Do You Despair Over the Current Crisis in the Church?
June 2010By John Beaumont
John Beaumont is a lawyer by training who works as a legal consultant and freelance writer on Catholic issues. He is the author of Roads to Rome: A Guide to Notable Converts from Britain and Ireland from the Reformation to the Present Day, forthcoming from St. Augustines Press.
Let me start by saying that just one single act of sexual abuse is appalling. This is not just a mantra to be repeated for the sake of form. It is true, and to read of some of the cases of abuse is to know despair on the human level. But there is more that needs to be said, both on the general issue of bad deeds within the Church and on the specific questions raised at this point in time.
It is not surprising that even Catholics have been asking how the Catholic Church, founded by the God-Man and claiming as one of her defining marks that of holiness, can still claim to be the Body of Christ, the representative of our Blessed Lord in the world today, when those ordained to her sacred priesthood stoop to the very depths of iniquity by sexually abusing Gods little ones.
In fact, we can answer this question with some degree of confidence. The first step is surely to recognize that this is, of course, not a new problem. Anyone with a sense of history should know that, even in the highest echelons, such things can go on and have gone on throughout the life of the Church.
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