Could this be the beginning of the end of the Catholic Church? I don’t think so, nor do I really care if it stands or falls. My guess is they will be around for another few centuries or millennia or whatever, but what is really interesting is that public opinion just might not be on their side for very long.
Many people are seeing just how out of touch with reality the Church really is. Making warped claims like that of Father Cantalamessa – on Good Friday before the pope nonetheless – and then claiming, after much uproar, that Cantalamessa’s was not an “official” Vatican statement is testing the patience of all but the most unwavering nucleus of the faithful.
It’s an easy trick: get the message out there, start the meme running, then disavow yourself of any responsibility for what the consequences of it might be. By that time you’ve already made the front pages of every newspaper on earth and half the world’s population will believe what they hear because, hey, some higher up in the Vatican likened outrage at child rape to anti-Semitism. It must be true. I heard it on tv.