Well, I have to admit, I can't help but be slightly discouraged lately. I'm sick & tired of hearing about homosexual rights, the gay agenda, same sex marriage & equality for every other kind of sexual dysfunction a person can dream up. Its everywhere, even in the Church.
Just the other day, another story came out that a number of priests & high ranking Vatican officials have been involved in a homosexual pedophile ring operating in the city of Rome. Rumours of this nature were actually revealed years ago amid the widespread flurry of reports concerning decades of sexual abuse. However, a few days later, the priest who "blew the whistle" said he made up the story out of revenge. ...Really?
Elsewhere in the news, a Vatican Monsignor was arrested for being involved in some kind of international banking scheme.
And not to be outdone, the archbishop of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin diocese is set to release a menagerie of records detailing the complaints of sexual abuse & what the local bishops did (or failed to do) about it. He said to "prepare to be shocked".
Honestly, I don't think I can be shocked much more by all the corruption & crime in the Church. Am I part of the Body of Christ or a circus? These days, I'm not quite sure. Is any of it true? Are the retractions some kind of cover up? Is the media just blowing smoke in an attempt to discredit the Church? Who knows anymore.
What I do know is that the horror stories are increasing with a violent force & they're revealing an institution of religious & lay people who not only don't practice what they preach, but evidently, they also don't believe a lick of it. They can't possibly believe it if this kind of stuff has been happening for who knows how many years. A true follower of Christ wouldn't pull this kind of crap... What happened to the liars & cheaters (otherwise known as) Ananias & Sapphira? What happened to the disciple who betrayed Christ with a kiss? What on earth would make a priest (or anyone, for that matter) think he can molest a child or "live it up" on the Church's dime? What kind of pomposity must a man have to think himself immune from the justice of God or the law of the land? Sometimes I think the Church was founded on the waste of Judas rather than the rock of Peter. Apparently, someone didn't get the memo.
When I became a Catholic, I guess I chose to "overlook" the reprehensible decisions of a few "bad men". Their actions couldn't possibly shake what I believed to be at the core of Catholicism But the reports just keep coming, year after year. Now clergy are outing themselves as homosexuals and/or pedophiles. Some have secretly fathered children & many bishops have openly admitted that they knew but did nothing & made excuses because either their own careers or the careers of their subordinates were at stake. No doubt in their minds, rumours of a "priest shortage" helped justify their gross negligence & disregard for the Gospel of Christ. No doubt the supposed authority they enjoyed was the perfect cover. Who would dare question the Church, the very pillar & foundation of the Truth?
The Church has been accused of countless atrocities over the centuries. Torture, murder, greed, drunkeness, pride, underhanded political alliances, slavery, genocide, sexual & emotional abuse in all its forms & many, many other deeds. I used to marvel at how anyone could really hate the Catholic Church. It seemed so wonderful & steeped in tradition, always proclaiming the scriptures, always stressing the importance of communion with Christ & love for one another... And really, it still is all those things, but there's more to it than that... Much more.
If the Church is a ship, perhaps its time to hit the docks & do some repair. There seems to be some rot below the waterline... & its surprising the ship hasn't sunk yet. In the face of all this adversity, the faithful are constantly reminded that the gates of hell shall never prevail against the Church. These days, it seems like nothing more than an empty platitude. Should I really dare waste my time to exert the faith necessary to "watch & pray", to believe that God can & will redeem this mess? Do I stand with the Church despite all? Am I any better then the criminally minded members if I abandon ship & let them plunder without me?
...Hey now, who took all the life vests?