Church will sur­vive

Sun.Star Pampanga - - STORIES! -

PRES­I­DENT Duterte was prob ably 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.

I am a Catholic and my faith tran­scends ac­tions that are merely hu­man. Lead­ers through­out the cen­turies have worked for or have been pre­dict­ing the Catholic Church’s demise. That didn’t hap­pen be­cause the true faith­ful far out­num­ber those whose faith is as shal­low as the pud­dle on the street after a driz­zle. Or why did our very own Pe­dro Calung­sod sac­ri­fice ev­ery­thing for his be­lief in an un­seen God?

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.

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