The problem is, this particular private theologian is the Pope.
Now, keep in mind that - in the entire history of the Church - we have had only two Popes who have ever written books for the general public as private theologians.
Historically, a Pope writes two kinds of communications - either he writes a Church document (encyclical, papal bull, constitution, etc.) to the universal Church, in which case he is infallible, or he writes a private letter to one or more people as a private theologian, in which case he is not infallible. In the latter case, he's as likely to make a fool of himself as anyone.
Only two Popes - Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict - have turned their hands to writing books for the general public. These books are not Church documents, they're just ways for some publishers to make money and for these two Popes to make their private theological opinions known. As if anyone cares what the opinions of a private theologian might be.
Private theological opinion is not part of the Magisterium, and it bears no more necessary weight than this post.
In this man's private theological opinion, we shouldn't be evangelizing the Jews:
|"For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles." ~Galatians 2:8|
Does this mean Peter was NOT an apostle to the Jews?
Or does it mean the apostle to the Jews has decided he shouldn't do that anymore?
In the same book, he said violence has no place in Christianity.
"Violence does not build up the kingdom of God, the kingdom of humanity. On the contrary, it is a favorite instrument of the Antichrist, however idealistic its religious motivation may be," Benedict wrote. "It serves, not humanity, but inhumanity."Hmmm... now, what are we to do with Jesus in the Temple with a whip, overturning the tables of the sellers?
Were the Popes who called for Crusade all doing the work of the anti-Christ?
Lots of people say they were.
Indeed, lots of people would say the office of the Pope is the anti-Christ, and this fruit is one example.
What do we do with the literally dozens of Catholic religious orders whose vows or training included military practice, like the Knights Hospitaller or the Knights Templar? Were the numerous Popes who approved their vows and their work all wrong? Did the orders do the work of the anti-Christ?
Was the Council of Constance, which denounced John Hus as a heretic and degraded his status so that the Emperor Sigismund could burn him at the stake, was that council in error?
We already know his opinion on condoms.
As a Pope, when he teaches as the Pope, Pope Benedict is infallible.
As a private theologian, who is teaching as any simple person might, the man Benedict does not seem to be measuring up.
We have had popes with problems in the past - Pope Honorius was even declared by the Church (though after his reign) to have been a heretic during his reign.
We have had two men simultaneously claim to be Pope, each elected by the same set of cardinals, each supported by a doctor of the Church.
It's not unusual for the Church to experience a Pope that has certain problems.
The current Pope is not nearly as bad as some we have had in the past.
But he certainly could explain himself better.