A leading Mexican bishop goes there. The reaction to the latest round of horror is in some ways more soul-crushing than the revelations themselves. They reveal a hierarchy so massively out of touch with reality, so fathomlessly self-interested, and so bad at even p.r. that it's no mystery why so many of us are in despair about the leaders of the church. Not the lay people, or the vast majority of religious who still do extraordinary work across the world, just the crew of self-serving, screwed up authoritarians telling us about a world they know nothing about. As Nick Kristof rather movingly wrote yesterday:

Yet there’s another Catholic Church as well, one I admire intensely. This is the grass-roots Catholic Church that does far more good in the world than it ever gets credit for. This is the church that supports extraordinary aid organizations like Catholic Relief Services and Caritas, saving lives every day, and that operates superb schools that provide needy children an escalator out of poverty. This is the church of the nuns and priests in Congo, toiling in obscurity to feed and educate children. This is the church of the Brazilian priest fighting AIDS who told me that if he were pope, he would build a condom factory in the Vatican to save lives. [...] So when you read about the scandals, remember that the Vatican is not the same as the Catholic Church.

How do we get the hierarchy to reflect the real Catholicism that still flourishes in the real world? I'd start with ending celibacy and allowing women to become priests. And watch the sanity flood in.

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