It does seem like a miracle, as some British wit once put it, "that an institution run like that has lasted 2,000 years."
Despite everything, the Catholic Church, the world's oldest and largest institution with 2,797 dioceses and more than one billion members worldwide, or one-sixth of the world's population, could be said to be doing well enough. Just not here.
On the other hand, since the Spirit moves in mysterious ways, maybe it's not doing as badly as it seems here either, despite yet more trauma, this time with a particularly raw twist.
Pope Benedict XVI upset the schedule on his first day in Israel by leaving an interfaith meeting in Jerusalem early on Monday night after a leading Muslim cleric called on him to condemn the “slaughter” of women and children in the recent assault on Gaza.
The pontiff walked out, a spokesman noted, because Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi’s speech was a “direct negation” of dialogue and damaged the Pope’s efforts at “promoting peace.”
Before he arrived in the region, the Pope declared that he was coming as a “pilgrim of peace,” with his staff accentuating that his role would be spiritual rather than political.
Pope Accused of Crimes Against Humanity - by Karen McVeigh
"Victims' complaint to the international criminal court accuses Pope Benedict and three others of failing to prevent abuses..."