In the opinion section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, there was a piece by New York Times writer Ross Douthat. Basically, he saw John Paul II as the charismatic pope who was "a weak administrator, poor delegator, and sometimes a dreadful judge of character." His protecting of Fr. Marcial Maciel is a case in point. In general, JP's charisma and good looks covered a litany of faults in the public square.
Benedict's handling of the the Vatican and dealings with pedophiles has been far superior. But he's also buried himself in a state of "retrenchment, resentment, and self-pity." And more importantly, he's still not doing enough. He has been tough on pedophiles since he became pope, he has not properly sanctioned any bishop.
To me, Douthat's article is right on. It may be cute for the Vatican to be willfully wrong on doctrinal issues, but claim no fault in the Church's handling of sexual abuse is crazy (see again Fr. Marcial). I wait in great interest to see if Benedict can be the pope I hope him to be.
A Faithful Catholic