Re: Is this statement true?
Yes, I think it is fine, Lorraine. Of course, in any such statement there is a certain exaggeration which is permissible. In this case the author would not mean that there are no other evils which might affect the Church, but only that the Church herself is spotless and cannot be turned from her essential mission or essentially compromised in her nature by any evil at all.
But this is bad exegesis:
The garland of twelve stars "represents the twelve tribes of Israel, and indicates that Mary is at the centre among the people of God, in full communion with the saints. And thus, this image ... brings us to the second grand interpretation of the celestial sign of the "woman clothed with the sun": as well as representing the Virgin, this sign indicates the Church. She is with child, in the sense that she carries Christ in her womb and will give birth to him on earth ... and it is precisely for this reason, that She carries Christ, that the Church meets the opposition of a fierce adversary, represented by a dragon which seeks to destroy the son, but in vain as Jesus, through death and resurrection, ascends to God.
The garland of twelve stars does represent the twelve tribes, but it also and primarily
refers to the twelve Apostles, and through them to the entire hierarchy of the Church. Benedict seems improperly focused on the Old Testament, a typical unhealthy obsession of heretics.
Further, the Woman of the Apocalypse can be applied to the Virgin, but only by excluding the "in travail" part, because Our Lady suffered no effects of Original Sin and therefore did not suffer in childbirth. Therefore the newborn cannot
be Christ Himself. It is really shocking that Benedict would make that application, and it displays a truly heterodox mind, and a blasphemous one.
The best application is to see the Woman as primarily the Church, and as the Virgin insofar as she is the pattern of the Church, its exemplar.
The orthodox exegetes apply the "in travail" text to the Church exclusively, and Fr. Berry (The Apocalypse
) applies it to a particular pope who will be brought forth by the Church with much difficulty and suffering, to end a great interregnum occurring because of the work of Antichrist, and who will be taken away in secret somewhere to escape being destroyed by Antichrist. I highly recommend Fr. Berry's book, it's really a masterpiece of learning, clarity and prudence in service of the faith.
Here is Dr. Haydock's commentary: http://haydock1859.tripod.com/id298.html