What changed between the first and second halves of the twentieth century were not the management policies on sex abuse and secrecy at all costs-- these remained a constant throughout—nor do we have evidence to show that the personality features of seminarians or priests changed in any fundamental way that would account for the nature and the magnitude of the crisis-- in its early stages at least. Rather, the core change over the course of the twentieth century was one of purpose or allegiance-- leaving behind ascetical discipline, having disdain for religious tradition, and adopting the therapeutic mentality, a popular belief that fulfillment of the human person springs from emotional desire in a quest for self-definition, or self-actualization, without regard to an objective philosophical, religious or moral truth. Further, the therapeutic mentality views sin as a social concern and discourages loyalty to religious authority; it is profoundly anti-ascetical.
It makes sense to me, especially seeing how society in general views any sort of self-denial as twisted and harmful, it's no surprise that some of this thinking has seeped into the Church. I've been surprised before at hearing some Catholics say, for example, that they think the celibate priesthood is really asking for the impossible, or something along those lines. I wonder, then, how did they do it for so long? Why is it suddenly impossible now? It seems it's likely just because we have bought into the therepeutic mentality, that all desires are natural and good and therefore should be satisfied, and to deny oneself longterm is basically impossible, and any attempt to do so is sure to end in mental health problems or at the very least unhappiness and unnecessary guilt, yadda yadda.
Looks like an interesting book, I may have to add it to my ever increasing to-read list! Here it is on Amazon for anyone interested.