If you read the New Testament, Jesus rarely talked about anything other than salvation and forgiveness. None of the issues that modern religion struggles with are discussed by Jesus. It is, I suspect, a gentle reminder that this world is but an instant and salvation is for eternity.
If you believe that the Catholic Church is that founded by Christ, and that he appointed the first Pope in Peter, it is a logical conclusion to state that the Pope, when speaking solely on matters of faith and morals can only speak as God wills.
When you have an institution with 100 million members worldwide, a code of law is necessary. In most of the world, Catholics cannot rely on civil authority for any sort of justice and only the laws of the Church are trustworthy.
Jesus was almost dismissive of civil authority. In truth, if salvation is our goal, we should deal with this world only as necessary. Regardless of the claims of very well paid liability attorneys, the Church’s spiritual mission is paramount.
What are the goals of those attacking the Church? As diocese after diocese is bankrupted, with most of the money going to lawyers, it appears that venial goals such as money and revenge are behind the attacks. Were this simply about truth and healing, another path would have been taken.
The stain of a pedophile priest on the fabric of the Church is dramatic. That stain serves to conceal the good work of tens of thousands of faithful priests and religious who did not sin in this way and who deserve far more respect than they are receiving.