Power corrupts; sex and power corrupt absolutely
We are watching in real time as two of the most powerful and influential institutions in the history of Western civilization — the Roman Catholic Church and the United States government — descend into depravity and absurdity. That these eruptions of corruption are occurring at the same time seems unlikely to be mere coincidence.
No one over the age of 20 can be shocked to discover that there’s corruption in government. But the past two years have been shocking, to even the most cynical among us: the Clinton campaign’s manipulation of the Democratic primary process, the subsequent revelations that the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign paid for the dossier of sordid (and utterly unproven) allegations against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, use of that dossier to deceive federal judges, and the bias and unethical behavior within the FBI and the Department of Justice. And the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court has inspired certain members of the United States Senate — Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, most notably — to stoop to new lows of appalling behavior.
And then there is the church, which for decades has had within it a sick and warped culture of pedophilia and homosexual predation shrouded in secrecy.
What do both these phenomena have in common?
First, both groups contain large numbers of people drunk with power and besotted by the perks that come with it.
Second, both groups have acquired a distorted sense of their own importance and righteousness, and a palpable disdain for the “little people” whom they are supposed to serve. (In fact, the notion of servant leadership is enshrined in the foundational documents of our government and in Scripture. Christ demanded that His Apostles be humble servants first. And the United States government was instituted to be of the people, by the people and for the people.)
Third, with the aggregation of power and self-importance has come the most reprehensible form of idolatry. These people behave as if they were gods; the truth is whatever they say it is.
This is evident in their outrageous behavior, their blatant lies and their transparent denials — even their lack of denials — in the face of overwhelming proof. Witness within the church the inscrutable statements of Pope Francis, the brazenness of former Cardinal McCarrick, the condescension of Cardinal Cupich, the vindictiveness of Cardinal Wuerl.
And on the secular side of the ledger we have the unapologetic betrayal of democratic principles and Senate procedures, deliberate slurs, smears and slanders, and the deflection by investigation in which we see our elected leaders engage.
But the grossest and most vulgar aspect of the current crises underlying the grandstanding in public and jockeying for power in private — is sex.
That’s front and center with the Catholic Church.
Laura Hollis is a Nationally Syndicated Columnist.