Monday, as always, is letter day.
I have questions about the Catholic Church, but I want to talk with someone that acknowledges my own conflicted views, and that does not seek to treat me like an idiot, or wicked for denying self-evident truths. I want you to explain to me the (at times) total disconnect between lofty ideals and wicked deeds. I want to be able to say how those wicked deeds color my understanding of the theory, and to be given a better explanation than “look at those other things.”
Let me start by saying in my birth country in Latin America, at least some bishops went to bed with dogs, and were shocked that people did not trust them because they were covered with fleas. And because of the coverup.
You see why I have a problem with the Church, and why I have trouble believing that words like yours are for real?
You point out that from time to time in history, some Church officials have supported tyrants and atrocities and others have covered them up. This is true.
It would be a devastating refutation of the Church’s claims if the Church taught that such things could never happen, but what the Church actually teaches is just the opposite. Holy Scripture warns that from time to time evil shepherds will get in among the flock, and tells people to avoid them.
The Church has also confessed publically that at various times in history representatives of the Church have sinned gravely. There have been bad priests, bad bishops, and even bad popes. Pope Paul VI remarked that as though through some fissure, the smoke of Satan enters the temple of God.
God does not promise that hell will never subvert anyone. What He promises is that the gates of hell will not prevail. God, who cannot be defeated, will preserve the Church and its work of salvation, despite the sins and follies of some of the people who speak in her name.