Keeping the faith in church leadership among scandals

Reading some of the things related to the scandal with Cardinal McCarrick has really disturbed me. I dislike even writing this, but it’s left me wondering who else in church leadership could be saying one thing in public and in private living very differently to say the least, not living out their vow of celibacy. Accountability needs to be pursued for anyone that committed abuse, or covered up abuse within the Church.

How do i keep the faith and trust in church leadership in the face of such dark scandal? I can’t imagine that every priest, Bishop etc. has committed or covered up abuse, and that there are in fact good and decent churchmen out there, but the McCarrick scandal among others, has put a sense of doubt in my heart about those within church leadership and I want to overcome that.

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There has always been scandal and corruption in the church. It has reached every corner of it. But, because of divine intervention, the church as a whole is not lead astray. Each of us, including clergy will be held accountable for our sins. Jesus promised that the gates of hell will not lead the church astray. This is not to say that individuals will not choose this for themselves. The heinous acts upon children by clergy, and any adult in power, absolutely should be prosecuted to the highest degree. The church will continue regardless of these sick individuals. Look to the saints, look to the holy men and women who are doing their best to live God’s will. They are found in every church, in every country, in every community. Feed your faith with good news.


“leadership” can fail; as in the case of “cardinal” McCarrick; it can fail catastrophically

i am very hurt about this


There’s been a percentage of corrupt leaders in the Church for centuries. It’s not a new thing invented by McCarrick and others in the past few years. You could go back just in the last 100 years of US history and find a couple of archbishops whose actions were really questionable. (And you could also find some whose actions were really saintly and good.)

God protects His Church and the vast majority of bishops, archbishops, cardinals are good men doing the best they can.

Also, and this may be hard to accept, just because a person commits sins, even serious sins, doesn’t mean that he might not have also done good things in his life or that he said/ did nothing of value. People aren’t “totally good” or “totally bad”, they fall on a spectrum and no one is without sin.

I personally find this McCarrick business sad, but largely irrelevant at this point because the man has been out of office for over a decade. He’s just another symbol of the Church coverup of sexual abuse, which had been going on for a really long time and which I heard about way back in the 90s. I would certainly hope the Church is more cautious today and since we seem to see much more swift legal action now in the event of an accusation, it seems likely that things have changed.

Instead of worrying about what leaders are doing, ask yourself what you yourself can do to be a better person and how you yourself can help the Church. Even if you just pray for the Church and its leaders, that’s a positive action.

You could also focus instead on thos Church leaders who are saints or on the path. Such as Saint John Neumann (who was Archbishop of Philadelphia), Venerable Archbishop Sheen, and Servant of God Terence Cardinal Cooke. It’s highly unlikely that any of them did anything questionable. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be a saint or have a sainthood cause today. I find it interesting that Sheen had his ups and downs with Cardinal Spellman who definitely had some questionable aspects to his life, so you had good and not-so-good co-existing right in the same area of church leadership at the same time.


thanks for that. this has been a dificult pill to swallow. your post helped me…


Wrong answer. Mccarrick is most likely a criminal, and was covered up for years by his fellow bishops in the US and Rome. Sweeping this under the rug is what he and his accomplices want.


For a long time there have been people targeted with light among the darkness, and dark among the light.

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Ask yourself, how many scandals, and when. The current problem with the “scandals” in the church occurred on an average, 30 years ago, and the number of “Offenders” is relatively minor when you consider the number of priests and bishops who have faithfully served the church. STOP listening to the popular media, much of it is owned and run by people who are enemies of the church, who love to scream about the scandals, but not when it is learned that the offense they so love, was really relatively minor.

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The big picture is one of the foremost leaders of the church in the US raped men and children for years, and many of his fellow bishops knew.


Exactly what I am talking about. McCarrick’s accusers have said that he did not engage in anything more than some physical contact, nothing below the belt so to speak. But the media won’t tell you that, and Dca is all in on how terrible the modern day church is. McCarrick’s deeds were done 20 years ago. And he was one cardinal out of how many cardinals in the United States through his tenure? One out of 20, 30, 40. 2 or 3%?
Blaming the Catholic clergy for the misdeeds of one man, thirty years ago is like blaming the current residents of Bonn, Germany for the crimes of Hitler. Was it terrible, yes, was it 30, 50, 60 years ago, yes.

