Is the Church perfect? Sure, we have sinners just like everyone else, but I mean the Church itself. And question #2: Why do we say the Church is “perfect in all its members?”
The Catholic Church was established by God – Jesus the Christ, and therefore, since God is perfect and all-knowing, His Church “is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy” [Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, art 39].
PRETERNATURAL GIFTS.* Favors granted by God above and beyond the powers or capacities of the nature that receives them but not beyond those of all created nature. Such gifts perfect nature but do not carry it beyond the limits of created nature. They include three great privileges to which human beings have no title – infused knowledge, absence of concupiscence, and bodily immortality. Adam and Eve possessed these gifts before the Fall. [Fr John A Hardon, S.J.]
FALLEN NATURE. Human nature since the fall of Adam. It is a nature that lacks the right balance it had originally. It is a wounded but not perverted nature. Since the fall, man has a built-in bias away from what is morally good and toward what is wrong. He is weakened in his ability to know the truth and to want the truly good. With the help of grace, however, he can overcome these natural tendencies and become sanctified in the process. [Fr John A Hardon, S.J.]
So the reality is that it is people in the Church who may do bad things. So, in *First Things *(November 1997), Harvard Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon wrote that “the Pope himself has acknowledged the mistakes and sins of Christians in connection with, among other things, the Crusades, the Inquisition, persecution of the Jews, religious wars, Galileo, and the treatment of women. Thus, though the Pope himself is careful to speak of sin or error on the part of the Church’s members or representatives, rather than the Church in its fullness, that important theological distinction is almost always lost in the transmission.”
Christ’s Church is unfailingly holy. People, including popes, are judged by God. We are commanded to judge actions, speech, writing against truth.