Catholicism in turmoil

Experts say the church is facing a crisis of historic proportions.

“This is the type of problem that arises really once in a century, I think, and it might even be more significant,” said Paul Collins, an Australian church historian and former priest…

The criticism is also coming from pulpits. Udo Fischer, an Austrian priest known for his liberal views, avoids mentioning Benedict and other church leaders by name during his Masses — at least until he sees stronger signals of remorse from the Holy See.

“We always stress that this is the church of Jesus Christ — that of the Lord Jesus and not that of the Lord Pope,” Fischer said after a Palm Sunday service in his parish in Paudorf, a village near Vienna.