Why stay Christian?

The darkness within my church is real, and it has too often gone unaddressed. The light within my church is also real, and has too often gone unappreciated. A small minority has sinned, gravely, against too many. Another minority has assisted or saved the lives of millions.

The preceding reflection is part of a larger essay by Elizabeth Scalia on why she remains Catholic in spite of the recent controversies in her church.  I must confess, I have sympathy for her and all other faithful Catholics.  Their church has been under a media assault for some time now, and it seems that the detractors are now focusing their energies on Pope Benedict.

Why sympathy? Because Catholic problems are Christian problems.  Everything else aside, I confess Christ alongside my Catholic brethren.  A tear in the Body affects us all.  The danger is to see the recent controversies as exclusively Catholic.  Protestants too have our share of pastors who abuse laity in various ways, and higher-ups who attempt to cover it up.  Likewise, there is much light in spite of – and alongside – the darkness.
The light shines in the darkness, we might say, but the darkness captures all the headlines.

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One thought on “Why stay Christian?”

  1. 15 years in parish ministry has taught me a lot about the sins and short-comings of clergy — the ways we hinder or harm our churches, as well as the myriad ways we deceive ourselves. The church manages to move along in spite of its bumbling and sinning clergy, that’s the wonder of it all. My prayer is always that on balance I will bring more benefit than harm to my congregation.

    Peace to you.

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