However when the Son of Man returns will he find any faith on earth? Luke 18:8
I have always thought our greatest problem in the Church today is a lack of faith. I mean, for example, bishops and other ecclesiastic being appointed or promoted not because they had a fervent belief but because they belonged to a particular faction.
In Italy in diocese from North to South, even, possibly more so in Rome, the papers seem to contain news of clergy involved in orgies and other sexual scandals, which might be reason why there seems to be growing call for an end to celibacy.
In dioceses and parishes, in colleges and schools and other Church affiliated organisation professional competence, especially amongst lay Church employees outweigh a commitment to the Gospel and the person of Jesus Christ. Some people might be committed to externals, it is problem for both left and right, an enthusiasm for the cappa magna an other ecclesiastical ornaments on the one hand might be matched on the other hand by someone's enthusiasm for a particular pilgrimage site or branch of the Church's social teaching, or increasingly being a 'gay' or 'feminist' Catholic. There is no problem with any of these things in themselves, they add to the richness of the Church which because it is made up of individuals is always going to be diverse, the problem is that without faith in Jesus first and foremost all can become dangerous.
I hope I have a proper devotion to Our Lady, and in this centenary year to Our Lady of Fatima but I really get worried when someone is more concerned by the third secret, than the words of Holy Scripture.
As Pope Benedict said the new Cardinals, "In the end Christ will win", the problem is that without the centrality of Jesus everything goes out of balance most especially charity and mutual respect, without faith in him the Church becomes weak, powerless and will eventually disappear as is increasingly happening in its once European heartlands but where the Gospel is taken seriously like parts of Africa and South East Asia it grows and prospers.
Someone told me a story of Thomas Wilkes the Protestant composer, who seems to have lost his faith and taken to the bottle towards the end of his life, he became so disaffected he peed on the bishop of from the organ loft.
Without charity we are nothing but without faith charity itself becomes disordered to the point where killing someone or destroying their reputation becomes a sign of love.