As the abuse crisis in the Church continues to unfold, many people are asking themselves, "How could a priest commit such atrocities? " Fr. George Rutler offers some insight:
"Priests have a power not of their own, and priests who abandon the priesthood carry with them a volatile power they cannot shed. A consecrated soul cannot be unconsecrated but only desecrated by pride and the guilt of pride.
And when a desecrated priest ceases to offer worthy sacrifice, he may start to require sacrifice; for as the priestly face turns from the Messiah it meets Moloch.
...when a priest ceases to intercede at his altar between earth and heaven, an angel made miserable by its fall from heaven would persuade the priest to intercede between heaven and hell."
This quote is from Fr. Rutler's The Curé D'Ars Today. He wasn't writing about today's scandals. He was writing about a period in France when most priests had given up on the Church. One "priest" in particular, Fr. Fouché of Lyons sent 130 priests to the guillotine during the French Revolution.
I encourage you to read Fr. Rutler's book. He writes about another age, but keenly penetrates into the influences that continue to motivate people today.