Over one hundred years ago, the bishops of America had a choice.
They could spend the bulk of their effort catechizing adults, as the Church Universal had done through most of her history, or they could imitate the public school system of the United States and spend the bulk of their catechetical efforts on teaching children the Faith.
They chose the children.
This choice to ignore the adults began their long but inevitable slide into irrelevance. Today, the bishops produce encyclicals that no one reads, trying to save schools that no one sends their children to. By focusing the bulk of their effort on children, the bishops implicitly admitted - whether they meant to or not - that they had nothing of particular substance to offer adults.
In just a few short days, Barack Hussein Obama will follow the lead of the American bishops. For the first time ever, an American President will spend an hour addressing America's schoolchildren.
It is of signal interest that he chooses to do this only after being his vaunted health plan was relentlessly savaged and torn to bits by political commentators and man-in-the-pew adult citizens during the August recess.
The facts speak for themselves.
Barack Obama has begun his own long slide into irrelevance.
This does, however, raise a disturbing question.
For the American bishops, the slide of formerly great office into relative obscurity was marked by increasingly irresponsible behaviour, culminating in the twin scandals of American Catholic education and priestly sexual abuse.
As the President destroys himself, what kind of behaviour can we expect from a this man, a man whose shocking narcissism already outpaces even that of his predecessors?
The dangers increase as the shadows lengthen.