Perhaps what these two seemingly incongruent moves actually suggest is that Benedict XVI is his own man, beholden to no party or faction, and hence capable of making decisions that alternately delight and confound all the existing tribes that currently dot the Catholic landscape. They suggest that the pope is not an ideologue, and hence difficult to pin down according to partisan logic. He makes decisions based upon his judgment of the merits of a case, rather than how that decision is going to play in any given quarter.
The article is brief and insightful. Give it a read here.