Letter from Rome: The Persistent Scandal of the Church

Pope Francis meets migrants at the apostolic nunciature in Nicosia, Cyprus, on December 3. (Photo: AFP / Vatican Media)

The Church throughout the world is tormented by it. And it is not only Roman Catholicism, but the one universal Church of Jesus Christ, of which Rome is only one component, important as it is.

All of the various branches, communities, or denominations of world Christianity are struck by some type of scandal or another. They always have been.

Catholics are still ashamed and disgusted by the scale of historic (and still ongoing) cases of clerical sexual abuse and the mismanagement (even cover-up) of these cases by some bishops.

Our sisters and brothers from the Orthodox and Reformed communities have also had to deal with their own abuse scandals. And all parts of the Christian Church have been ravaged from time to time, along with other scandals, especially those related to sex, money, and even authoritarianism.

And whenever these stumbling blocks reveal themselves, there are those of the People of God – both the clergy and the laity – who find it too difficult or painful to stay in the Church or at least in their particular part.

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