Everything from the condemnation of human trafficking to the desire for openness to personal encounters of dialogue are expressed in the monthly papal intentions, and one is left with the unenviable task of vetting them from month to month to discern their morality, not to mention their rationality. (Next January's published intention is that "Christians and other religious minorities in Asian countries may be able to practice their faith in full freedom," so good look deciding whether that's worth cooperation to gain an indulgence.) Mr. Bear's commentary tracks are cathartic but otherwise there is precious little commentary on this ongoing scandal.
Nearly two years ago P.F. Hawkins published an article on One Peter Five entitled, "What We Pray For When We Pray For the Intentions of the Holy Father." Mr. Hawkins argues that there four unchanging intentions that are always included with the pope's variable monthly published intentions, based on the outdated Raccolta: the triumph of the Faith, peace and union among Christian rulers, the conversion of sinners, and the uprooting of heresy. The new Enchiridion Indulgentiarum does not include any such niceties.
Fr. Zuhl has written something similar just the other day about people who "don't like the pope or his intentions." He argues from an old moral manual which itself references an outdated code of canon law about the supposedly fixed intentions of the pope at all times. Mostly, though, he simply insults those who have a real grievance with the abuse of papal power for the purposes of the pontiff's not-so-secret agendas and arguing that anyone who complains is clearly impious to one degree or another.
There is no easy solution to this problem, and it is hardly restricted to the current papacy. The intentions published for the last year of Benedict's reign were equally bland and confusing. Most Catholics take the Fr. Zuhl route to shut up and assume everything is fine, because indulgences are important to the spiritual life, and those especially concerned with the wages of sin desire the outpouring of plenary grace. Centuries ago churchmen scandalized the world by selling indulgences for money; now they sell them for spiritual cooperation with the aggiornamento. Partial indulgences are still free from such requirements, but their efficacy is so poorly defined today that nobody is certain how useful they will be.
None of this should stop us from praying for release from the punishments of sin, whether for ourselves or for the dead. Justice exacts a terrible price, and it behooves us at all times to plead for mercy. Perhaps the Pope of Mercy will eventually show some to his subjects.