A Troubled Reader writes:
There have to be some good analyses of why such a thing can happen and not destroy the credibility and authenticity of the Church. If you know of any, please post any such writings on your blog, and I (and lots of others, I’ll bet) will check them out. I need it bad right now, because my outrage fuses seem to have blown and now I’m just wondering why I bother. Even though it’s almost too much to deal with, I have to, because if the Catholic Church doesn’t have the truth, then no church has, and I won’t go to another church.
I’ve given the best I can on my blog. The scandal harms the credibility of the bishops. It does nothing whatever to the Faith, IMO. Catholics are sinners. We know this. One of the stupid things the bishops did was to forget this and think they had to hush up the fact that priests sin–as though the Church was something besides a communion of losers whose only hope is Christ. All this scandal has done is show that we didn’t take “Catholics are sinners” seriously till the sin was something we found personally disgusting. But when the Tradition tells us we are sinners it doesn’t mean we are charming rogues with excusable faults. It means that our sins put the sinless Lamb of God on the cross, begging for water while we laughed at him. Our sins raped children in the name of God and flew cover for the rapists. They did the most horrible things you can imagine and still God forgave it and brought life from it. That’s what sin and redemption means. It’s a problem as old as Judas Iscariot and our cowardly first Pope, Peter. But it does nothing, so far as I can see, to show that Jesus is not who he claims to be. And that means that this scandal, like all sins, will be turned to God’s glory. Because he’s not kidding when he says “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” As George Weigel says, the Pope is fearless because he knows the worst thing that can ever happen has already happened 2000 years ago on Calvary. We murdered God, an infinitely greater crime than raping a child or destroying the world. Yet from the worst thing in the Universe, God brought the best. But, as with our slowness to believe we are sinners, so we are slow to believe sin can really be redeemed. The Church is what it always was, a communion of sinners (not charming rogues: sinners), a communion of people trying to be Catholic with varying degrees of success and failure, and a communion of saints, the soul of which is the Holy Spirit. It’s only that last thing that makes it holy. We sure as hell don’t.