I don’t think he would have felt the need, except for the groundless accusations toward his own handling of the issue of kids who were abused. Since then-Cardinal Ratzinger basically kept going around slapping the Curia and then-Pope John Paul II into dealing with the issue, and even went to the lengths of getting his own CDF put in charge so they could move cases along and get rid of the bad apples, it’s pretty disgusting to blame the man. It’s like telling Lincoln that slavery was all his fault, especially since he didn’t wiggle his nose and make it disappear in 1840.
But Benedict being Benedict, he goes after the debate in his own typical style, picking up his opponent’s points, agreeing with them, admiring them, and then using them as his own points to the contrary.
This always cracks me up, particularly since the atheist guy disses theology as “science fiction” (in a context which seems to be dissing science fiction as well), and our little pope emeritus comes back defending science fiction, including his opponent’s right to his own crazy speculations! Hah!
Anyway, for those of us who’ve heard the debate before and are more interested in the sf part, here’s Benedict’s definition of science fiction and speculative fiction:
“…science fiction in the good sense of the word… views and forecasts in order to reach real understanding, but… imagination with which we try to get closer to reality.”
This is a pretty typical Benedict view — that fiction and art go wide of reality, or overemphasize certain choice bits, in order that those experiencing the art will understand actual reality better.