How should I view the scandals and corruption?


Before I ask my question, I would like to preface it with a few points:

  1. I realize that the sex scandals have been grossly misrepresented and exaggerated.
  2. I realize the amount of priests involved in sexual scandal is a very small percentage.
  3. That being said, what I’m going to ask about is more about the Vatican’s supposed impropriety.

So, on to my question…

How should I conceptualize crime and corruption within the Vatican and higher level Church authorities? I realize that the supernatural graces communicated via the sacraments are still valid, regardless the moral state of the celebrant, but this just seems to ensure the perpetual enabling of corruption. How can we participate in the sacramental life and not enable further corruption?

I guess, at times, I feel culpable by extension, for some of the misdeeds. Sort of like how a mother should feel when she continues to stay with a husband that abuses her children. :shrug:


What crimes are these? How do you know?


One method is to pretend you are in a position of authority as D.A. or a Bishop, then setup the prosecution of a Priest how will you do this? It may sound silly however as you try the exercise you will grow in understanding. So what will you do and how will you do it?


Any scandal, especially the child abuse scandal is horrible. The cover up is horrible.
BUT, they were done by people not by anything the Catholic Church stands for or teaches.


I guess, at times, I feel culpable by extension, for some of the misdeeds. Sort of like how a mother should feel when she continues to stay with a husband that abuses her children. :shrug: [/FONT]

I think this analogy is carrying things too far.


Your analogy assumes you have control to stop something but willingly do not exercise it. That is not the case with sex abuse by priests as you have never (I assume) been in a situation where you could exercise any direct control; therefore the analogy does not fit this situation.

Another poster put it well - people, sinners did this, not the Church, who continues to guide, nourish, discipline us and offer a sacramental life - even to those particular sinners.

The Church is us - the body of Chirst - which are, in a word, sinners. Satan does his best work in the Church. Sinners in the Church have done far worse to scandalize the Church in the past 2,000 years than the recent sex scandals (NOT to minimize this scandal. It breaks my heart). Still, praise God, He continues to pour out His grace on the Church and continues to sustain it. His truth, His light continues today to illuminate our path to Heaven thru the Church, regardless what some sinners in His Church are doing.



I read - I think it may have been Christianity Today or some other non-Catholic periodical - that the ratio of sex abuse is basically the same for teachers (all teachers of all kinds of schools) as it is for all Protestant clergy (of all non-Catholic denoms) as it is for all Catholic clergy.

A Protestant pastor in our town succumbed to sexual sin with a parishioners daughter. It was reported in the local paper. He was arrested, out on bail, disgraced, etc.

Our diocese keeps records of everything - which priest was assigned where, when, why, by who. Financial records from every parish, the bishop’s the owner of the property of all our parishes, etc. It’s like this for most dioceses across the U.S. We have the clearest organizational hierarchy in all the Christian world. The attorney’s are able to follow a paper trail all the way to the bishop. There’s money in the deal for the attorneys, so they chase the victims families. The amounts are staggeringly sufficient to make headlines and stay there.

On the other hand:
This poor Protestant pastor is just a lover of the Lord, got ordained, went out on his own, mortgaged his house (I imagine) bought a property and started his own little church. More than 90% of all Protestant churches you count across America start just this way. He has no bishop to report to, no authority above him. Paperwork? Well, with such a very small church, likely he and his wife run it, so maybe there’s good paperwork, maybe not. They haven’t much, so there’s no money to go after in a lawsuit, so no attorney will come chasing after the victim’s family. There’s no news story here, cuz there’s no money here, no monolithic institution who’s name is recognized around the world, thus getting newspaper reader’s and viewers attention.

I never again saw any follow-up story about this pastor’s incident. I expect I never will.

Oh, and by the way, the original story was in the LOCAL section, section 2 of the paper, not on the front page or even in the first section.


[Just to be clear, I am in no way minimizing the scandal. In fact, I’m not even speaking to the scandal in this post. Only illuminating the real reasons why it sometimes “feels like” our clergy, and by extension, our Church, are extra sinful.]


Except that you’re staying with the Church, who is indefectibly holy. Certainly, the members of the Church (militant) are sinners, but the Church and the sacraments are holy because Christ is holy.


