Reply to a longtime Protestant friend who has made some comments about goings-on in the Catholic Church.
1) There will always be sinners in the Church (see Corinthians, Galatians, seven “churches” of Revelation).
2) Protestants institutionalize sin by making it all of a sudden permissible and fine and dandy, in documents and explanations of “What we believe” etc. Catholics do not (though we assuredly have just as many hypocrites in our ranks). At least we know that the Catholic Church will always be against abortion, practicing homosexuality, divorce, fornication, contraception [opposed by all Christians until 1930], and all the rest, while all the mainline Protestant denominations have caved, and even the evangelicals slowly compromise as time goes on. That’s the difference, and it’s a major reason why I’m a Catholic: apostolic moral teaching.
3) Thus far, I have seen no official Catholic document that requires me to accept a sin as fine and dandy. If I ever do see that, then I’ll reconsider my affiliation with Catholicism. But unless and until that happens, I haven’t found any other Christian group that preserves the entire biblical and apostolic morality and theology intact in its teachings. Therefore, I’m a Catholic, since that to me suggests that it is indeed the One True Church. The hatred we are subjected to also is evidence of the same thing (“you will be hated by all for My name’s sake”).
You mentioned fornicators at [an old non-denom church I attended]. It’s a very sad story. That included two elders, who both left their wives. This was indeed a major factor in the pastor becoming a Catholic. And why was that? Because he has told the story about how one of these “elders” simply went over to a large evangelical church of another denomination (you would know it if I named it), and was accepted as a teacher there. The pastor went and told the pastor of the other church about the man’s history of adultery. It didn’t matter. He was still allowed to teach. So there is no discipline in Protestantism that can “hold” because of the ability to up and leave and go somewhere else and start over.
That is what Protestantism too often enables: you don’t like something or other in one church, or have been rebuked for sin (as in this instance?): you simply go to another place, or even start one of your own.
Catholics still have, of course, corrupt priests who are pederasts or what-not, but what we do not have is a change in our teaching that sodomy and pederasty (or any other serious sins) are mortal sins, leading to hell if not repented-of. Far too many Protestants, on the other hand, are now institutionalizing sodomy as an alternate form of “marriage” and “ordaining” people who do these wicked things. They call evil good. And they do because they no longer care about biblical teaching or apostolic practice and teaching.
Photo credit: Christ and Sinner (1875: portion), by Henryk Siemiradzki (1843-1902) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]