[#] More on "merciless beatings" ... ?

I was at my son's gymnastic class on Friday, and in the parental viewing room (the place where we can watch our kids without them watching us) was the April 11 U.S. News & World Report. In the cover was John Paul II, and I think it's the best portrait of JPII I have seen because it captures this man as I saw him -- real, pragmatic, and kind.

I know some people don't expect that sort of language from me about this fellow, but I don't remember asking them for an opinion. My original post on the death of Karl Wojtyla said the same thing in different words if you actually read what I wrote.

At any rate, in the potpourri of articles on JPII is a piece called "Admirers and Doubters". The admirers of JPII say the things you'd expect -- like "He was a man of principle", and that he "weeded out" the "lite brigades" inside Catholicism, "{making} the church much stronger". What is interesting is that US News also had the audacity to say this in the week after JPII's death:
Among those who disagree is Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, former editor of the lay Catholic bi-weekly Commonweal. Thought the pope called for equal treatment of women in the workplace, she says, "it didn't help matters much within the church." In Brazil, for instance, as the official church became increasingly conservative and because it did not deal openly with violence against women, child support, and sexually transmitted diseases, even devout women claim they are "a different part of the church," says Maria José Rosado-Nunes, a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo. And in his book Papal Sins: Structures of Deceit, historian Garry Wills observes that many people "suspect that John Paul's real legacy to his church is a gay priesthood." Says Steinfels: "He's done some wonderful things, but he will have a lot to answer for."
I could probably blog another 500 words on this statement, but I'm going to leave it at this: how has a statement like this in US News gone unnoticed -- and unvillified -- when the statements of Eric Svendsen and james White have become flashpoints of dispute. Aren't these statements a lot more "unkind" and a LOT more "hateful" -- more like a "merciless beating" -- than pointing out that JPII had a particular kind of devotion to Mary?