The Greater Peril: The Loss of Religious Freedom or the Loss of Religion? (Part 4)
The Catholic Church has stood more than two millennia. Were it to ‘fall’ it would have happened long ago suffering as it did numerous schisms and scandals especially those in the ecclesial offices of the Church. Ordinary logic could make the case that the Church should have disbanded except for Christ’s promise that the “gates of hell would not prevail against it” (Matthew 16, 18)and that Christ “would remain” in the Church ” to the end of time.” (Matthew 28,20). The first Pope denied Christ yet Jesus assured Peter, “Simon, Simon . . . Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
The Catholic Church as in other times chastened by its many scandals will in the end come through today’s ordeals a stronger church. Where some in the Church have unlawfully concealed sexual abuses among the clergy these are now coming more into the light by a wounded and penitent Church but not expired and alive in the body of Christ who “died . . . once for all” for our sins. (Romans 6:10). Healing will come not in press releases but in a spirit of contrition and reform, a “sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:17).