This is a profound statement. Voris claims that the Catholic Church will not experience a return of those who left until the clerics start becoming more obedient. I couldn't agree more.
Years ago, when I was attending the University of Dayton, which is a Marianist college, I visited with a priest to discuss with him intimacy, sex, and marriage. I was expecting traditional Catholic counsel. What I received instead was this regarding pre-marital sex: "As long as you really love someone, it can be offered as an act of worship to God." Not "Prayerfully consider whether you are called to the vocation of marriage, for such a vocation protects the sacredness of the sexual union between a man and a woman." Nothing of the sort. Instead, the priest was "thrilled" to speak to a student about such things and communicated a perspective on sexuality that, now looking back, was in direct conflict with the Bible and the Magisterium.
Is it any wonder that many Catholics left the Church? If the Church preached nothing different than the world, then what was the point of waking up early every Sunday to attend Mass? Especially if one was nursing a hangover?
Many have mocked "Catholic guilt" as though Catholics seen sex as "sinful" and if they enjoy it outside of marriage, then they are "burdened" with guilt. How warped a view! God created sex for procreation and as a sacramental bond between a husband and wife. Our "hooking up" culture, where sex is seen as a recreational sport, has only resulted in brokenness, contributing to a low self-esteem, and encouraged those who engage in such activity to only look to their own satisfaction as they use others for their pleasure.
I wasn't a popular young woman. Mainly because I refused to sleep around. Even after I left the Catholic Church, the foundation of Catholic doctrine stayed with me. I understood that sex was to be celebrated within the bonds of marriage, and allowing a young man who had no intention of committing himself to a relationship with me, would only eventually hurt me and cheapen my view of myself. I wasn't entirely successful with my intentions. But the times I lapsed made me realize how important it was to find a husband who would cherish me. It took many years of singlehood before that happened, but once it did, I was brought into a fullness of understanding regarding true love and intimacy.
The world mocks such things because there is (again) sacrifice involved. It is a sacrifice to say "no" when everyone else seems to be saying yes -- and having such a great time doing it. It is a sacrifice to wait until marriage. It is a sacrifice to be called to the vocation of Holy Orders and deny yourself. Jesus said "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Mark 8:34 RSV) Those aren't easy words. They are words that are as sharp as the nails that were driven through the hands and feet of our Blessed Lord. A commandment that clearly says submission and obedience. The rewards of following Christ cannot be overestimated. Those who submit their will to His receive many graces, some that can be seen in this world and others, I believe, will be unfolded after we pass into everlasting life.
I pray that the Church will begin to hold the standard high once again for sexual purity. The enemy of our souls knows how important this area is, which is why he is fighting so hard to deceive people and to keep them trapped in his lies. Lord, have mercy.