In a post entitled Hypocrisy and moral inversion by Bruce Charlton, John C. Wright published excerpts from Dr. Charlton’s booklet Decline of the West explained. I had already perused this booklet and found it very good. Upon second reading of these excerpts and comments from another blogger I saw how well it corresponded to a quote from John Paul II provided in my answer below (edited).

Dr. Bruce G. Charlton’s blog is:

Hedonism, Sin and Truth

I think Dr. Charlton did a good exposition of the roots of Politically Correct behavior. Lust (hedonism, self-gratification) is the most widespread and obvious in the shallow worldview of our modern barbarians, and it usually goes hand in hand with power-seeking (pride) and greed. I would say lust is the more saintly of their reversed virtues: it does not even need to be disguised like the other two as self-righteousness and revenge of the wronged victim.

In fact, I was struck by how his term of moral inversion and what Dr. Charlton says about sin and guilt and the absence of forgiveness in a secularized society correspond with what saint John Paul II told André Frossard in their 1980-81 interview “N’ayez pas peur” (“Be Not Afraid”, The Faith, ch. VI) (my translation certainly does not justice to the authors but I don’t have the English text, so please forgive the awkwardness):

“The very notion of sin is linked to human dignity because human dignity requires of man to live within truth. Now, the truth is that man does evil, that he sins. Those who try so hard to obliterate the notion of sin from human language just confirm this truth in different ways. To destroy the notion of sin is to impoverish man on a constitutive human experience. The purpose of eliminating sin is to ‘liberate’ man from the necessity to ‘convert’ (that is, from the necessity of the sacrament of ‘penance’). However, this process ends in a vacuum, or rather, it burdens the subconscious with the idea that evil is inevitable, normal in a way. Hence follows the necessity not to call evil evil, but good, so that one can yield to it against the most fundamental moral requirements.”