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20 Feb 2016 Americas News No comments

Meet amazing Catholic Nuns who performed before Pope Francis at the end of his five-day tour of Mexico. A group of pop-singing nuns who call themselves Siervas (or "The Servants") showcased their talent before the pope during his cr…

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31 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

Do I have to confess to receive a plenary indulgence?

Full Question I understand that the requirements for a plenary indulgence include confession. Is the requirement for confession contingent on having seriou…

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26 Aug 2016 Europe News USA Vatican No comments

Catholic and Protestant bishops in the Philippines call out for justice

Filipino Catholic and Protestant bishops are seeing a rise in drug-related killings and are asking the government's anti-narcotic campaign to step in. Accord…

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06 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (28)

Should I leave the Church because of my homosexuality?

Full Question I am a homosexual. I am also a Catholic who loves my religion but feels that it is against me. Should I abandon my Catholic beliefs, since I …

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17 Oct 2016 News Comments (1)

US archbishop says election discourse has ‘marginalised people of faith’

Archbishop Kurtz made the remarks in response to the controversies blighting the US Presidential campaign Too much of the political discourse during this elect…

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05 Oct 2015 News USA No comments

This Catholic healthcare group is being sued for refusing to provide abortions

Trinity Health Corporations, one of the largest Catholic health care operations in America, is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil …

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18 Sep 2014 USA No comments

San Diego bishop remembered for Christian example in life, death

San Diego, Calif., Sep 18, 2014 / 06:05 pm .- San Diego’s late Bishop Cirilo Flores was “a man of the Beatitudes” with a deep affection for the people of his di…

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05 Sep 2015 Exhortations Resources No comments

A moral obligation to vaccinate

I was recently asked whether Catholic schools are morally obliged to require vaccination. My answer is a resounding “Yes.” Catholic and, indeed, all Christian t…

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04 Aug 2016 News No comments

Aid agencies prepare to help 1.5 million expected to flee Mosul offensive

Up to 13 million Iraqis may need humanitarian aid by the end of 2016 The military offensive to root out ISIS militants from Mosul and surrounding villages will…

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How do we answer the charges of hypocrisy in the midst of scandal?

Full Question

How do I answer my Christian brethren not in full communion with the Church when they point out that our Church is becoming a hypocritical joke with all the scandals and abuses?


This is not the first time that the Church has had to deal with scandal and sin within its ranks; nor is the Church unique in this regard. Every church, every school, every human organization of any size faces similar issues. Moreover, we must always remember that the vast majority of bishops and priests are in no way involved in these scandals. There will always be saints and heroes as well as offenders and cowards in the Church, and a Church that has saints and heroes can never be dismissed as “a hypocritical joke.”

There are a number of reasons why the Catholic Church is a prime target for abuse: It is large and unified; it keeps detailed records, whereas recurring problems are much harder to track in other churches; and it takes such an exalted moral stance on so many issues in a way that is threatening to many people who don’t want to look at the morality of their actions.

Even in the Old Testament, Israel, God’s chosen people, was often compared by the prophets to Sodom, Babylon, and other pagan nations. In fact, the prophets sometimes said that Israel was more wicked than these other nations. Yet they were still the chosen people, and their institutions, the Jerusalem Temple, the Levitical priesthood, the Davidic monarchy, the Law of Moses, were still divinely ordained.

Likewise, abuses and scandals within the Church can never undo Christ’s institution of the seven sacraments or his giving of the keys to Peter, the rock on which the Church was built.

That’s not to say we should be complacent. Scandals are a grave offense against God and an obstacle to the conversion of the world. But we shouldn’t allow scandals, however serious, to be used to intimidate us or prevent us from doing our duty to proclaim the truth of our faith.


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