The Pope's Blunders, A Round UpS

The Catholic Church's pedophilia scandal is edging closer to Pope Benedict. But it's not the first time he's been caught flat-footed in a mess at least partly of his own making. Here's our guide to the Pope's blunders.

The Associated Press theorize that Benedict's isolation, and refusal to work closely with his advisors, is to blame for his difficulties in staying out of trouble. To underline their point, the AP also report a condemnation by the head of the Church of England and fresh allegations of wrongdoing in dealing with pedophile clergy.

  • As a young man in Germany, Joseph Ratzinger was drafted into the Hitler Youth. The Church admitted, then denied this and now admits it again.
  • During his rise through the Catholic Church in the 80s and 90s, as Archbishop of Munich and Cardinal Ratzinger, reports claim he failed to do all he could to stop pedophile clergy preying on children.
  • In 2006 he linked the prophet Muhammad to violence in a speech that would probably have made waves even if it wasn't delivered into a time of intense sensitivity regarding Islam. He later walked his comments back.
  • Last year he lifted the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, a British Holocaust denier. He later said the affair was 'mishandled' and that the Vatican needed to use the internet, as he had no idea of Williamson's views.
  • On Friday his personal preacher, Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, compared the Catholic Church's current pedophilia scandal woes to the persecution of Jews. The Pope reportedly did not know of the sermon's contents, and the Vatican said the whole thing was a misunderstanding.