” John Paul II’s push for innovation, hung over him, while in fact, remained and extremely loyal and compliant collaborator.
The imminent reconciliation with Lefebvrian traditionalists, preceded by the decision to liberalize the old Mass, cost Benedict XVI widespread dissent, even among some bishops: the Pope had intended favoring the possibility that the old pre-conciliar rite and the new post-conciliar rite could mutually enrich one another, by helping recuperate the sense of sacredness and the encounter with divine mystery in the Old Mass —at times too readjusted by slovenliness and by liturgic abuses— and the wealth of the Holy Scriptures introduced into the New Mass, into the post-conciliar mass. The attempt has only been partially successful because of certain reactions that didn’t always understand the Pope’s will but also because of the development of certain forms of aestheticism that bear no relevance to the essential elements of the liturgy.
But Benedict XVI has also been accused by those who expected him to be tough and implement “doctrinal rectifications”. He was also expected to reaffirm Europe’s Christian identity against Islam. While the left believe him to be stuck in the past and unable to read the signs of the times, the right considers him as too weak.
Read the rest here.
Also available in Spanish.