The Church has survived far, far worse scandals and attacks - both from without and within. Anti-popes, lax clergy, corruption, rampant and widespread heresies, the great schism, Saracen invasions, Ottoman Turk attacks, numerous heresies, including the Arian heresy for 400-500 years, Protestantism for 500 years, and many others.

The Church is indefectible; of divine institution. If it was not, it would have collapsed upon itself at many points in its 2,000 year history. Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen has words of comfort for us all:

“If I were not a Catholic…
…and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for
the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other
words, I would look for the Church which the world hated. My reason for
doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the
world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in
the flesh. If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that
does not get along with the world. Look for the Church that is hated by
the world as Christ was hated by the world. Look for the Church that is
accused of being behind the times, as our Lord was accused of being
ignorant and never having learned. Look for the Church which men sneer
at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came
from Nazareth. Look for the Church which is accused of having a devil,
as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of
Devils. Look for the Church which, in seasons of bigotry, men say must
be destroyed in the name of God as men crucified Christ and thought they
had done a service to God. Look for the Church which the world rejects
because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because He
called Himself the Truth. Look for the Church which is rejected by the
world as Our Lord was rejected by men. Look for the Church which amid
the confusions of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love
Christ, and respect its Voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the
suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of
the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly it is other
worldly. since it is other-worldly, it is infinitely loved and
infinitely hated as was Christ Himself. But only that which is Divine
can be infinitely hated and infinitely loved.
Therefore the Church is Divine.”


Having someone force you to watch or help them masturbate is sexual assault.


It’s not the account I’ve read, don’t know the validity of the accuser, and will not only pass no judgment on your statement, but won’t take this any further. Think the church needs to handle this itself. Not going to go down that road.

When God is judged by the worst sinner…

People are capable of sin. Even church people.

It’s been front page news all over the USA and world. I have no idea how you think it’s being “swept under the rug” or how you read my post that way. Unless you read it in 5 seconds, didn’t see enough frothing at the mouth and yelled “Wrong!” like a John McLaughlin.

You just sound silly to me. Bye now

Some few may fail and fall but think of the MANY MANY MANY holy devout men and women religious who devote their entire lives to serving the Lord as a Consecrated Religious. They are the ones we never hear about but they are the ones who keep our Catholic Church alive and going well each day.


There was a sex abuse scandal within my own diocese at the hands of my own parish priest. He was eventually defrocked. I was pretty horrified when I found out, but I only pray that the Church and its leadership learns from it so that it ideally won’t happen again, or at the very least be handled better in the future.

There are a lot of leaders in the church that I’ve been unhappy with, however the sacraments are still there and our messy people will never change that.

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Part of today’s readings below. I personally believe there will hardly be any priests, bishops, cardinals or popes saved. When you damage the soul of an innocent…there is hell to pay. It is indefensible.

Reading 1 JER 23:1-6
Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the LORD. Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds. I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have driven them and bring them back to their meadow; there they shall increase and multiply. I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble; and none shall be missing, says the LORD.


The leadership is Christ, never forget that. They are men, sinners, they just have extra graces to help them in their work, which is more of a scandal for them.

Trust in Christ, leave it all to Him, you don’t have to worry about the “leadership”. Treat them as you would anyone else in that situation, but with respect of course.


Remember the movie the 10 Commandments with Charleton Heaston? Do you remember the scene where he comes to the burning bush and drops his head to the ground, removes his shoes? When you come into the church, put this image in your mind. This is where we come. The burning bush, the fiery furnace. We do not have control over the wolves who have come in to take the sheep, especially things that went on decades ago. What we need to do is come before this amazing moment in time, this holy ground, and bring our offering, bring our joys and sorrows for the conversion of sinners. Have a time of sorrow, and move forward again and put our hands back on the plow. Do not allow your thoughts to remain on others’ sins in the past. Right now we need saints to be focused.

We have a mission. It’s like walking along side Jesus as he carries his cross. There are crowds, there are people, there’s yelling. Betrayed by one of his own, abandoned by his closest. Stay close to his side. Stay focused on the task that is yours and don’t give another minute to ‘why isn’t Peter here? where are the other guys?’ They will have to give an account, and so will we. Move on from this and be the light in this darkness. The world needs us more than 30 years ago.

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