What explains the crisis in the Catholic Church in America is not the absence of this or that guideline, but the absence of a real Catholic faith amongst the American episcopate. The American Catholic bishops after Vatican II exchanged reason and revelation for a mess of modernist pottage, opening up the windows of the Church to the foul odors of the world.
Their own moral and theological tradition didn't much interest or impress them. So they turned to the "wisdom" of the world -- the theories of psychiatry and the like -- to give the Church its ethos and direction.
We now witness, for this reason, the pathetic spectacle of princes of the Church blubbering about their good-faith reliance on modern shrinks as they played musical chairs with molesters.
Nothing will change fundamentally in the American Church until the modernist mismanagers in the episcopal ranks resign. But this isn't likely to happen, because the same modern institutional weakness that allowed this scandal to fester will allow these bad bishops to cling to their careers.
The zero-tolerance policy of which the American Church now opportunistically speaks will not extend to the bishops whose bad judgment and moral cowardice necessitated it.
Like tainted, money-grubbing politicians who suddenly morph into campaign finance reformers, the cardinals who caused the Church crisis now pose as experts on its solution.
Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, whom a jury in Stockton concluded in the late 1990s was a lying, pedophile-protecting bishop, is now the go-to reformer for the fashionable media. The media gobble up every red herring that falls from his cloak, never bothering to ask him why anyone should take him seriously after his own history of shocking negligence.
Mahony has the gall to suggest that Cardinal Bernard Law resign, even as Los Angeles Catholics learn that the modus operandi of his administration mirrored Boston's.
Larry Stammer, a Los Angeles Times reporter in Mahony's pocket, referred to an unnamed "Cardinal" who said that "If the Holy See wants to send a strong signal of quality and standards of leadership, [Law] will have to be replaced."
"The cardinal, who asked to remain anonymous, said Sunday that he had been 'commissioned' by other senior prelates to take their case against Law directly to Pope John Paul II's inner circle," the Times reported.
Is this cardinal Roger Mahony? "I don't know where that's coming from," Mahony said after the Times report appeared. "There hasn't been a single word about that. We're here for a single purpose: to make sure children are protected."
The PC prelate, whom the press unfailingly describe as "media-savvy," is good at changing the subject. In recent days, he's suggested that the crisis may date back to the "1920s," be due to over-reliance on foreign priests("They get a dime and call a cab. They're gone"), and is an occasion to study the issue of "married priests" (all the while insisting that he himself, of course, has no opinion on the subject).
Meanwhile, as Mahony receives plaudits for his "progressivism," truth-telling priests who saw the crisis coming are largely ignored and often mocked. The New York archdiocese, deep in pander-mode, distanced itself from New York Monsignor Eugene Clark after he correctly noted that the crisis is due in large part to the American Church's acceptance of the homosexual agenda. "He was speaking for himself," archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwilling said.
"Homosexual students were allowed to pass through seminaries," said Clark. "Grave mistake."
Most bishops clearly do not consider this a grave mistake. Even now. The reduction of Catholicism to a form of nonjudgmental Protestantism, which they engineered, sanctioned alternative lifestyles. Recall the bishops' document on homosexuality called "Always Our Children" which went so far as to call the disorder a kind of blessing and urged parents not to get uptight about their children's homosexual experimentation.
The convulsions of the Church at the beginning of the 21st century were glimpsed by Pope Saint Pius X at the beginning of the 2Oth. In his encyclical on modernism, Pope Pius X spoke of the "poisoned" atmosphere growing in the Church, of worldly churchmen eager to trade tradition for secular novelty. "They are possessed by the empty desire of having their names upon the lips of the public," he wrote.
Well, the modernist American bishops certainly got their wish.