My guess, or hope, is that underlying the numerous circumstances prompting Pope Benedict XVI's decision to step down is the crushing moral and spiritual weight of presiding over a church that has fostered, dismissed and covered up child abuse.
If so, he should convey that in terms so stark that the church will choose a new pope and cultivate values that proceed more from deep soul-searching and good sense than the will to preserve power and tradition at any cost.
The editorial's statement that Benedict was "insufficiently vigilant" about sexual abuse of children by priests is much too mild.
Before he became pope, Benedict was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and in 2001, Pope John Paul II centralized all reporting of sexual abuse cases worldwide in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed at that point by Ratzinger. As the Guardian newspaper reported in 2005, Ratzinger in 2001 "sent a confidential letter to every bishop in the Catholic Church reminding them of the strict penalties facing those who referred allegations of sexual abuse against priests to outside authorities."