How can you still be Catholic in light of the sexual abuse scandals?
Thanks to everyone who submitted responses to the question, “Why believe in an all-powerful and all-loving God with all the suffering in the world?” in last month’s newsletter. Click here to see how people answered the question.
This month’s “Whaddaya Say” is about the question, “How can you still be Catholic in light of the sexual abuse scandals?” Abuse scandals are commonly cited by fallen-away Catholics as a reason why they no longer go to Mass. After many notorious allegations against prominent Catholic clergy, there is a widespread perception that the Church is filled with sexual abuse and cover-ups. Many people do not want their financial contributions to go to a scandalous church and they see themselves as exhibiting righteous anger by staying away from Mass. Also, many use the scandal as a reason not to trust the Church. Many wonder, if the Church’s bishops and priests are largely moral scoundrels, why pay attention to what they say about morality?
So, imagine you are out evangelizing and you have the following conversation:
Evangelist: Hi, would you like a free rosary?
Other person: Oh, I probably still have one of these around the house somewhere.
E: You’re Catholic?
O: Yes. Well, I was, at least until those awful sex abuse scandals. How anyone could stay in the Church after that is beyond me. Are you still Catholic?
E: The scandals have horrified many of us, but do you feel that they’re a good reason not to be Catholic?
O: Honestly, I’m just sick of the whole situation. It’s not only the abuse, but also the coverup. Not to mention, I work hard for my money, why should I contribute it to a church full of such evil people? And now it’s just going to fund legal fees and coverups. I don’t want any part of it.
So what would you say next? Let us know using the form below.
In one way God would not want to take away our sufferings because of their beneficial affect. If we did not suffer, we would not care about God or our journey of salvation. However, God does occasionally, miraculously remove an individual’s suffering. However, this is the exception and not the norm.
No, I don’t believe God planned it. However, His original intent was that we all live in harmony in the garden with Adam and Eve with the presence of God. Due to the fall of man, we all experience suffering in various degrees. Since the fall of man, he now needs to be reconciled to the Father’s love. Man has a tendency to be self-centered. Our sufferings should help us reach out to Christ the God man who suffered His passion and death. Anything Christ did in His earthly life is somehow an example for all to benefit from. Suffering has purpose in our journey of salvation. With deep feeling (compassion) and devotion, may we contemplate the Lord’s Passion, the suffering of his Heart, and His great love for us. Everyone in the world suffers: accept it, unite it to Christ in his suffering, and begin to find its hidden treasure. Jesus would say: All I want is for you to be My friend. All I want is for you not to be afraid of Me and to come to Me.
Suffering is all part of God’s plan to mold us into the image of Christ. It is through suffering that the soul is purified.– Clarence B