Kevin O'Brien wonders just what is going on with the Church we love? He is one of the few bloggers really asking that question with sincerity. Many still deny there is much of a crisis, and if there is one, it can be fixed by tinkering at the edges.
Less talked about in all of this mess is the relation of it to the interview Pope Francis gave, which everyone sees as a shifting in emphasis on how the Gospel is presented. Everyone whines and complains, but the two are intimately related. Quite simply, our moral message means squat in the eyes of the world right now. It isn't because of the liberal media as we like to delude ourselves into thinking.
We haven't figured out how to adjust to the sex abuse scandals that are still ongoing. How can we expect our priests to be taken seriously when talking about Christ when this kind of stuff is rampant? We told ourselves the lie "this happens on average less in the Church then in secular professions." For crying out loud people, secular professions aren't the Bride of Christ and don't have the salvation of souls as their goal! We tried tinkering at the edges. That didn't work.
Things like the abuse crisis are also why I'm deeply skeptical a renewed emphasis on "collegiality" and local governance of the Church is really the solution to the problem we face. How would this help solve the current abuse crisis and future crises? If it were in place during all this abuse, we have to concede there is a very real possibility the situation would have been worse. One of the reasons Benedict put the CDF in charge of the abuse crisis is because the locals weren't getting it done, and were making it worse. The CDF had no theoretical competence in this manner, it was just an organization that Benedict knew and trusted could be of some use. In some instances it was. In some, it clearly could have done more, and we need to learn from that.
I'm not going to pretend to have an answer. The scary part is that the only answer is that of time: over time, by the grace of God and with sufficient prayer, this wicked and perverse generation who did these acts will pass, and a better generation will take their place. That's all I got, and it is cold comfort to victims of abuse, and individual Catholics who see the moral message of the Church undercut not by Rome, but by these guys. Francis simply realized what was already true: nobody is listening to us right now.
Don't worry, I'm not going all dystopian now. I still have a lot of hope my generation when it comes to Catholicism. I still have hope that the next generation will find a way to bring authentic Catholic Social Teaching to the world, placing our robust pro-life message in greater context. But we individual Catholics need to wake up to the world around us, and stop blaming the world and the media for our present state, when we did more damage to ourselves than they could ever dream of doing.