Asked about the Church recognising the mistakes of the past, he said,
"I am not anymore responsible for the crusades than atheists are responsible for what Hitler or Stalin did."and added
"And, as a matter of fact, Pope John Paul II did recognize those mistakes in the past. But it becomes a bit strange when the Church, time and again is denied credibility to speak up against violence by refering to the crusades."One passage in his remarks has been the focus of delight for the Tablet:
"We believe that the apostles and their successors received the mission to interpret revelation in new circumstances and in the light of new challenges. That creates a living tradition that is much larger than the simple and strict passing of existing answers, insights and convictions from one generation to another."It should be noted that he goes on to say,
"But at the end of the day there has to be an instance that can decide whether a specific lifestyle is coherent with the principles and values of our faith, that can judge whether our actions are in accordance with the commandment to love your neighbor. The mission of the Church is not to prohibit people from thinking, investigate different hypotheses, or collect knowledge. Its mission is to give those processes orientation."However, I think that the Tablet are not by any means going beyond the bounds of legitimate interpretation when they read more into the interview. Vatican Cardinals know very well that the slightest hint will be taken up in the press and there do seem to be some fairly obvious hints here.
Sandro Magister, in his post Tarcisio Bertone, the Cardinal Who Was Supposed to Help the Pope has referred to a "war of succession" for the presidency of the Italian bishops’ conference. At Rome it does often seem as though "The Church is Italy and Italy is the Church." However, there may indeed be an ideological "war" going on in Rome where there is more at stake than the presidency of the Italian Bishops' Conference. Cardinal Levada seems to be nailing his own colours to the mast. The Holy Father is obviously in a difficult position: we must pray for him to be given guidance by the Holy Spirit.
This is not intended as a pious generality. In the case of a bad Pope, Cajetan pointed out that prayer is not a general remedy but a specific remedy: an appeal to his immediate superior. In the case of a good and holy Pope such as our own, when we pray for him to receive divine assistance, it is the proper and specific means of supporting him.