We have long believed that many of Benedict XVI's missteps as Pope, typified by Regensburg, have been the result of a long academic career. In the classroom, a professor can tease, provoke and sometimes bully, all within the true spirit of his profession. Even the best of them play to a comparatively small audience.
In a HuffPo piece, the comically prolific Jacob Neusner offers a scholar's take on the Ratzinger papacy. Bottom line: he agrees with us. So much so, indeed, that he doesn't see the missteps as missteps; he sees them as guarantors of integrity:
The current issue that troubles the peace is Cardinal Ratzinger's prior disposition of the case of a priest guilty of sexually abusing children. Christian charity called for forgiveness of the priest, a broken dying penitent. Justice demanded excommunication. Cardinal Ratzinger withheld the rites of humiliation that formed the just penalty. The man died in the bosom of the Church. Benedict VI showed the meaning of repentance and Christian love.
Read for yourself, and decide.