Given the priest sex abuse scandal and the "Catholic hypocrite (so and so) that I saw doing (such and such)" it seems natural to wonder how a so- called "holy" Church got into such an unholy mess. But before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, it might be helpful to recall that Jesus didn't just establish an institution, he laid down his life for it, paying the price with his body and blood.

The members of the Church are nourished as a result, nourished by holiness in spite of their sins. That is, provided they draw from the wellspring of supernatural grace. Sure, there are those in the Church who reject God's grace (Judas Iscariot comes to mind) but there are also those who embrace it (Mother Teresa, Padre Pio, and Edith Stein are examples). You could say that Christ's sacramental power is made perfect in the weakness of his saints.

Th saints knew that the Church doesn't belong to us and hence our sinfulness doesn't define the Church. As one theologian put it, "The Church is Christ's, not ours. It was not created by us, or by our Christian ancestors or by the donors to the diocesan annual fund, but by Jesus Christ..."


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