It’s not a surprise in recent news that the Catholic Church is mired in a deep, worldwide crisis. Perhaps what makes this crisis even more difficult and disgusting is that it includes the abuse and exploitation of young children. More than likely, the parents and guardians of these children and young adults assumed that they would be safe within the parish walls. Yet, that trust was broken, and often beyond repair.
For those of us who were not exploited by those in the Church hierarchy, it can be so easy to say, “Just stay with the Church! After all, you don’t leave Jesus because of Judas.” Yet, to the parents whose child has been abused or to the middle aged woman starting to grapple with what really happened to her – these words often sound flippant and cold. Honestly, for those who have left Catholicism for another Christian tradition – or nothing at all – I don’t blame them. It’s obliterating to experience abuse at the hands of men, and an institution, you were told is the body of Christ on earth. It’s hard to reconcile abuse with a message of love every Sunday morning.
Yet, despite all of the trauma and lies, many Catholics are choosing to stay with the Church. I asked my Twitter followers why they choose to stick with Catholicism, despite the rise of recent allegations and unearthed coverups. Here are a few responses I received:
And an ever-important reason:
Are these responses earth-shattering or anything new? No. But, these are real convictions from the depths of the heart. Catholicism, in all of her brokenness, provides healing and hope for the future. If you’re thinking of leaving the Church, I pray that you will consider the resilience of the Bride: the ability to withstand hell and its rotting gates.
God is always with us, and He will never leave you. The Church needs you more now than ever.