On the February 9 issue of National Catholic Review their Cover Story Article was entitled "Confession: The Disappearing Sacrament". First, part of me comes from a Hindu / Eastern teaching (part of my pre-Catholic days) and there are some things that are just better at describing some things like this.
So, to a certain extent, I believe that this is the Kali-Yuga - the age of Kali. "Yuga" means "age". Some call this the age of Kali (a goddess of the destruction of the universe). Some call this the "Iron Age". And according to some Hindu theory the Kali-Yuga, the Iron Age, last 1.2 million years. That's preceeded by the Bronze Age that lasted 2.4 million years. That's preceeded by the Silver Age that lasted 4.8 million years. And that's preceeded by the Golden Age (when everything "was" good) that lasted for 9.6 million years.
And the are several theories as to when the Kali-Yuga started. Some say it started six-odd-thousand years ago with the death of Krishna (that's around 4000 BC/BCE). Some say it started a few hundred years BC/BCE. Some say it started a few hundred years AD/CE. So whether we think that the Kali-Yuga started a few thousand years ago or whether it started a few hundred years ago, it doesn't really matter because the Kali-Yuga is, supposedly, 1.2 million years long.
Then there is the issue of Hindu astrology / astronomy. They are the astronomy who coined the phrase "Age of Aquarius" - which starts around 2600 AD/CE. Each Astrological Age lasts 2200 years. That means that the Age of Pisces started around 400 AD/CE (around the time that the Western Roman Empire fell). And that the Age of Aries started around 1800 BC/BCE (that shortly after the time of Abraham). And the Age of Taurus started around 4000 BC/BCE (Around the time of Adam). Now the big different between Hindu anceint history and Christian anceint history is the Hindus record history as early as ten-thousand years ago - and that the world existed many thousands of years before it, the history just wasn't recorded or that the records have been lost. Whereas the Christians say the world was created around six-thousand years ago.
Now, originally, Astrology and Astronomy were the same science. Charlemagne had court astrologers in 800 AD/CE. Then around a thousand years ago the two disciplines diverged - which probably can be "celebrated" as starting with Galileo and Copernicus.
So we are in the Kali-Yuga - big deal, wheee. Which is generally typified by the lowering and decaying of the natural enegy that the universe has which holds the universe together. Remember, the universe is destroyed in either 1.199994 million years or the universe will be destoryed in 1.199999 million years.
I believe that the fall of the Helenic Civilization was because of the Kali-Yuga. I believe that the rise and fall of the (Western) Roman Empire was because of the Kali-Yuga and the astrological Age of Aries. And I believe that Christianity and Catholicism may be the result of the Kali-Yuga, the astroligcal Ages of Aries and Pisces.
In the same way the former strength of the Catholic Church was because of the Kali-Yuga. Or rather, the decline of the Catholic Church was because of the Kali-Yuga. And Vatican 2 Conference, the sexual abuse by the priesthood, and the lack of confession was because of the Kali-Yuga.
What we are seeing, all that we are seeing, are the results of the universe falling apart. People stop being focused on long-term goals and stop being as spiritual and start being more focused on short-term goals (sexual gratification) and being more embraced to the material world. Both Hinduism and Christianty do not believe that the material world is all that we have, that it is only a "facade" for the spiritual world.
People start to focused more on their own pride and arrogance versus the humility that comes around through confession. People get tired of confessing the "same ol' thing" time and time again and start to think "why bother" and fail to show that they believe in God and fail to believe that He / It is Supreme. People start to be focused more on drugs and less on figuring out the spiritual world (or even caring that there is a spiritual world).