Because Catholicism repudiates forensic justification as well as God’s appointed means of sanctification, Catholicism substitutes fetishism for real grace. It fetishises “holy” persons, buildings, paintings, furniture, relics, &c.
Such persons, places, and things are sacrosanct, not due to their inherent holiness, but their ascriptive holiness. Popes, monks, nuns, &c., are said to have a holy vocation. Indeed, a superior vocation. And their vocation ipso facto confers ascriptive holiness.
As such, they’re off limits. Immune to satire.
And Protestants are supposed to defer to Catholic fetishism. Catholics wax indignant of you dare to treat their ascriptively holy persons as ordinary men and women like you and me because, deep down, there is no depth to Catholic piety. In practice, externals are all they’ve got. So they cling to their externals for dear life.
No doubt many priests, monks, and nuns are sincere and self-less individuals. But for the average Catholic, that’s ultimately irrelevant. Image is all that matters. The iconic image of a nun. Not the reality–for better or worse. But the ideal notion of a nun as a bride of Christ.
Keep in mind, though, that it isn’t merely priests and bishops who’ve been complicit in the priestly abuse scandal. Consider the role of nuns in the infamous case of Nazareth House.
Yet that has no practical impact on pious Catholics since, for them, ascriptive holiness trumps actual holiness.
One of the tragic features of Catholic fetishism is that what it does to Catholic men and women with authentic, godly impulses. Some priests are genuine Christians. As such, they exhibit genuine sanctity. Yet they also flail themselves with a cat o’ nine tails in a futile and misguided effort to draw closer to Christ through self-harm. Nothing is sadder than to see good seed grow up twisted and crooked–because it’s been misdirected.
Catholics wax indignant over sadomasochistic comparisons while they remain blithely oblivious to the sadomasochistic spirituality which is codified in their own theological system.
There’s a reason that Luther broke with Rome. He’d been through all that himself.