Pope Benedict says something very interesting in his new book concerning some who hold professional positions in the Church - it has been referred to by a few blogs. Here is what he says:
Some bloggers have been more explicit and ask why those who dissent from Church teaching hold so many important positions in the Church? Indeed, in some countries they completely hold the reins of power and are engaged in an attempt to remould the Church according to their agenda - we see this notably in western countries.“The bureaucracy is spent and tired. It is sad that there are what you might call professional Catholics who make a living on their Catholicism, but in whom the spring of faith flows only faintly, in a few scattered drops.”
This has always baffled me, to be honest. I saw bishops appointed who should never have been ordained priests at all because they do not believe, and their dioceses are in disarray, often in rebellion. I see religious who long ago lost their faith at the helm of important Church projects. I see Catholics who despise the Pope and Church teaching in positions of formation and catechesis. I know of catechists who do not believe in the devil, among other things, and chide the children they are examining if they do believe in him - so much for the first baptismal vow. And in their disbelief, these poor saps become putty in the devil's hands. I know of children formed for First Communion by people do not believe in the Eucharist, and so these children have had no formation in Eucharistic theology - they see it as mere bread - victims of their teachers' disbelief.
And then there are those who hold important positions who filter what comes from the Pope, reinvent Catholic teaching and feed this to the faithful as "official teaching". I see women and men, priests and religious in the forefront, publicly denouncing the Pope and Church teaching, branding it as lacking in compassion, and, slaves to the intellectual, social and sexual promiscuity of this Godless age, they make themselves out to be the epitome of compassion, the ones who "really understand" the poor human condition and know how to respond in a "real Christian way". They lead souls on a merry dance away from Christ and his Church and offer them a frail idol which they themselves have manufactured - made in their own image and likeness. And what is said to them? Nothing. Their dissent is greeted with silence. Many of them hold positions of power within the Church and not a move is made to get rid of them. Long ago they lost their faith, now they are in rebellion but they do not have the good grace to leave the Church; and the Church continues to pay their wages and provide them with a living. And they will stay because they know that if they leave their comfortable lifestyle is gone and no one will listen to them anymore.
Yes, the Church needs reform alright.