I’ve been going nuts over this issue.
I was raised in a secular public school that did everything they can to convince me that every single thing about the Catholic Church in the middle ages was corrupt and rotten to the core.
After growing up and doing my own homework, I firmly believed I was lied to. Since I don’t really know what, if anything, my junior high school was actually correct in, I’ve reached a point where I am starting to think that Church in truth was not corrupt at all. Is this unreasonable to conclude?
Aside from evaluating specific events and the surrounding circumstances, I base my conclusion on a couple things. They’ll probably sound stupid, but:
The middle-ages were closer in chronology to the time of Christ. There was less time for the truth to erode, and less time for heresy and corruption to get out of hand within 1000 years than within 2000 years.
Society overall back then was based almost entirely on Christianity. In that era, every single detail of these people’s lives revolved around God and Christ. In the post-modern era, God is more or less something people only think about on Sundays, and those are considered the devoutly religious people by the mainstream. What in the world makes the typical post-modern Catholic think they know better than the people who lived 1000 years ago?
So then this follows up to my next questoin, if indeed the Church wasn’t corrupt in any way in the past, could it be corrupt now or in the future?
I read on this forum that the Pope will never be evil or the antichrist because of Matthew 16:18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” But the Pope can still certainly be wrong about things, correct? To what extent can he be wrong? What about bishops? Can bishops ever be fully evil?
The biggest question I have, is it ever possible that the Church (vatican, clergy) can get so misled and astray from the truth that we will be required to leave it if we want to truly follow the Lord? Or is She so safe and protected that we will just always be able to obey Her no questions asked?