At a time when the traditional family is under assault, marriage is threatened with redefinition, and we have reached the grim milestone of 50 million abortions since 1973, our bishops have shredded their moral credibility and left us, the people in the pews and the good priests and nuns who minister to us, feeling shamed, humiliated, angry and doubting. We are open to attack.
To read the grand jury report is to invite a crisis of faith.
Many Catholics may quit the church or, in fear, remove their children from Catholic schools. At least they will stop dropping money into collection plates. Who can blame them?
But before heading to the exits, Catholics should consider this.
Judas was an apostle.
That is to say, the church from its earliest days, has been convulsed with heartbreaking scandal.
In the 16th century, after Tetzel and other scandals sparked the Protestant Reformation, Saint Francis DeSales began the church anew.
It was a sullen task. Twice, he was beaten and left for dead in his evangelical travels through Europe.
Asked why he stuck with it, he said, “While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal, who allow scandals to destroy their faith, are guilty of spiritual suicide.”