What is this saying?


My RCIA director gave me a paper with an excerpt from the book “Why Catholic?” by Fr. Andrew Greeley. She said it reminded her of something I would appreciate. I know Fr. Greeley is a little off, but I do not understand if what I was given is ok or not, here it is:

"The reader can make up his own litany of injuries the Catholic Church has done to him. I do not care how horrendous that litany may be, it does not provide a valid execuse for disengaging from the Catholic Christian heritage.

Indeed, it is irrelevant. I attempt no justification and offer no execuse for what the Church may have done to you: I simply assert that failures of Christians and failures of Christian leasership have nothing to do with the validity of the Catholic Chrsitian heritage. If you use those failures as an excuse for not facing the essential religious demands of the Catholic Christain heritage, you are engaged in an intellectually dishonest cop-out. The question is not whether the Catholic leadership is enlightened but whether Catholicism is true. A whole College of Cardinals filled with psycopathic tyrants provides no answer one way or another to that question.

Search for the perfect church if you will; when you find it, join it, and realize that on that day it becomes less than perfect".



Well, Fr. Greeley put it rather bluntly, but he is right, in this instance. All he is saying is that the bishops, priests, deacons, including the pope are not impeccable (without sin), a thing the Church has never claimed for any of her clergy. So, no matter how bad any of them, or all of them might be, the truths of the Catholic Church remain the same and unalterable.

He’s addressing people who have had some kind of personal disappointment with a clergyman and is saying that such experiences are not a good excuse for leaving the Church because no matter what other Christian communion they might join they are going to find that their clergy aren’t any more perfect than the Catholic ones they left behind. Does that help?


I may have problems with Fr. Greeley in other areas, but in this he is right on. I might snip this and use it in another thread where someone is using the sex scandals to question the validity of the Church…


Consider what Jesus told his disciples in regards to the religious leaders of his time. - From Matthew chapter 23

"The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. "
Then Jesus unloads a long list of criticisms of those leaders.

It seems that historical heritage does count for something even though the people in those positions of leadership are far from perfect.




DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.