The monumental child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church is providing endless fuel for its detractors. But the pain and outrage of millions of loyal Catholics is just as real - and can be a harbinger of deep change.
The Pope is using his visit to the Czech Republic this week to call on the country's Catholic population to turn back to the Church. Loyalty to Catholicism appears to be declining in traditionally Catholic areas.
Secularist campaigners will be marching to the Italian Embassy in London today, in a demonstration coinciding with one in Rome against the Vatican's interventions in Italian, European and global politics.
Catholic commentators have joined with Jewish leaders in criticising Pope Benedict XVI for bringing a Holocaust denying bishop back into the Church as part of a bid to heal a rift with a group of separatists.
Roman Catholic social justice advocates have joined in widespread criticism of new laws restricting protests during World Youth Day in Sydney this month, which Pope Benedict XVI will attend in his first visit to Australia.
The leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church, visiting Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, has spoken of the "genocide" suffered by his compatriots in the Ottoman empire, and said that those with power should ensure that justice prevails.