San Diego has become the fifth Roman Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy. The Roman Catholic Church in the United States is becoming the mirror image of my own Episcopal Church. They have no priests and are rapidly getting to the point where they will have no money. But they do have congregants.
We've got clergy (although perhaps not enough by our very different standards for how many we need) and money (most of it old), but a declining (and aging) membership.
The problem with the Episcopal Church is its ongoing retreat from orthodoxy. Although that is not entirely absent in the Roman Church, it has managed to continue to stand for something other than style and postmodern vapidity. There are those in the Espiscopal Church who are trying to resist the trend toward Christianity as metaphor and faith as politicial liberalism with a spiritual hue, but I fear that we are being routed.
So it is a pity that the Roman church is wracked by this kind of disfunction - a problem that I think is rooted in its attachment to the male celibate priesthood. (This is where Dad29 brings up Lincoln and Goodbye Good Men).
Having said all that, I do wonder whether my profession's attachment to compensating the uncompensable (how else might lawyers get paid?) shows its limitations here. Does it really make sense to bankrupt a charitable and religious organization - something that can do good today - for the sins of those who are, for the most part, no longer in authority? In what sense will this really make good the harm done in the past?