An interesting article in NCR looked at wealthy Catholics choreographing think tanks, not for profits, multi-media message to portray Catholic values in a way that supports big business and far right ideology.
Many Catholics are informed by this voice rather then scripture, traditions, and Pope Francis.
The silver lining is enough Catholics are educated enough to sniff out secularized or politicized Catholicism to avoid a repeat of a modern form of Catholic Crusades under a different cover. Not by much though, Trumpism took evangelical Christianity and many Catholics for a political crusade built on anti-Christian values cleverly decorated with a flag, a few causes, and even a bible for a prop.
The tug of war between being a relevant player on the world stage as a major religion and the risk of being co-opted by political or national interest was present at the time of Christ Birth, the time of his death, and still persist today.
The local priest needs a congregation. Even more he needs patrons who can contribute vastly more sums then what most can afford to contribute.
So, 2000 years after Christ death Priest are often giving parables that cleverly avoid disenfranchising constituents that may harm the weekly offering or end of year contribution.
The truth is hidden in the phrases, but only for those awake enough to listen and honest enough to take a self-inventory benchmarked against the words of God.
More often then not, religion shortchanges the essence of a spiritually lived life for a transactional ritual which happens to include tithes.
It is not all bad and certainly not purely the fault of the priestly caste. We all own our little piece religions failures.
We also own today and the opportunity to think, pray, and act purely with clean purpose and conscience, with holy and humble intentionality.
Stand up, push back, and reclaim a version of Catholicism that includes rather then excludes, models rather then condemns, sacrifices rather then hoards wealth and power.