Jose asked:

My Catholic friend attends a Baptist church now because he has a problem with the priests' sex abuse scandal.

Patrick Madrid replied:

"... If we didn't expect better, if we didn't expect a high level of good behavior from priests then this would not be shocking. This would not be as traumatic as it has been. But the fact that we look at priests and recognize that they are called to a higher standard that's what makes this so jarring and so terrible.

Obviously we're not even talking about how terrible it is for the victims, that goes without saying. But I'm just saying in terms of people's reaction to this. The fact that we are so boggled by this and so deeply scandalized I think that's in itself a kind of signpost that's pointing toward the fact that these men did not live according to the teachings of the Church so why do we blame the Church? Why do we blame the teachings? Why do we blame the Church itself for the failure of an individual Christian to live up to those standards?

That's where there's a logical disconnect to say you didn't live up to those high standards therefore those standards stink. You didn't obey those doctrines, which really shocks me that you didn't obey them, therefore those doctrines stink. That doesn't make any sense.

The Catholic church is either the one true Church or it's not. And that has to be evaluated on the merits of what it teaches and what it claims to be. It doesn't mean that because you've got a priest who is doing something bad that that in any way can invalidate, or prove one way or the other. It doesn't prove or invalidate anything, it just shows that there is a member of the Church that didn't live up to the teachings of the Church.

...If you do a survey of the twelve apostles, handpicked by Jesus Christ, what you'll see in the gospels is that one of them was his betrayer, who betrayed him for money, that was Judas. One of them denied him three times under oath, once that was Peter. All of them, with the exception of Saint John ran away from him. They abandoned him in his hour of need. In other parts of the gospels we see other things that these apostles were doing that Jesus had to rebuke them for. To use your friend's logic then we would say I'm not going to follow Jesus any more because his apostles were doing bad things ... That doesn't make any sense. If you take that approach with him, coupled with that book Shaken by Scandals, I think you're going to have a chance at success in getting him to see this."

Source material:

Shaken by Scandals: Catholics Speak Out about Priests' Sexual Abuse by Paul Thigpen


© 2013 Immaculate Heart Catholic Radio

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Show air date: October 28, 2013

Question appeared in show: 35:29

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