As revelation after revelation of widespread criminality, cruelty and cover-ups in the RC church continue, the outfit is caught in a bind. In older days, such events could be acknowledged in a theological manner – man is born in sin, evil is abroad in the world, even within the church, striving for a way out of that evil is what the church is for. Ultimately, if the church believed in itself, it would have to say that it is better to be an abused child within the communion, than unabused but outside of it.

That approach would start riots, however, and for various reasons, the church is increasingly talking a secular psychologistic language which pretty much concedes the game, acknowledging that the church is simply another institutions among many, rather than a link between man and God.  Once you start talking about celibacy in cost/benefit terms, rather than as necessary to a relationship between a priest and God, you may as well bring out the happy clappy sticks.

Why does not the church have the confidence to acknowledge this failing without bending the knee to the logic of its secular opponents?

Perhaps it is because the church has already suffered a catastrophic moral collapse….

and been hollowed out from within – and that is its accommodation of the Holocaust, for political reasons.  Confronted with radical evil in its purest form, the Church treated it as just another political decision,  and that was the end of its real existence.

Many people – including many ordinary Germans – could claim not to have known what was going on. The Church isn’t one of them. Through its extensive networks it knew exactly what was going on.

The only moral course of action would have been to risk the physical destruction of the church in Europe by calling on church members to oppose the process. Practically speaking,  this would have had a real chance of stopping the process – especially as much of it was occurring in Catholic Poland.

Had the Nazis then turned on the Church, as they may well have, been destroyed it in Europe, but the process would have stopped the holocaust in its tracks. The church could have been reconstituted in Latin America and returned to Europe after the war.

But there is also a chance that the Nazis wouldn’t have gone up against the Church at all – and that the process would have started an internal struggle within the leadership.

Whatever happened, it would have saved the church morally. For two thousand years it had waited for the genuinely satanic challenge, something adversarial to all good, and in the Nazis it found it – and submitted to it.

Does the average priest in backwater Ireland, or wherever have this uppermost on their mind? Of  course not. But when an institution hollows itself out, all the rules that were undergirded by a sense of right, cease to make sense. And then why obey them?

And then you’ve got yourself a gang