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22 Oct 2014 USA No comments

Religious freedom deteriorating, but don't despair, official says

Washington D.C., Oct 22, 2014 / 12:57 am .- Although religious freedom conditions around the globe are worsening, Americans should see this fact as a cause for …

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15 Oct 2015 Middle East - Africa News Comments (1)

'It's truly a miracle' – kidnapped Syrian priest escapes from Islamic State

A Syrian priest who was captured by Islamic State militants in May thought he would die for his faith. Now, he credits the Virgin Mary and the help of a Muslim …

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15 Sep 2014 Vatican Comments (1)

No plans to raise security ahead of Pope's Albania visit

Vatican City, Sep 15, 2014 / 09:40 am .- There are no plans to increase security for Pope Francis' Sept. 21 trip to Albania despite new reports of a potential t…

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04 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (6)

What does being baptized "on behalf of the dead" mean?

Full Question What does being baptized "on behalf of the dead" mean? Answer In 1 Corinthians 15:29, Paul writes, "What do people mean by being ba…

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04 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (1)

How does someone become a Saint in the Catholic Church?

The process of documenting the life and virtues of a holy man or woman cannot begin until 5 years after death. This waiting period insures that the person has a…

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20 Aug 2016 Q&A Comments (1)

What did St. John of the Cross mean when he spoke about the need for detachment from people?

Full Question When St. John of the Cross spoke of the need for detachment from human beings, did he mean we should be detached from our spouses and childre…

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14 Sep 2014 USA Comments (1)

Young Catholics in America

The latest contribution to analysing the religious and spiritual lives of young adults in the United States the book, “Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults I…

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14 Oct 2015 Middle East News No comments

David Cameron deplores ‘systematic’ persecution of Christians

The Prime Minister has backed a new report by Aid to the Church in Need into the global persecution of Christians David Cameron has given his support to a ne…

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06 Oct 2016 News Comments (2)

Cardinal Sarah: Let’s end the ‘hateful divisions’ and ‘public humiliation’ over liturgy

The cardinal condemned the 'ideological clash of factions' over ad orientem worship Cardinal Robert Sarah has said the “hateful divisions” over liturgy must en…

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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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