Paul Elie, "The Pope in the Attic: Benedict in the Time of Francis" (The Atlantic, April 16, 2014).
A long and detailed and sometimes revealing reflection. As Guy Noir put it: "An unintentionally dolorous if not devastating evaluation of the state of the Papacy, by an esteemed member of the elite cloud of Catholic literati that mourns the late-phase Thomas Merton, empathizes with Sister Joan, and receives inspiration from Fr. James Martin and sponsoring crowd behind America Magazine" -- and "another reminder of the, at this present moment, unfortunate fact that my gut is more often right [than not about the fact] that liberal Catholics see pretty clearly what conservative ones [don't]."
A long but interesting read. One quote: “The irony,” a well-placed Jesuit at the Vatican told me, “is that this pope, great agent of decentralization in the Church, is personally the most centralized pope since Pius the Ninth. Everything has to cross his desk.”
[Hat tip to JM]