I’m interested in your responses to the following that I have been thinking about a lot over the past few days:
On the basis that the catholic church is the one true catholic and apostolic church founded by Christ, and protected by the Holy Spirit, how could the abuses of the past decades have happened?
There is now no dispute by the church itself that the abuse of vulnerable children and adults, perpetrated by nuns, brothers, priests, and covered up by bishops and cardinals, took place and was badly dealt with.
I dont really want to get into the abuse per sae, rather I’m more interested in the roles of the main players and the role of the Holy Spirit within the church.
If as is claimed, the bishops are the direct successors to Peter, to whom the keys were given, how could they possibly have allowed this to happen?
Where was the Holy Spirit when these men and women were carrying out their evil deeds.
I am really really struggling with the idea of joining a church where a religious could emotionally, psychologically, physically or sexually abuse a child, and then receive Christ Himself in the Eucharist maybe one hour later? Or start their day with the Eucharist and go on to sexually abuse a vulnerable child in the afternoon.
I know in every big organisation, there will be bad apples. Thats a given. But for it to be so widespread and to reach to the highest levels within the church, I cant understand. Especially when those doing the abusing and covering up the abusing are direct successors to Peter.
Im also sure abuse is not confined to the catholic church alone.
But why the catholic church Im asking when the Holy Spirit has promised to keep it true and protect it from the gates of hell? How much closer to the gates of hell does it get when a child is abused?
I dont really want to hear anti-catholics venting their spleen on the church - Im more interested to know if you are a catholic how you have reconcilled these things. At the moment I cant. Not because the abuse happened, but more because of who is was that was abusing and how they were protected by the church.
What does it all mean for the integrity of the preisthood and religous, the power of the mass and the Eucharist, and the claim the church is Christ’s church?