Catholic, that is the question. I have this little space here and on social media. And I’ve been posting, mostly on Facebook things I find relevant and honest about the scandals and crisis facing our Church these days. Every day I learn more and am tempted to go. Go where? There are reasons though why I’m not going anywhere and I hope you aren’t either.
I’m not going anywhere because this is my One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. and it’s yours too. It’s ONE, and right now the faithful are united together in calling for the truth to be told and those who have hurt others to be punished. We can do that because we know that God is full of justice and mercy. We can also do that if/because we’ve owned up to our own sin. We cannot demand God’s justice for others and mercy for ourselves. We either believe we all get his justice and mercy or none of us do. Let God be God; he will fix this.
We are HOLY. We are all made in God’s image and likeness. Sin entered the world and sadly, it can overcome people’s reason and conscience. Make no mistake that the devil is real and he looks for every opportunity to turn you towards him and away from God. Don’t turn away from the Church now, make the devil angry!
We are CATHOLIC, with a lower-case “c” meaning universal. The Church belongs to us and all those who believe. I may not be able to convince a priest, bishop or cardinal to do something about what is going on. Who am I kidding, I can’t. But I will still speak the truth that this Church comes from Christ and for that reason alone I can’t go elsewhere.
The Church is APOSTOLIC, founded on the teachings Jesus gave the apostles and on the blood they shed as martyrs. We have had good, holy men lead our Church and we have had not such good or holy men lead us. Throughout time, we have survived. I believe we will survive yet again.
Why do I stay? Because I need Jesus in the Eucharist. Because I need the promise of eternal life. Because I need the sacraments to be who God is calling me to be. Because I love this Church.
Each of us needs to answer for ourselves why we stay. And once you decide to stay (I really hope and pray you do) we need to stand together and pray. Pray for the victims, pray for priests who are sick about this as we are, pray for those who have committed wrongdoings be they sexual, financial, and/or an abuse of authority, pray that evil is rooted out, brought into the light and purged from our Church.