Church will survive
President Duterte was probably joking when he said that the Catholic Church would be gone in 25 years because of sexual abuses committed by some priests worldwide. Or at least that is what logic would lead me to believe considering that Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo had claimed that the President was also joking when he told drug addicts to kill members of the clergy. I do really hope he was merely joking.
The Catholic Church is not about the clergy but is about God. When you lose faith in the church just because of the wrongdoings of priests, then you probably do not deserve to be a Catholic because you missed the point badly. First, you have a muddled understanding of what a church is and second, you are not objective. Either way, that makes you less deserving of the faith.
The wrongdoings of some priests are but very tiny spots on a white sheet of paper. Critics who focus on those spots are more likely to forget the vast spaces of white around these. More than that, they lose sight of the paper’s existence altogether. And this: Find me a very harsh critic of the Catholic Church and I will show one who has never been a Catholic in belief and in practice.
When I hear about priests accused of being sexual predators, I remember the many other members of the clergy who became martyrs for their faith or lived their whole lives in the genuine service of the faithful. That’s why I have never been disillusioned by those reports of sexual abuses committed by priests. I know that somewhere out there other members of the clergy are persevering under the most trying of circumstances.
The President himself claimed a priest molested him when he was a child. If he was not joking, he must have forgotten the priests who were killed in Mindanao and who persevered in attending to the needs of the faithful there, especially in places where Catholics are the minority. Yet every time a priest is killed there, another willingly comes to replace him. That is faith. That is what belief in a true God is about.
Some Catholic priests succumbed to unspeakable horrors in Mindanao for their humanitarian deeds. They were not merely shot, they were mutilated. Imagine a scene wherein a killer would eat the splattered brain of a victim. Priests who survived the mission may have done so but the scars especially on their psyche will hound them forever.
And because of them the Catholic Church will survive. Their continuing acts are what make our faith and the Catholic Church sturdy.