Here in Melbourne the Catholic Church still seems to be trying to be an arm of the liberal state. I've long thought this to be unwise, given the incompatibility of liberalism with Catholic doctrine.
Cardinal George set out the problem with great clarity in his column ("A tale of two churches").
He begins with the claim that the liberal state in the U.S. once promised to protect all religions and not become a secular rival to them, "a fake church". He then adds:
There was always a quasi-religious element in the public creed of the country. It lived off the myth of human progress, which had little place for dependence on divine providence. It tended to exploit the religiosity of the ordinary people by using religious language to co-opt them into the purposes of the ruling class...It had encouraged its citizens to think of themselves as the creators of world history and the managers of nature, so that no source of truth outside of themselves needed to be consulted to check their collective purposes and desires. But it had never explicitly taken upon itself the mantle of a religion and officially told its citizens what they must personally think or what “values” they must personalize in order to deserve to be part of the country. Until recent years.
The situation now? According to Cardinal George:
The “ruling class,” those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone. We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family. Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger.
He urges Catholics to resist yielding to the false state religion:
The inevitable result is a crisis of belief for many Catholics. Throughout history, when Catholics and other believers in revealed religion have been forced to choose between being taught by God or instructed by politicians, professors, editors of major newspapers and entertainers, many have opted to go along with the powers that be. This reduces a great tension in their lives, although it also brings with it the worship of a false god. It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure. It takes a deep faith to “swim against the tide,” as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do at last summer’s World Youth Day.
Most of the Catholic leadership here in Melbourne seem to be desperately trying to fit in with the state religion rather than taking a stance against it. They are doing this not by renouncing core theological positions, but by "reading" Catholicism as an SJW philosophy. (Says the modern Melbourne Catholic: "I will serve others by supporting SJW political campaigns.") This might temporarily avert a crisis of belief by realigning Catholicism with the Zeitgeist, but in the longer term it is helping to cement in place a liberal state religion that is deeply, philosophically at odds not only with Catholic theology but with the future existence of a Western culture and civilisation.