The Catholic Church is facing a barrage of criticism due to the unfolding sex abuse scandal involving Cardinal McCarrick and others – even the Pope hasn’t escaped accusations of complicity and it is quite right that these things are brought to public notice and thoroughly investigated. We should ensure the victims of this abuse at the forefront of the enquiries.
But let’s first put things in perspective:
The Catholic Church has 1.2 billion members, of which 410,000 are clergy. The clergy represent just 1.95% of the Church but their actions affect the other 98%.
In 2004, the John Jay Report tabulated a total of 4,392 priests and deacons in the U.S. against whom allegations of sexual abuse had been reported. That is 1% of the clergy or 0.3% of the entire Church.
In the time of Jesus, Judas represented 8% of the clergy when he betrayed Jesus, add Peter who also denied Christ to the equation and it is 16% – and he was the first Pope!
So yes, there is a crisis today, but the Church has survived these before and will continue to do so. Now is not the time to leave the Church. Pray for it, spend time before the Blessed Sacrament and do something positive for your own parish to help it grow. The Church is a force for good in the world and the overwhelming majority of priests and bishops are working hard with the lay faithful to bring the Good News to the world.