Humanity will fail us. But God never will.
This is an understanding my parents instilled in me as a young girl. The pain we can experience from people who we should be able to trust can inflict some of the deepest wounds. The injustices we experience in life can keep us from growing and bring permanent resentments, isolation, separation, and even despair. When betrayal or disloyalty or sexual abuse occur in a family and among its most trusted members, the pain is unthinkable. Unimaginable. Unnatural. Not of God.
So why do I still love the Catholic Church in this time of crisis? As a mainstream journalist, I covered the sex abuse sandal as it was unfolding with Boston as the epicenter. Later I was spokeswoman for the Diocese of Palm Beach during an international embezzlement case. I wasn’t “abused” by a priest, but the details of abuse were like a tidal wave coming against my faith. How could these things be? I can’t explain the whys.
My love for the Catholic Church isn’t thanks to a man (priest) or a nun (woman). Rather, as a daughter of God, Jesus receives me again and again at the foot of Calvary and transforms me in his love. He permits me to be present at Calvary as his body is broken and his blood is poured out on the altar. He receives me again and again in the confessional and makes me a new creation when I fall short and am anything less than what he created me to be.
The Catholic Church is the Church Jesus founded. I believe the same Herod who pursued the infant Jesus thousands of years ago—resulting in a terrible slaughter of innocent children— is the same Herod-like demon that wants to destroy the Catholic priesthood.
The bishop and priest are not God. They are men, vessels through which we receive and encounter him. I deplore the fact that so many priests and bishops have failed us in their example to be true witnesses of Christ. We have to pray for an ongoing purification of the Church, healing for victims… and for those who may want to leave the sacramental life of the Church. We have to pray for our priests and religious, because the enemy wants to destroy them. We have to pray for each other, the laity, to have roots of faith that go down deep.
Humanity will fail us, but God never will. And that’s why I am still Catholic.
by Alexis Walkenstein.
Alexis, an Emmy award-winning journalist turned public relations professional working to evangelize the culture with positive media, compiled the recently released title Fulton J. Sheen.