Another hopeful sign of Spring from the youth of the Church.
By the way, to all moaners and groaners and proclaimers that the Springtime of Evangelization is a failure: Are you aware that there are 200,000 converts to the Church every year in the US alone? The untold story of the Church’s Long Lent is how negligible the impact has been on people’s decisions to become Catholic. I seriously doubt it would have stopped me either. I entered the Church in the Archdiocese of Seattle in the mid-80s, arguably the most publicly screwed-up archdiocese in the world at that time (it would appear the Archdiocese of Boston was the winner for the most privately screwed up archdiocese at that time). I did not enter the church with the thought: “Gee! Look at the cool archbishop of ours. Check out that awesome co-adjutor. That’s why *I* want to be Catholic! Wow If *those guys* ever sinned or failed, my faith in Christ would be in ruins!” On the contrary, one of the things that somehow helped me was the realization that the Church was what it has always been: fully divine and fully human, a real place with real people that had room for deeply screwed up and sinful people like me. Perhaps it’s my non-denom background and the enormous pressure I felt there to belong to the Pure Small Refined and Reallio-Trulio Remnant that made this so appealing. At any rate, I appreciated and still appreciate the fact that the motto of the Catholic Church is “We’ll take ‘em all”. It’s the teaching of the parable of the net too. So, though appalled by episcopal eunuchs and sins of clergy and all the rest, I’ve never been shocked. And I’ve never hinged my faith on the sanctity of clerics. Not even (and this may surprise my readers), the Pope. I think the Pope a great man. But I did not become Catholic because I said to myself, “John Paul II! Wow! That’s why I want to be Catholic!” If it is shown that JPII has sinned grievously, it would sadden me greatly, but not constitute an assault on the Faith itself. I’m too aware of the history of the papacy. I did have to say, “Alexander VI. Hmmmm….” and decide whether I would choose to marry into this family (so to speak). There are, as we all know, skeletons in the closet and you have to realize that, in becoming Catholic, you are willing to shoulder the burden of being called a friend of tax collectors, prostitutes, inquisitors, anti-semites, pedophiles and all the other junk the Church has in the attic. But I even more had to ask whether I was worthy of such a family, given our immense patrimony of saints and giants, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. As it happens, I’m not worthy. But Christ, in his grace, has let me join the party anyway, for which I’m grateful.