|St. Augustine of Hippo|
When a good book is finally written about what has happened to the American church in the last decade, the story would begin a hundred years ago when the Catholic church as a specifically American community was coming into its own, with population power centers in the big cities like Philadelphia, Boston and New York, led by a hierarchy that was more political than pastoral setting the patterns - solidifying the structures - that, sometimes to its disadvantage, remain intact today.
Some would begin tin the 5th century and trace all our woes to Saint Augustine's alleged negative attitude toward sex, and then jump to the 10th century imposition of celibacy, which was enforced not to make priests more available to their flocks but to prevent them from passing church property on to their children.
Obviously sexual attitudes - including the exclusion of women from the priesthood and thus from the central leadership; the resulting insulated, all male clubhouse atmosphere of clerical culture; the possible sexual immaturity of men who entered the hot-house seminaries of the mid-20th century; and the apparent increase of openly homosexual seminarians and priests - are relevant to the current crisis. But this crisis is not primarily about sex.Link (here) to the full address by Fr. Raymond Schroth, S.J. at Voice of the Faithful