Home Page › Forums › Whaddaya Say? › January 2021: Why should I listen to sinful leaders in the Catholic Church? › Reply To: January 2021: Why should I listen to sinful leaders in the Catholic Church?
Whaddaya Say when someone asks, “Why should I listen to sinful leaders in the Catholic Church?”
Below are some of the best answers from our SPSE – Catholic Apologetics Facebook group
I follow the church teachings not teachings of men. Just because someone within the Church is wicked, it doesn’t mean I should let my faith be ruined because of it.
The Bishops in the Catholic Church are the successors of the Apostles. Jesus spent all night praying before he chose His Apostles, and He called Judas, even though He knew he would betray Him (Luke 6:12-16). Leaving the church because of some sinful clergy would be like leaving Jesus because of Judas.
You don’t reject Peter for the sins of Judas. Kinga David was once a murderer and an adulterous man, but he remained God’s chosen one upon which Jesus kingship is founded and the angel Gabriel said the seat upon which Jesus sits is a seat of David.
Israel would worship idols, reject God and insult him, but they remained God’s chosen ones.
Jesus said there would be weeds with the wheat. We’ve had some horrible Popes over the centuries who plotted murders, had babies with women, etc. None of that changes any of the teachings of the Church created by Jesus.
Many turn from Jesus because of a bad experience with religious leaders. Jesus had a bad experience with religious leaders too. He was crucified by them. But, Jesus, speaking of the leaders of the Catholic Church said, “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me” (Luke 10:16).
Our faith is in God; not man. God’s Truth will always prevail. Think of what Peter said to Jesus after the Bread of Life discourse when many of the disciples were leaving him. Jesus asked if they would also leave? Peter answered, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life”. God’s Word is always True; men are fallible; God is not. Thank God for the Church!
Your faith is not between you and the clergy, it is between you and God. Every person ever born is sinful except for The Blessed Virgin. Hold tight to your faith and pray for our clergy.
First, I would empathize: “I hear ya, it’s hard to listen to people moralize when they are themselves immoral.” Then I would use the Socratic method to bring them to the weakness in their position: “Let me ask you, though — who WILL you listen to?” Invariably, that person will be a sinner, too. And a follow-up: “Can someone make a true statement, even though they are a sinner?” And finally, “Wouldn’t it be better then to judge a statement on its own merits, instead of according to the holiness of whoever said it?”
As said in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ex opere operato: the teachings & works of the Church are not effected by the righteousness of the clergy, but by the power of God. God has no choice but to use men for each other’s salvation, but He knows all of us are sinful but He promises to give grace since all of us will be given a gift and talent to be used for our salvation.
Unfortunately, there are sinful leaders in every walk & group in life. But for the Church, DESPITE sinful leaders, the Church has never gone astray in teaching Truth.