When I visited Ireland, the main press and media had the idea that if Ireland was to be "modern" they had to destroy the Catholic influence on culture.
That was 40 years ago, but the drip drip drip of criticizm and distortion (including the obvious bias of the BBC and british media) was intense.
What broke the camels' back, of course, was the "abuse" crisis: Yet the only one who pointed out that the number of cases in proportion to those who were helped was tiny, was an atheist ex catholic at Spiked.
And of course, no one dares to put it into perspective of the general abuse in secular or other church institutions, especially in the UK. Their latest scandal at pushing pedophilia as legal has hit the UK Mail and the Telegraph, but this is the tip of the iceburg according to some sites. But never mind: Being PC is never having to say you are sorry.
David Warren has an essay on all this here:
I should note he is Canadian, and a similar "paradigm shift" occured in Quebec.
I look at Ireland. I was raised in the belief that it was a Catholic
country. It had stayed that way through centuries of siege by my
Protestant ancestors, who in the end did not even manage to take all of
Ulster. By osmosis I learnt that the Irish were impossible. They could
not even be killed off. Lord, we tried. Starved them out and they
somehow found boats: started washing up everywhere else. No matter how
poor, no matter how desperate, they clung to their Mass. That old
Ireland: the pre-eminent scandal of the British Empire, so close to
Home. Even the Scots could be co-opted. Even the Welsh understood
threats. Nothing could be done about Catholic Ireland. Decades before
their cut-and-run from huge unmanageable India, little Ireland had made
the English give up.
Only the Irish could defeat the Irish, and now they have done it to
themselves. In the space between the last two censuses the number of
divorced people in Ireland has much more than doubled. The number
attending Mass has plummetted, and there is every other indication of
religious and familial collapse. In my now Catholic view, they have sold
their souls for a mess of EU pottage, and got in addition a staggering
bill. They have bought into the post-modern void, and are voiding all
one is reminded of Balaam: seduce them so they destroy marriage, and they are open to the rest of the errors of bad paganism (i.e. child sacrifice to get rich-- Abraham's story of being told to sacrifice his son is best understood if you realize that this was the local custom...not to mention misuse of slaves, both boys and women, cheating, stealing, taking bribes, pushing around the poor)...
In Ireland, the collapse of the church is hard to estimate from 12000 miles away, but I remember two prophecies about it.
One, is that a tsunami will hit Ireland 7 years before the anti christ.
Two, that of a local seer (who has been "exposed" as a money hungry fraud by the press and denied by the bishop: her "spiritual director" is already in deep doodoo for exposing pedophiles.) She warned that voting for the Mastrich treaty would result in the loss of their faith and heritage. That last one is interesting, since she has also predicted tsunamis around the world at a time when tsunamis were dismissed as rare ans unusual...this was years before the Boxing day tsunami hit and people became aware of the danger. Since then, Japan's earthquake and tsunami, and a huge tsunami in New Guinea have killed many...
Ireland has been hit by small tsunamis, such as after the Lisbon earthquake, but most are limited, or might have just been tidal waves or storm related.
So if they are ever hit by a real tsunami, I'll start worrying.
Well, back to Warren's essay: It is about the Vatican and the PC european bishops trying to rewrite the rules on marriage.
His most signal failure was to take matrimony itself seriously; he
only considered the demands made against it. He addresses what we call
today, “the problem” — people are not obeying the rules, so something
must be done about the rules. It is easy enough to see the solution
towards which Cardinal Kaspar’s leading questions lead. Through one of
his soi-disant “questions” he proposes to take the Sacrament of
Penance less seriously, and then the Sacrament of the Eucharist less
seriously, in order to facilitate the quick fix that will take the
Sacrament of Matrimony less seriously...
We are trying to accommodate the outside world: that world in which
marriage has become a joke. This is the opposite of what we did in the
first centuries, when we were trying to make the outside world
accommodate Christ. But the world to which we now bow is fluff. It is
“redefining marriage” even as I write. Our answer, to the greater
challenge in that pagan Roman environment, was defiance. This led to
martyrdoms and many other unpleasant developments; and concluded with
our triumph. But now we seem embarked on a course to avoid
unpleasantness, by accepting defeat.
Again, one is reminded of another (Protestant) prophecy that the European bishops (along with some but not all American bishops) will embrace the PC church and approve of divorce, abortion, homosexual behavior...and eventually this will allow them to join with the PC Anglicans of the UK and mainstream churches in the US to form a super church. Regular Catholics and other christian believers will be pushed out, and left to be served in underground churches, where they will unite informally because they truly believe in Christ.
I support the Pope because much of what he actually says is filtered through the propaganda machine of the press...and much of what is taken out of context has a completely different meaning, especially for those of us who put it into the context of the third world. (i.e. corruption in government and business is the rule, not the exception as in the USA).
And alas this latest kerfuffle has probably been also taken out of context: Kasper is one of the bad guys, and the German bishops are as corrupt as some of the famous US bishops, some of whom have since been removed or died, but some of whom still make our eyes roll up in despair.
If the Pope does these PC things, he will be praised by the European and US press and be welcome in the world.
If he remains silent, he will desert those who still believe.
"Quo vadis, Petrus? If you leave Rome, I will go to Rome to be crucified..."