The Church is also a victim of the priests that did such terrible things. Those priests used the Church to get into a position of trust in the community. I think most of the bishops tried their best. They were told by doctors at the time these guys were curable and they weren’t.


Luke 17:1-2

He said to his disciples, "Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur.2 It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.


Thank you, everyone, for your replies.

I just realized where some of my incorrect thinking was coming from. My initial (i.e.“gut”/non-rational) reaction to such scandal is to think that people could prevent it by not investing time in the faulty institution and make their own (as if this were possible)… But this doesn’t make sense, for without the Church, that institution wouldn’t have the light of Truth and would just go on to commit its own scandals.

And, please, don’t think I was Church-bashing. I realize the scandals aren’t in proportions much different than any other social institution. My questions stems more from me know knowing who to (and REALLY WANTING TO) reconcile these scandals happening in the professed Body of Christ.

I knew someone here would be able to help me, and you all did.

I very much appreciated it. :slight_smile:


Have a look at this.Scandals happen in other Churches:-–%26method=full%26objectid=19228550%26siteid=66633-name_page.html


I’m sorry, but I have to just say this, I couldn’t stop laughing while reading that story. Absolutely hilarious.:smiley:



:rotfl: :whacky:


I was going to say more than i did,but i was worried that i might get myself banned.The shame of it!!! What must the American preacher have thought of us??Here was me thinking the Free Presbyterians were whiter than white.


The grass is always greener on the other side. Till you get there and realize it’s actually a shade of yellow.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Rom 3.23



Those in positions of power will always find an excuse to attack the Church if so inclined. During the Reformation it was indulgences, and where that one wouldn’t fly the corruprion of the monasteries. In the Early Twentieth Century the Church represented “bougeois morality”. In present day America it is sex abuse scandals.

The liability is entirely a construct. The victims suffered no financial loss, and the Church as an institution wasn’t responsible, or was so marginally responsible as to reduce liability to nothing. However the abuse is held to be worth compensation running into millions of dollars.


Thank you for the link. But again, I realize scandal happens in other churches, but the Catholic Church professes to be more than a mere organization of humans. It claims a supernatural dispensation and guidance. That inclines me to think that, if this is so, it should have some visible effects from that, that set it apart from the other religious organization.


I’m reading a book at the moment which was written by Henry G.Graham The author’s father was a Church of Scotland Minister but Henry Graham became a catholic and then a catholic priest.
In his book"Where we got the Bible"we are told in Chapter X,page 67 of the destruction of all things catholic in Henry VIII’s England.However,it was not just about getting rid of Popery.It was
about grabbing anything that would line their pockets.
Quote from book:-
Listen(if you are not tired of hearing of such atrocities)to the account given by Dom Bede Camm,O.S.B.,in his charming Life of Cardinal Allen,of the outrageous vandalism and hideous barbarities perpetrated at Oxford in those fearful days.
Plenty of scandal and corruption there.


My last post overlapped with yours,Desert.
Our Church teaches the truth and we are guided against error but we are subject to temptation just the same as anyone else.
I can remember a newspaper columnist in our Evening Times some years ago referring to the Catholic Church as an enduring
organization.Not a bad compliment,considering we are in a minority in Scotland.So,we are special.That is why anti-catholics like Loraine Boettner spend so much of their time attacking us instead of explaining their own beliefs,just in case we were
sometimes misunderstanding them.


I think the entire notion that sexual abuse can be reconciled with monetary compensation is ridiculous. And, believe me, I am in wholehearted agreement that the main organizations and figures heading the modern anti-Church “whistle blowers” are in it for the money and for the destruction of the concept of authority in general.

Since people seem to keep understanding me as using just the recent scandals under some misguided notion that the Catholic Church is worse than any other church (in the scandals department)–which I am not–maybe I should ask things in the hypothetical…

Is there any point when The Church could be so corrupt, with endemic actual orders from hierarchy that shroud, enable, and encourage to perpetuate evil, which would justify one to make the judgement that The Church could not possibly be The Body of Christ, or have any supernatural grace guiding it? Even if this question is flawed in itself, please explain why so. I really need help on this. :confused:

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