Pope Benedict XVI and the people around him "are just not really aware of what is actually going on in many of the places in the world and how strongly felt these issues are," said the Rev. Thomas Faucher, pastor at St. Mary's Catholic Church.
In a Reader's View on today's Opinion page, Faucher writes that the pope "may be a saintly man, but he is much too old to lead the church through this mess."
Pope Benedict is 82. He became pope in 2005 at the age of 78. Popes are typically in their 60s when they are selected.
Michael Driscoll, Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise bishop, declined to comment. A church spokesman said Faucher was expressing his opinion, which he has a right to do.
But the spokesman also said the diocese supports a statement on sexual-abuse cases on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Web site in which the bishops' executive committee praises the pope for his leadership.
Pope Benedict has faced increasing criticism for the church's handling of sex abuse cases in Europe and what victims say has been a pattern of cover-up by bishops and the Vatican itself.
Faucher said he did not clear his column through the diocese. He said he shared it with about a dozen people before offering it to the Statesman for publication.
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