Judas is notoriously used as an example of the ultimate betrayal. Jesus, Himself, chose him as one of His apostles. Yet, he is the weapon that brought down the earthly life of Jesus. During this tumultuous time in the Church, many painful questions churn around the internet. Foremost on the agenda is trying to explain how predatory homosexuality infiltrated the Church, who is to blame, and what will happen next.
As we Catholic Christians field inquisitions, we find many misconceptions regarding the Church as expressed by others. One question I am currently answering goes something like this. “Why do you continue to stay in a church that does this?”
Judas is not the standard by which we judge the Apostles
Should we leave the Church? Jesus chose the apostles – handpicked them Himself. Yet Judas betrayed Him – unto His death. Peter, the first pope, betrayed Him three times before the cock crowed. Jesus’ awareness of this beforehand is evident in scripture. The doubt of Thomas regarding His resurrection is also noted in scripture as a faithless act. These betrayals by those closest to Him did not prevent Jesus from asking us to follow Him and His Church.
Jesus knew and warned that there would be sinners and that Satan would enter the Church through sinful man. That is why He said the gates of hell would “not prevail against it“ – the Church. Satan is definitely railing against the church right now. That is the very reason we remain strong in our conviction of following only Jesus.
This is why Catholic Christians follow Jesus – not priests, bishops, or popes. These men are simply human leaders, subject to sin, just like the rest of us. The brutal spiritual attacks by Satan on clergy is evidence of his desire to undermine Jesus and His Church.
Why Invite Public Conversation?
Another question I am fielding asks “why do you leave your posts public if you don’t want questions?” The simple answer is, just for the reason you ask – to invite civil conversation. It is only through charitable dialog that any semblance of understanding is found. Anyone is welcome to comment and question posts, as long as they remain polite. In turn, we Catholics are able to address the vast misinformation being portrayed as truth. This, folks, is evangelization.
I find it interesting to consider how easy it is for people to make excuses for the secular leader of their choice. Citing history and human frailty, they battle to defend their leaders as civic triumphs are lauded. It appears that it is simple to defend what you believe to be in your own best interest. Why not apply the same latitude to faith?
Jesus Is Head of His Church
Judas was a human follower of Jesus. Yet he proved himself to be fatally fallible. In contrast, the Catholic Church has Jesus as her head. He is perfect, has never sinned, and is our Way to Salvation. That there are bad leaders among His priests simply shows how the devil loves to attack Jesus and the Church He built. Just as Judas is not the standard by which we judge the Apostles, fallen priests are not the standard by which to judge the Church.
Jesus tells us in scripture that there will be faithless leaders, attacks, and temptation. He tells us, His people, to remain strong. I cannot possibly betray Jesus and leave His Church. As His servant, I am here to pray for justice – to pray for the souls of those who do wrong and to be a light for Him in this world of darkness.
We Do Not Hate Homosexuals
Others are suffering from this scandal as well. Chastely living same-sex attracted people are feeling attacked. To them I say, I want you to know that when I am talking about predatory homosexuals. Truly, I am not referring to same-sex attracted people who live a chaste life. I have nothing but love for you and would never judge you. These fallen clergy are not like you. They do not try to live a good life; they love their temptations and act on them.
The Catholic Church, and I as her member has always believed that every non-married person should live a chaste life. We are taught that couples shouldn’t live together, shouldn’t have premarital sex, and must refrain from any sexual act other than the marital (1 man, 1 woman) embrace.
This scandal is most likely a very hurtful time for you and I am so sorry about that. Please trust me when I say that we Catholics are taught to love each and every person. We simply try to tell it like it is when it concerns sinful behavior. It is an effort to evangelize the Truth that Jesus taught – especially when it is an inside attack on the very principles on which Jesus built His Church.
We Are Not Defending Homosexuality
For those who believe that the Catholic in the pew is defending homosexual acts, I say this. You are misunderstanding and mistaken. There is not a faithful Catholic alive who is defending these horrific perverts. They sicken us as they attack our Church from the inside. What we are defending is the Church Jesus instituted when He gave Peter the keys.
“And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” Matthew 16:18-19
It Is All About Jesus
We are defending the faith beliefs that the Catholic Church teaches – has always taught – all the way back to Jesus. The same 10 commandments that you believe in are our guide as well. Jesus is the Head of our Church. He is our leader. He is our Savior. We are not showing loyalty to the sinful; we are loyal to the Head. We do not follow men when they stray from Jesus. We follow Jesus. The beliefs of the Church are not the problem; they are the same beliefs Jesus taught. The sinful men, now being rooted out, are the problem and we do not follow them. Instead, we pray for their conversion and we pray for those they have harmed. Without penitence their eternal future is dire.
“But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6
I am not perfect by any means but I will continue to cling to Jesus, my Rock, and the Church He built. Therefore, I will defend Him and His Church until my dying breath, all the while fighting against these evil attacks with prayer and resolution.
“Stay in the boat in which our Lord has placed you, and let the storm come. You will not perish. It appears to you that Jesus is sleeping, but let it be so. Don’t you know that if He sleeps, His heart vigilantly watches over you?” St. Pio of Pietrelcina