[quote="mcteague, post:5, topic:210738"]
How exactly were Galileo's execution, the inquisition, the failure to take a strong stand against the Nazis, or the illegitimate children of some popes not wrong. If you want to argue that because no things declared infallible have ever been retracted, you are really just avoiding the question. The church is composed of people. People are often wrong and do wrong. It is ridicules to suggest that a 2000 year old institution has never done wrong.
That of course does not mean that it has not also done many good and noble things.
Because Catholics don't see the actions of Church leaders as a reflection of the Church iteself. I have no idea why, and what the rationale is, but that's how the Church teaches how Catholics are supposed to view the Church. Catholics are taught not to look at the actions of previous popes, bishops, theologians or other Church leaders or officials by those actions themselves and are taught that those actions do not reflect back on the Church. Catholics are taught to look at the dogma, theology and official teachings and notice that they are unchanging and consistent through time. Corruption within the Church, for example, would be a violation of a dogma such as all of a sudden teaching that the Immaculate Conception was a false teaching. Or if the Church body would change the contents of the Apostles or Nicene creeds -- because they are unchanging by dogmatic teaching -- that would be a corruption.
So for example, Church leaders like previous Popes and Bishops lead unsavory livestyles that might have included mistresses, and fathered children or covered for friends who did so, rather than seeing it as a teaching by example, and by judging the Church's merits by the actions of it's leaders, we are supposed to consider that those were just poor judgments or bad mistakes of those individuals rather than a reflection on the Church. So, the gates of Hell didn't prevail when those sins or evils were done, rather they were poor choices of the one who commited the sins, and no reflection on the Church.
Or for example, with the priests who have molested children and haven't been removed, or have been transferred to other parishes, or have otherwise been protected by the Church, we are supposed to look at those priests and their superiors as sinners, or those who have made mistakes or had poor judgement, and not as a reflection of the Church. So the gates of Hell don't prevail even though priests who represent the Church commited these crimes, and they were shuffled around and not removed -- it is not supposed to be a reflection on the Church itself, but on the priests and their superiors themselves.
I hope that makes sense. I'm not good at explaining that aspect of what the Church teaches. Maybe someone else can explain it better. But even if all the Church leaders are corrupt, we are not supposed to look at it as a reflection on the Church itself. When looking at the Church and it's "corruptibility", we are supposed to look at the dogma, theology and other teachings, which we are assured can never be wrong even though those who make the rules can be wrong in their personal lives.
Unfortunately, the rest of the world looking at the Church doesn't see it that way because they were not taught that way. Usually institutions are judged by the merits of their leaders and other representatives. So I think that the sins of such leaders or authority figures are that much more detrimental because they DO reflect back on the Church. Many people believe the Catholic Church is corrupt from the inside out because the actions of those who represent the Church -- which reflect back at the Church to non-Catholics. And even to some Catholics.