It’s not as if being a committed Christian doesn’t entail some serious challenges in a world that is increasingly hostile to such a life. If it turns out that certain sins cannot in fact be resisted, and therefore giving into them cannot be blamed on you, as Pope Francis has implied; that there’s no real difference between being baptized and being unbaptized; that venerating saints and worshipping Amazonian fertility gods is really all the same; that the Church isn’t actually charged with making disciples of all nations because religious pluralism is willed by God; and that everyone is going to be saved anyway, Catholics may reasonably feel that it’s preferable to throw in the towel altogether—and so they have.
The concordat with the post-Christian world, which is the overarching theme of the post-conciliar settlement, also implies that there’s no lay apostolate. Traditionally, the role of the clergy was to sanctify the laity, that the laity may sanctify the world, capturing it from the “prince of this world” and placing it under the Kingship of Christ. Were this apostolate of the laity to continue, however, it would seriously undermine the Church’s new concordat with the unconverted world, implying that there was some substantial difference between a sacralized world and a profane one, which would somewhat undo the nature-supernature conflation on which the Vatican II theology of ‘opening up to the world’ was indeed based. So, what is the laity to do in the modern Church? Carry the cruets up to the altar and join the parish folk band, I suppose. The laity may be forgiven for saying, thanks but no thanks.
– from “Can Hermetic Magic Rescue the Church? Part I: Acknowledging the Crisis and Breaking the Spell” in The European Conservative