Reading reports of the ballooning sex scandal inside the Catholic Church, one can get the distinct impression that the church is imploding.
Apparently, millions of Catholics are dazed and demoralized. Apparently, the Vatican is mired in an impossible battle against fact and truth and is reeling. Apparently, Catholic leaders are quietly, apologetically, retreating. The Catholic Church “now face[s] the largest institutional crisis in centuries, possibly in church history,” said the National Catholic Reporter (March 26). The damage inflicted will “last at least a generation,” wrote Peggy Noonan (April 2). Apparently, it will be years, even decades, before faith is restored, trust is replenished and authority is recouped. Apparently, the Vatican’s days as the widely respected and preeminent force guiding Western civilization are over.