It comes to something when the most insightful assessment of the position of the Church comes from Matthew Paris.
He is writing here about the Irish vote: "Even as a (gay) atheist, I wince to see the philosophical mess that religious conservatives are making of their case." His argument is that there simply is no argument. There is nothing put up to counter the prevailing mood of society. And how, exactly, are we to read the whole we-must-listen-to-the-world-and-take-a-reality-check stance? This is not our witness. This is not the examples of the saints through the ages or the teaching of the world, or even of the Good Book itself (Rm 12:2)
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Paris' conclusions are chilling and damning
In which case, when we run out of male celibates we shall adjust a previously absolute doctrine to a more relaxed view of priestly duty. When we run short of male priests altogether (celibate or not) we shall review the teaching on women priests. When we run short of parishioners on their first marriage, we’ll think again about divorce. And when we find we cannot stop heterosexuals using contraceptives or homosexuals coupling, God’s will on these wickednesses will be found to have been revised.
Abortion next, I suppose. Here, too, shall I live to hear the divine ahem? Silly me. And there I was thinking they meant it. As so often in my life, I have missed the big celestial wink.
Please read the article. It has a clarity and logic that we have been missing for some time. And it also should send a shiver down the spine of the liberal catholic intelligentsia.