Vatican Insiders Call Pope 'a Disaster'

Gaffe-prone and out-of-touch Benedict aggravates Holy See
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2009 8:05 AM CDT
Angela Merkel, German chancellor, called on Pope Benedict XVI for a "very clear" rejection of Holocaust denial after he rehabilitated a bishop who questioned its existence.    (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
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(Newser) – As Benedict XVI continues his pilgrimage in Africa, sources inside the Vatican say that the pope's frequent gaffes and difficulties with modern communication are threatening to undermine him. One member of the Vatican told the Telegraph that Benedict is "a disaster" who is "out of touch with the real world," citing his recent explosive remark that condoms aggravate the AIDS crisis.

Benedict's lifting of the excommunication of a bishop who questioned the Holocaust, along with inflammatory remarks about Islam and homosexuality, have unleashed a torrent of bad press for the Vatican. The Holy See's reluctance to embrace the Internet and long traditions of secrecy have made matters worse, said one source in Rome, who lamented, "The Vatican is far removed from the reality on the ground."