"The matter begins with the state-prescribed and supported introduction of children and youths into the nature of sexuality..."
It is important to note that Benedict wrote "at the invitation of Pope Francis, the presidents of the world's bishops' conferences gathered at the Vatican to discuss the current crisis of the faith and of the Church." [...] "Having contacted the Secretary of State, Cardinal [Pietro] Parolin and the Holy Father [Pope Francis] himself, it seemed appropriate to publish this text."
I could be wrong about that, but I don't think Benedict was acting in any way to damage Pope Francis nor the work undertaken by the bishops to exact reform.
That said, Benedict traces the origins of the scandal to the cultutal changes in the 1960's, especially as it concerned sexual morality. He confirms for many of us, things we already knew - he addresses the problems candidly. I can not help but see agreement between Benedict and Pope Francis, though each man has a different method or style.
Like Pope Francis*, Benedict points to the accuser, mentioned in Scripture, namely the Apocalypse and the Book of Job. The Accuser is the agent attempting to discredit the Church, to destroy it, to make it apostasize and form a 'new' church. Benedict writes:
The timeliness of what the Apocalypse is telling us here is obvious. Today, the accusation against God is, above all, about characterizing His Church as entirely bad, and thus dissuading us from it. The idea of a better Church, created by ourselves, is in fact a proposal of the devil, with which he wants to lead us away from the living God, through a deceitful logic by which we are too easily duped. No, even today the Church is not just made up of bad fish and weeds. The Church of God also exists today, and today it is the very instrument through which God saves us.
It is very important to oppose the lies and half-truths of the devil with the whole truth: Yes, there is sin in the Church and evil. But even today there is the Holy Church, which is indestructible. Today there are many people who humbly believe, suffer and love, in whom the real God, the loving God, shows Himself to us. - LetterI love how Benedict concludes the essay:
"At the end of my reflections I would like to thank Pope Francis for everything he does to show us, again and again, the light of God, which has not disappeared, even today. Thank you, Holy Father!"Praise God!
* One cannot live a whole life accusing, accusing, accusing the Church.
Whom does the office of the accuser belong to? Who is he that the Bible calls the great accuser - the devil! And those who spend their lives accusing are - I won't say children, because the devil doesn't have any - but they the friends, cousins and relatives of the devil.
Well, when things are not right, one has to report the defects to correct, but when you report the defects, you make known the defects, you love the Church. Without love is something from the devil. - VR