Why should a Protestant like me convert and join the Catholic church, given the current corruption that appears to reach all the way to the top?
(This is not an idle question. I was ready to call a priest and learn more, just before the recent scandal broke.)
I get it. I really do. I am a convert and those times when I came into the Church were also troubling. They have been for a while. As a matter of fact, there has been controversy swirling in and around the Church since the moment Our Lord’s feet disappeared into the heavens at his Ascension.
First, remember that the Church was founded for sinners. Therefore, let’s not be surprised when we find that the Church is filled with sinners, at every level.
Second, remember that the Devil hates the Church. The Enemy attacks relentlessly. It is a good strategy to strike high, strike the shepherds so that the sheep will scatter. It should shock us but not at all surprise us that there are corrupt clergy and lay people in the Church at every level. The attacks on the Church are, themselves, proofs that she is who she says she is.
Third, the fact that there is corruption or incompetence in the Church, and that the Church has always prevailed and moved forward in the Lord’s mission is a sign that this, the Catholic Church, truly is the Church that Christ founded. Left to us, we would destroy it. The continuance of the Church demonstrates God’s favor and grace and protection, even from us.
There is no better place to be than in the Church that Christ Himself founded. The faults of individuals disgust and demoralize from time to time, but they are not “the Church”. The Church is, truly, the spotless bride of Christ. God’s love for us is so great that He entrusts His Church to us little sinful mortals as we muddle along.
If you believe in Christ’s promises and in the Church true claims – as they really are, and not at the fools, libs, modernists, liars and confused distort them for their worldly objectives – then there is no where else that we can be. We must be Catholics in the Catholic Church. And if we, knowing the claims of the Church and Christ’s promises, knowing that this is Christ’s Church, fail to enter her embrace or determine to leave it, we put our salvation in peril, because, in rejecting the truth, we reject our Lord Himself.
Great spiritual gain (membership in the Church) comes at a cost. There is always a cost. For some it is giving up a known community. For others it is giving up comfort. For others it is giving up customs or other matters. There is always a cost.
The benefits, however, are abundant, if not always immediately comfortable.
Crises come and go. The Catholic Church was founded by Christ. And, given that truth, there is no place else we can be.