Gumdrop - take a look at AnAmericanMother’s post. She gets it.
The Pope *IS* being critical of the Church. That ‘subsequent lack of rapid corrective action’ was not a result of the moral decay, but it was a result of the institutionalized denial that exists in the Church. Witness how some FReepers circle the wagons when they’re subject to critique! Now imagine Bishops and Cardinals reacting to major problems. Their predictable reaction is to hush it up and hope it goes away - thus we so so many sexual assault lawsuits settled out of court and the plaintiffs sworn to silence. That’s WRONG.
When the Church spends upwards of over $1 billion to settle out these lawsuits don’t the people who provide that money deserve an accounting of what they paid for?
If the RCC wants to operate in secrecy and its members, as we see on FR, also want it to hide painful truths, then us non-Catholics have no obligation to play along. For that matter, the more difficult thing for the RCC right now is it seems your Pope doesn’t like this crap, either.
Good for him.
For what it's worth, the problem is that bishops traditionally have a LOT more autonomy than a corporate manager or head of division. They can't just be fired, and the Pope can't just tell them to shape up or ship out.
And America has been a problem for years and years, because of the strong strain of Nativist anti-Catholicism and the nature of presidential politics. Al Smith was reviled for being supposedly subordinate to the Pope and the Vatican's tool, thus unfit to be president. Kennedy practically had to swear on a stack of Masonic Landmarks that he wouldn't govern like a Catholic.
So the popes have been reluctant to interfere with the bishops in the U.S., and far too many of those bishops took the easy road and went with the "Spirit of the Age" (and some of them were recommended by a very liberal Archbishop, who was seeking to 'reform' the Church into something much more protestant and trendy). Mostly the bishops wound up in the heterodox trap, but for some of them that led directly to the homosexual trap. Some bishops covered up the homosexual molestation because they, themselves, were homosexual and were subject to blackmail and bribery.
When then-Cardinal Ratzinger decreed that ALL sexual abuse cases were to be reported directly to Rome, that was a major change in church governance. And when he was elected pope, the lavender mafia shook in their expensive Italian shoes.
We hold to the promise that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. Somebody like Pope St. Pius X or Pope Benedict is sent by the Holy Spirit to straighten out the fallible human beings that govern her.