Archbishop Brown's comments about his boss are an insult to Catholics and victims. It's probably good for Brown's career to publicly praise Pope Benedict for his alleged work on the church's on-going heinous child sex abuse and cover up crisis. But it's just not accurate.
If Pope Benedict has been, as Brown claims, "relentless and consistent" in ousting pedophile priests, where's the evidence? We can think of one such child molesting cleric against whom Benedict has belated and begrudgingly taken some action: Fr. Marcial Maciel. Despite decades of widely-documented crimes and corruption, the Pope told Maciel to live "a life of prayer and penance." That's it.
And how about those thousands of other church employees who have ignored or concealed suspicions or knowledge of dreadful child sex crimes? What has Benedict done about any of them? Nothing.
The 2001 edict, telling bishops to report abuse cases to Rome, was as much or more about damage control than anything else. Imagine how many thousands of kids would have been spared devastating horror had then-Cardinal Ratzinger pushed for and won an edict telling bishops to report abuse cases to police and prosecutors instead.
Besides, policies don't protect kids. Action protects kids. And at virtually no point in his decades-long clerical career has Benedict taken clear, effective steps to safeguard the vulnerable or heal the wounded.
He's a master of the savvy gesture that makes many feel momentarily comforted but essentially changes nothing in the real world. And for Brown to praise him for empty gestures is insulting, inaccurate and hurtful.