Remember why it is that you’re Catholic. No scandal can steal that from us.
Q. I am having a difficult time with all the news lately and it’s negatively affecting my ability to pray and go to church. I’ve thought about leaving the Church and haven’t been to Mass in a while. I feel helpless to do anything about it and we seem to keep repeating the same scandals over and over. Why should I bother trying to be a good Catholic when our own bishops don’t?
A. I too have wrestled with these same feeling of helplessness over the matter. You or I will never have the ear of the pope, but that doesn’t mean we are voiceless or powerless. We mustn’t let corrupt clerics continue to scandalize us or to rob us of our faith. Our strength lies in our resolve to remain Catholic, and to demand holiness from our clergy.
For those despairing and finding themselves in a moment of crisis, I implore you to remember why it is that you’re Catholic. Remember that the Church is a 2,000-plus-year-old institution founded by Christ. It is in her that the Gospel is preached and the sacraments are celebrated. Also, take comfort in the knowledge that our holiness isn’t dependent on the holiness of popes, cardinals, and bishops. It certainly helps the faithful to see devout piety come from our Church leaders, but in truth our holiness comes from Christ and the sacraments. No scandal can steal that from us.
I confess that in my own moment of weakness I wondered what it was all for. I too had my own doubts, and I anguished over whether to remain in the Barque of Peter or jump ship. In the end, I decided that I would be damned, quite literally, if I let depraved men in positions of authority force me out of my own home, my Catholic Church. In this fight or flight moment in Church history, we must choose “fight.”
I truly believe that this is a time in the Church when we will see an abundance of saints made from within the laity in response to the scandal. I hope that we will see a genuine return to holiness and an increase in faith as the people in the pews reject the depravity of some in the Church’s highest ranks. These tests of faith should make us stronger and force us to cling more ardently to Christ and His sacraments.