Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world last week when he announced his resignation, something no pope has done for half a millennium. Media elites immediately contributed their expertise. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweeted: “At some point, the church will accept contraception and female and non-celibate priests. Could it be in the next papacy?” And Times op-ed columnist Bill Keller excoriated Benedict and the Catholic Church for not shifting on morality like mainstream liberal denominations have done.
But Kristof and Keller miss two key points: first, denominations that have eschewed historic Christian orthodoxy, particularly in the area of sexual morality, are empty and dying. And, second, while secular media elites have—to quote Robert George—“a small-minded preoccupation with sex and gender,” and are convinced that as western liberals they know best, a worldwide institution of 1 billion has more important things to think about.