Catholics are hurting. Recent scandals of ongoing sexual abuse and cover-ups are causing deep sadness and rage.

But, 2,000 years of prayer and study behind our beliefs still hold true. And, the Church’s “civilizing mission,” as important today as ever, must continue.

Let’s not forget, the health of the larger body of Christ, the Catholic Church, is of massive importance to all Christians. The National Review reminds us, “Protestants cannot and must not view these events with a kind of detachment or distance … The entire church should be galvanized by what’s happened and diligently consider the extent to which our own congregations are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Given the plethora of recent sexual scandals in Evangelical and other churches and seminaries, the Catholic catastrophe should remind us that perhaps only the lack of an equivalent hierarchy has spared Evangelical churches from similar, systemic sin.”

The Catholic Church has survived worse. After Judas’ betrayal and Christ’s horrific torture and crucifixion, 11 apostles continued teaching Truth, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, through the ages. Medieval monks carefully transcribed ancient texts, tradition, for future generations. The Bible itself would have been lost forever.

Point One: Those apostles who remained are like present-day good and holy priests. They bring us Christ in the Eucharist and preach God’s Word at masses around the world.

Lila Rose, president of Life News, became Catholic nine years ago with full knowledge of the Church’s history. “There has been sin in the highest offices of the Church (starting with Judas and Peter), yet Christ never abandons His Church. His teachings and sacraments have guided and nourished us for 2,000 years.”

Point Two: Priestly celibacy, unmarried priests, as cause for scandals; well, statistics do not prove this true with married Protestant clergy. Priests willingly give their entire lives and vow chastity and poverty to serve us without “earthly mansions” or family responsibilities. “No one can serve two masters… God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).

And, as Cardinal Burke says, “It was clear after studies following the 2002 sexual abuse crisis that most of the acts of abuse were in fact homosexual acts committed with adolescent young men. There was a studied attempt to either overlook or to deny this. Now it seems clear in light of these recent terrible scandals, that indeed there is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root. It is of course a tendency that is disordered.”

Marriage vows will not “cure” shameful, evil actions of abuse and pedophilia. “This kind (of demon) cannot be driven out by anything but prayer [and fasting]” (Mark 9:29).

The National Review notes “There is zero evidence that increased sexual tolerance somehow equates with decreased sexual scandal. It would be hard to find a more sexually liberated environment than Hollywood, yet one suspects we still don’t know the full extent of the exploitation and abuse there.”

The Catholic Church, the strongest “interpreter and safeguard” of Christ’s teachings, daily fights the devil’s agenda. Catholics are taught to be careful of those things which go against God and nature and are geared toward destruction of family and society.

According to Cardinal Burke, “What we must never permit is that these gravely immoral acts, which have sullied so much the face of the Church, permit us to lose trust in our Lord, who is the head and shepherd of the flock. The church is his mystical body, and we must never lose sight of that truth.

“We should be profoundly ashamed of what certain shepherds, clergy, have done, but we should never be ashamed of the Church because we know that it is pure and that it is Christ Himself, alive for us in the Church.”

Terice Richards
Author: Terice RichardsEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
I am a hospital chaplain with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. I have been writing professionally since 1981 as a radio and television news reporter, anchor and producer. I earned an M.Ed. from the University of Houston and a B.A. from UCLA. I am a certified teacher for Pre-K through 12th grade and completed the practicum for pastoral care ministry certificate from St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. I live with my family in Kingwood.