What I Love About the Catholic Church – 8

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What I love about the Catholic Church is that it’s history reads like the Old Testament, and that feels authentic. What I mean to say, is that it is a history of rogues and scoundrels, criminals, psychopaths, spiritually insane people and incomprehensibly awful sinners.

Where else but the Catholic Church do you also find the most amazingly radiant saints, supernatural warriors for God, courageously innocent virgin martyrs, tireless friars, magnificent theologians, world changing figures who exhibit the height and breadth of redeemed humanity?

This is what the Reforming Protestant and the other worldlings don’t get. They look at the sinners and the skunks in the Catholic Church and get all huffy and cry out for reform and point fingers at the failures and mock the hypocrites and go all serious and sign a petition, never understanding that Jesus himself said the wheat and tares would grow together and the sheep and goats would be in the same flock.

I trust the Catholic Church because it is full of sinners. The religious groups I don’t trust are all the squeaky clean grinning Christians with their button down shirts and buttoned down lives. The ones who give me the creeps are not hard drinking swearing, repenting sinners in the Catholic Church, but the holier than thou  Christians who retreat into their little spiritually self massaging study groups and sects pretending that nothing bad ever happens there.

No. The Catholic Church is like the Old Testament. There is Noah, lying drunk and naked. There’s Abraham disobeying God and taking his maid instead of his wife. There’s David ogling Bathsheba and plotting to kill her husband after he makes her pregnant. The same rich stink of sin wafts through the Catholic Church too, and that is what makes it seem real.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not glorying in sin and making excuses. I’m just pointing out that reality has stench. Real things cast shadows. The Way is a road and every road has a gutter.

And what I love about the Catholic Church, therefore, is that in the midst of this horror and stench and ugliness–the light of redemption shines. There is such a thing as repentance. There is grace. There is forgiveness. There is light and sanctity and goodness and beauty and truth–and it is all the chaos that makes the order stand tall, and in the darkness the light shines more brightly.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00012640813473131020 FW Ken

    Due respect, Father, but you stereotype protestants (of a particular type) as much as they stereotype us. I've been part of groups like that and they are just as full of sinners and saints as the rest of us. More to the point, we recognized our faults and struggled with them.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06759546956349531714 Brittney G

    "The religious groups I don't trust are all the squeaky clean grinning Christians with their button down shirts and buttoned down lives. The ones who give me the creeps are not hard drinking swearing, repenting sinners in the Catholic Church, but the holier than thou Christians who retreat into their little spiritually self massaging study groups and sects pretending that nothing bad ever happens there."So true. So so true.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03348286085031953499 The Catholic Gift Shop

    Very nice. It's best to admit that we "those in the Catholic Church" are not without sin. No one is/was (except Jesus of course).That's why we give honor and devotion to many Saints who were not perfect and did sin. I too love the Catholic Church!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04150835852351448852 Cantor Nikolaos

    Amen! Having grown up protestant, I have seen firsthand what you describe, including the "spiritually self messaging study groups and sects pretending that nothing bad ever happens there". Those are the places where the teenage daughter of some respectable family gets pregnant and has an abortion so no one finds out. They're the ones who talk about how bad it is to adorn a place of worship with art as opposed to feeding the poor, but they all live in Thorn Blade. They also spend enough on electronics and movie screens and projectors and the latest video and audio equipment that they could build a proper church. I guess it's fitting that they don't since they aren't a church.

  • Greg T

    Not one word about Jesus. Not even one mention of his name. I think that says it all

    • JimT

      “They look at the sinners and the skunks in the Catholic Church and get all huffy and cry out for reform and point fingers at the failures and mock the hypocrites and go all serious and sign a petition, never understanding that Jesus himself said the wheat and tares would grow together and the sheep and goats would be in the same flock.” Perhaps, you just missed it…….perhaps.


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