God has given us the Church as His visible authority in the world not because of our virtue but rather because of our sin.
We need Her to sanctify us, and She does so despite the sins committed by Her members. A priest, even if a hypocrite and a sinner, nevertheless brings forth our Lord’s presence in the Eucharist and His forgiveness in the sacrament of penance, because it is not he who acts, but Christ. The pope and the bishops, when teaching officially, sinners as they are sometimes, still teach infallibly because it is the Holy Spirit who teaches through them.
We can and probably should be dubious about a lot of things and a lot people in the world, since so many of them eventually disappoint us, but we should never lose our faith in the Church! She is the means of our sanctification and salvation just as a ship in stormy waters is a refuge for those onboard.
Yes, some of the other passengers might be stinky, loud, and altogether unpleasant, but the ship itself will still perform its job and get them home, just as long as they never abandon her.
Prepared for Aleteia by the Canonry of Saint Leopold. Click here to learn more about the Canons Regular of St. Augustine.