The Kiss of Judas, by James Tissot (1836-1902) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]
There are about 5,100 Catholic bishops in the world. Jesus picked twelve disciples, yet one of them betrayed Him. That’s an 8% ratio of “bad apostles / bishops.” Another denied Him three times, but he repented, so (to be gracious) we won’t count that.
Using the same ratio, there would be 408 bishops out there right now willing to betray or forsake Jesus Christ. If even Jesus got one bad apple (His own choice!), can we expect to do any better? But that still leaves (theoretically) 4692 good bishops . . .
Protestants want to always concentrate on looking at our bad guys (bad popes, liberal dissidents, nominal and ignorant and lax Catholics, big sinners and hypocrites). That’s fine, as long as they also excoriate our Lord Jesus for His miserable 8% ratio of lousy, renegade apostles.
The record is far worse for the seven churches of Revelation. Only one was more or less completely praised by Jesus. That’s a 14% ratio of good churches to bad (86% bad or corrupt or woefully deficient in some way). But their status as legitimate churches (and Christians) is never denied. And this is the vaunted, praised, idealized early Church (in the first century!) where supposedly everything was so perfect before those wicked Catholics got a hold of things.
Moreover, St. Paul wrote epistles to seven churches in the New Testament: most — if not all — of which he was instrumental in initiating. He excoriated two of ’em for rank sins and immorality (Galatians and Corinthians): while never denying their status as Christians. So that’s a 29% ratio of “bad” churches to fairly good ones.
Why would we expect to do much better than Jesus (8% bad ratio) and Paul (29% bad ratio) or seven regional churches in the first century (86% bad or seriously corrupt enough to be rebuked by Jesus Himself)? We don’t blame Jesus and Paul for these renegade individuals and local churches, so why is the Catholic Church as a whole blamed for every bad Catholic apple someone can point out, and then dismissed on this stupid, irrelevant, irrational basis: as if the mere existence of serious sin and hypocrisy among a minority (usually a pretty tiny minority) disproves an entire institution?
The New Testament teaches us that we should always expect sin and sinners in our ranks. This is obviously true, as none of us seemed to have attained perfection and a sin-free existence, and given original sin, concupiscence, lust, pride, sloth, greed, self-centeredness, etc.
DUH!!! Next question?