Being a Catholic in New York City is not always easy.
Sure, it was explained to me when I converted that the gate would be narrow, but I had no idea. Born “nothing,” [probably no religion at all.] I completed my adult catechism and chose to become a Catholic in 2000, [it was her choice.] to the thinly veiled displeasure of people close to me. [which in the US is not surprising. Being Catholic nowadays is like putting a bull's eye right in between your eyes!] Archbishop Fulton Sheen put it right when he said, “There are not over a hundred people in the US that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing.” [Amen to that!]
Now the horrific replay of the 2002 clerical sexual-abuse scandals has again stirred up sadness, anger and the inevitable stream of negative postings on my social-networking feeds.
But there is zero tolerance for pedophiles in the Church today. And the test of moral credibility the Holy See is charged with really applies to the whole church — not just clergy but the whole mystical body of Christ. [This is a challenge for the entire Church Militant, not just the clergy!] In one of the Easter readings, from 1 Corinthians, we are told that “our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” [This gives us an idea of how seriously she takes her faith! She even remembers the readings.]
If we all made this past Lenten season a truly repentant and earnest one, then we’re surely continuing on the path to clearing out the evil and healing those who still suffer its terrible wounds. The beauty of Easter isn’t just the expiation of our own sins but that Jesus suffered and was put to death in the flesh once for us all (1 Peter 3:18) and that his resurrection holds the great promise of his return (Luke 21:25-28). In Christ, we are given the perfect example of the two most important commandments: To love the Lord with everything we have and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt 22: 37-40).
The Catholic Church is more than this scandal. I, for one, want to help serve with a church that has done more to help the sick, poor, hungry, suffering and forgotten than any other group in recorded human history. [Amen to that too!]
Through everything my relationship with Jesus, especially in the Eucharist, is the source and summit of my spiritual strength and the one thing I will never abandon. [The lasting presence of Christ in our midst!] In his traditional Easter address last year, Pope Benedict declared that Christ’s resurrection was a “cry of victory that unites us all.” Resurrectio Domini, spes nostra! The resurrection of Christ is our hope!
An institution that has been in existence for almost 2,000 years will definitely have a very colorful history, both shades of black and white, red and blue, etc.
For those attacking the Catholic Church as harboring abusers, rigid dogmas, yet do not see the fact that the world especially the Western world would not have been what it is today if not for the Catholic Church.
Maybe this video will speak for itself.
PS: If you visit the NY post website where this article appeared, you'll notice a link in the middle of the article entitled "Why I left the Catholic Church". Ain't that funny?