The clear statement here is that “Catholic Leaders” are not currently to be found where they are supposed to be found – in the “the college or body of bishops united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, as its head”.
This author (a priest, “a Church historian and Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, DC”, and someone who, based on his job title, should have more knowledge and influence than a common parish priest) asks, “Who can save what is left of the West today? Not the pope or cardinals or bishops or priests or pastors.”
This is following the experience of “Pope St. John Paul the Great”, who, they say, almost single-handedly brought down the Communist regime.
Well, here is the proposed solution:
Rather, it is lay people, and particularly Catholic statesmen. Consider the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the role of the laity:
898 By reason of their special vocation it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will. . . .It pertains to them in a special way so to illuminate and order all temporal things with which they are closely associated that these may always be affected and grow according to Christ and may be to the glory of the Creator and Redeemer.
899 The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church: Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the common Head, and of the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church.
[And to “the faithful”, this priest says] … This is your job, not mine. My business is the care of souls…
The Church is interested in the application of truth based on natural law. It has little interest, as Tocqueville noted, in political parties. Pray and get involved. It’s up to you.
The problem with that, of course, is that “large chunks of Mass-going traditional Catholics don’t believe in basic doctrines of the Church”.
It truly is a case of “one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing”. Even among the conservative Roman Catholics.
Here is your “visible Church” in action. Passing the buck again.