For me, the great tragedy of Benedict was his panic after the Second Council. There is no disputing the elegance of his mind or the exquisite meticulousness of his perfect, orderly German theology – and his work alongside the more consistently modernist Hans Kung will stand the test of time. But his post-1960s theology had as much relationship to the real challenges of the 21st Century as the effete, secluded German scholar, embalmed in clerical privilege for his entire adult life. And his early promise as a theologian calcified into the purest form of reaction and fear when given the power to enforce orthodoxy, which is what he essentially did for well over two decades. It was excruciating to watch such a careful, often illuminating scholar turn into a Grand Inquisitor. It was revealing that a bureaucrat who never missed even a scintilla of heresy was able to turn such a blind eye to the monstrous rapes of so many children.
more from Andrew Sullivan here.