Those who resist will be served by what”normal people” call cranky old homophobic, misogynistic priests–probably most of them secret pedophiles.The ones who are left are living off the grid. Most of the others are locked away for their own safety in the clergy ‘retirement homes’ that the government took over.
There will be pockets of resistance: Families here and there who are home schooling types. These “fundamentalists” will be called recusants. Some of the recusant families refuse to pay the “tithe” to maintain the churches and they are being fined and punished for their stupidity. These recusants harbor the priests and hide them away and think they are being martyrs for some great cause. The recusants will find it strangely difficult to get or keep a job. They’ll end up impoverished and outside the mainstream.
In the meantime, most Americans will continue on happily. There have been no great revolutions. The economy did not collapse. There was no great world war. The Muslims did not attack America.
Families still go to the Mall, eat out at their favorite restaurants, and enjoy all the great amusements and opportunities America has always had on offer. They’re still neat and snug in the suburbs, and the Catholics? They will remember the first signs of a fuss–over the HHS Mandate of 2012–but it was soon shown that the vast majority of Americans–Catholics included–were in favor of artificial contraception–and didn’t really mind abortion that much.
Furthermore, it was shown that a good number of Catholic schools and universities and places of employment had already–even before the mandate–been providing cover for contraception, sterilization and abortion. The Bishops were shown to be wrong. The battle had already been lost long ago when the vast majority of Catholics accepted artificial contraception.
In the end, there was not really much of a battle. When things began to reach a crisis point most Catholics quietly stepped back from the fray. The Catholic churches and schools that chose to be sensible and conform have been rewarded. They continue on much as they have done in the past. The Bishops may have removed the word “Catholic” from their name, but they still call themselves “St Patrick’s School” or “Sacred Heart Hospital.” They seem to operate the same as before. They have Catholic images on the walls and sisters in pantsuits still patrol the halls. They fit in with the way of the world. Are some of the laws difficult for them? Perhaps in theory, but they obey. After all, it is the law of the land, and they will have seen how the few schools and colleges that stood up for the faith were crushed.
So the Catholic Church will seem not to have been affected that much. The change will have been gradual and slow, and most Catholics will find that it is business as usual. To be sure, there is a certain lack of edge–a certain softness, but they were like that before the changes happened. Dulled by a happy consumerism, and satiated with the American Dream, these Catholic schools and parishes and universities haven’t minded too much that the Pope has been quietly marginalized by the State. They were never too keen on him anyway, and now that things have settled down it’s all for the best.