LONDON -- In the old days, the normal Vatican pattern was that the pope would say or do something controversial, and then his aides would try to calm the waters. It’s a measure of how out of sorts the Vatican’s communications enterprise has been that these days, things seem to work exactly the other way around.
The pattern of the pope cleaning up a mess created by other top church officials was first glimpsed in Portugal, after senior Vatican personnel had publicly compared criticism of the pope to anti-Semitism and “petty gossip.” Benedict XVI changed the tone by insisting, in comments to reporters aboard the papal plane, that the real problem was not outside attacks but sin inside the church.
That papal course correction continued on day one of his four-day trip to the United Kingdom.
Read the full report here: Pope on crisis: 'We weren't fast enough'
John Allen will be filing reports throughout the Papal visit to the U.K. Sept. 16-19. Stay tuned to NCR Today for updates.