- between the rejection of the Cross and the full message of Christ in the vast majority of Catholic parishes in this country, as described by Rod Dreher
- and monstrously bad bishops enabling child molesters and deliberately and carefully covering up for them.
The connection drove Dreher from the Church, and the connection is simple, but you can't say it as a Catholic, for a kind of bizarre clericalism reigns in the so-called conservative circles of the Catholic Church, a bizarre clericalism that overlooks the obvious connection.
And that obvious connection is this.
Most of our bishops apparently don't believe a damn thing they preach. They don't live it. They live in ways that flagrantly contradict it. They are so morally corrupt that they don't even have the common decency of normal secular men, who at least have enough natural goodness in them to protect children from harm. They lie, they bully, they enable very sick men to do very sick things.
I know that people will criticize me for saying this. They'll tell me I'm extreme, over-reacting, hateful. They'll tell me there are many good bishops; they'll tell me there are many good priests; they'll tell me I'm judgmental and I need to go to confession and they'll pray for me. They'll tell me I think I'm the perfect Catholic and how dare I criticize the successors to the apostles. They'll tell me I'm a miserable sinner. And much of this is very true.
Meanwhile, bishops, after ten years past, and millions of dollars lost, and thousands of lives ruined, and well-meaning lay volunteers forced to endure "child safety" programs that priests and bishops ignore - still, our bishops continue to allow this and this and this. And also liturgical abuse. And heterodoxy. And bad catechesis. And the abandonment of Christ and His cross - so much so that the average parishioner under age 40 at a typical suburban Catholic parish in this country doesn't really quite know who Jesus is, thinking "Jesus was nice, you be nice too" covers it; when it doesn't even come close. And the bishops smile and go to dinners and fund raise and pat each other on the back and blame the media when things go wrong.
Louis XV set the bar very low a while back when he said, "The archbishop of Parish should at least believe in God."
Today, I'm afraid, we've all allowed the bar to be set a tad bit lower.