Don't you find Michael Voris 'STB', the most irritating man? I do, but all the same I find him almost compulsive viewing. Whenever I do it is important to remember he is an American polemicist. Some of his broadcasts on the Synod were really very good. In his latest video he suggests that the crisis with our bishops goes back to Pope St John Paul and Benedict, myself I think it goes back much, much further.
The problem is being Pope you can't be in control of everything, you are not the US president, I think unfortunately this is how Michael, like many Americans sees his role. What frames the politics of the Church as much as any government is 'events'. As for bishops a pope can only select from the candidates presented to him, unless he has special knowledge of a particular Church, or the qualities of particular people. Even so the Pope is not the chief executive of the Church, as Benedict said rather sadly to Bp Fellay for the most part his authority stops at the door of his study. In theory the Pope has limitless authority, in practce because he has to act through others and with the co-operation of others, by them can be seriously and severely limited - to the point of impotency.
There is the story that Pope John Paul when presented the with names of Lehman and Kasper to be made Cardinals, at first refused but then was told if he did not give them the red hat, there would be no German money for the reconstruction of the Polish Church. The problem for John Paul was that the Secretariate of State had under Cardinal Casaroli from 1979 -1990 had continued the embrace real-politik, the policy that meant that Vatican II made not a single mention of Communism. Though John Paul had taken control of the Secretariate's relations with the States, it still remained in control of presenting the Pope with the names of future bishops. The saint notoriously, I think, put episcopal appointments low on his list of priorities.
Voris, I think in his black and white way, is not entirely fair to Pope Benedict either, many of those who were created Cardinal by Benedict were actually already in Cardinalatial Sees. One has to remember of course the terrible feuding andd factonalising that broke out during John Paul's long illness, for Benedict this was the time of the wolves, Voris forgets that for much of Benedict's reign the Secretariate of State was in open rebellion. He forgets the difficulty of simply getting Sodano, Casaroli's successor, out of the Cardinal Secretaries apartments, which give access to the Pope's apartments - one reason for Francis' move. He forgets the refusal of many of Sodano's appointees to even speak to Bertone, let alone work with him, which I am sure in part consequently led to Bertone's own ineffectuality. By the way Bertone's memoirs were supposed to be due out this summer, they should have been an explosive reading, has anyone heard anything of them? Is he waiting for an appropriate time?
Benedict might well be as guilty as Voris suggests but one has to remember, Benedict's fundamental idea, that truth always is eventually victorious, he believed in the Tradition. As for his resignation history will tell whether it was good or bad. Voris as an American conservative sees it as bad. I as a European trad am open to wait and see. Conservatives see things in the short term, trads look at the Tradition, I think we tend to be more flexible and more radical. As I keep saying Vatican One's idea of the Papacy is far from the inflated Ultramontanism we have today, or certainly distant from the teaching of Vatican I. Benedict's resignation is a way, I hope, of rethinking the papacy, and returning it to its more traditional purpose.
Incdently Voris earlier in the year was attacking Cardinal Dolan for his support of the New York St Patrick's day parade. A priest of Dolan's diocese, not a great supporter of his Archbishop, told me that the Catholic organisers of the parade were very concerned that it was becoming secularised - hence the inclusion of an LGBT group - they wanted Dolan to take part as Grand Marshall to reassert the Catholicism of the parade and the more orthodox party on the committee. It wasn't as Voris played it, that Dolan was (necessarily) supportive of the agenda of those who took part, on the contrary he was supportive of the Catholic party.