- January 28, 2021 at 12:42 pm #10171Dennis KowalinskiParticipant
What do I say to my doctor who said, “Why should I listen to sinful people and sinful leaders in Catholic church?” He was referring to all the sex scandels. He didn’t trust them anymore.
- February 24, 2021 at 10:58 am #10936Robert WilsonParticipant
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.
- February 5, 2021 at 12:43 pm #10477Dan MarcumParticipant
Good question! It reminds me of some statements by Jesus:
The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. (Matthew 23:2-3)
If [a man] refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:17-18)
The reason I listen to sinful people is because the Bible says to. God’s plan allows for wicked men — wolves in sheep’s clothing — to control the positions of power. Sometimes the Church gets saintly leaders as a special gift from God. But corruption, scandal, and even heresy among Church leaders is pretty common too, even among the Church’s leadership.
Scripture foretells that some Church leaders will give bad examples. It also tells us how to react, and it is not by leaving the Church. The only way to heal the Body is to beg for God’s grace as a member of His Body. “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ … If one member suffers, all suffer together.” (1 Cor. 12:21-26)
So let’s not abandon the Body of Christ or ignore its leaders, let’s work together to heal the Body and pray for its leaders!
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