The buzz in Catholic blogland has been about the attempt to force reform on the Church by means of withholding from the collection plate. I hope that this initiative dies out for two reasons: first, it will only hurt the poor. Bishop Bumble is not going to be thrown out onto the street because St. Whoosit parish can't pay its mortgage. Second, the bishops are, I believe, a symptom of the problem, not its primary cause. Bishops are only part of the body of Christ. We are the fingers, toes, and organs.
In coverage of the scandal, the antagonist is always "the bishops" and the protagonist is always "the people." The evil bishops have betrayed the good and wonderful people. And they have indeed betrayed us. But the people aren't so innocent. Something like 90% of married Catholics of child-bearing age use artificial birth control; children are a nuisance, and large families are as unusual among Catholics as among the general population; vocations are not promoted; those who followed vocations have abandoned their original calling (how many vowed religious do you know who still live according to the spirit of their founder?); teachings on the true nature of sex are ignored or minimized: we may say that sex only good in marriage, but then we watch "Friends" or "Will and Grace" and see nothing wrong; disobedience to the laws of the Church is normal, and seen as a democratic virtue. In a situation like this, is it any wonder that we get bishops who do not have the courage of their calling, who are ashamed of the Gospel? Someone once said that countries generally get the rulers they deserve. Perhaps we have as well.
I am not suggesting that we are responsible for priests preying on boys. Rather, we are responsible for an atmosphere where holiness, faithfulness, and obedience are seen as bizarre or ridiculous. The best way to solve the problem will be for each of us to strive for holiness, faithfulness, and obedience. If the scandals offend you, don't put less money in the plate, put more. If it keeps you from mass, don't go every week, go every day. If you find it hard to pray, pray twice as much. Grace is the only way out of this mess. (I hope I can take my own advice.)