Scandal Among Clergy vs. the Incorruptibility of Christ, the Church, and the Sacraments–by Cameron Daly

Some people have a hard time getting around scandalous clergy members. They kind of blame the Church herself–and I can see why they’d think to do that, since the clergy basically represents the Church. But it’s important to keep in mind that not every representation is perfect or even good. As the Church teaches,

“This presence of Christ [as head of the Church] in the minister is not to be understood as if the latter were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, even sin. The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way. While this guarantee extends to the sacraments, so that even the minister’s sin cannot impede the fruit of grace, in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1550).

Should people blame police brutality on the law that forbids it? Of course not–the police who commit such crimes own their own actions. Should they any more blame the scandalous behaviors of some clergy on the Church who is against hypocrisy? Anyone can draw a bad picture; anyone can misrepresent what they supposedly stand for. But no matter how bad their representation, THEY CANNOT CHANGE THE REAL TRUTH OF THE REAL THING THEY REPRESENT! No matter how bad a minister a person may be, or how bad a person a minister may be, his actions do not take away from the goodness and truth of Christ, the Church, or the sacraments.

The Ghost of Christmas Present uses similar reasoning:

“Hear me, Scrooge.
There are some upon this earth of yours
who claim to know me and my brothers,
and do their deeds of ill will
and selfishness in our name.
These so-called “men of the cloth”
are as strange to me and my kin
as if they never lived.
Charge their doings to them, not us” (quoted from the script for Disney’s “A Christmas Carol”).

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