As has been reported in various stories through the past couple of weeks, it seems to be quite clear that the Roman Curia, the collection of Cardinals, Bishops, and others who oversee the governance of the Catholic Church from the Vatican, is rife with corruption. Many have been shocked/surprised by the developments but I'm not.
Click here if you'd like to read a very thorough report of the wreckage from Italian journalist Sandro Magister.
First a question - does ordination to the priesthood/bishop ensure holiness or promise to do so? NO!!!
Question 2: does ordination impart a character on that person's soul that deserves our respect? Yes.
Question 3: does that respect extend to someone who is a priest/bishop who is in the midst of a scandal and is not remorseful for their actions? We still acknowledge the dignity of the OFFICE they hold, but they do not deserve any special treatment or protection or anything else, and if a priest commits a crime it should be the same sentence as anyone else, and if a priest/bishop has done something criminal or sinful, he should be forbidden from celebrating the sacraments until sufficient and satisfactory penance is done.
These reports are certainly sad. Should they shake our faith in the Church...nope.
If you were the Devil, who would you try to lead astray desperately --- the clergy and people who, rightly or wrongly, serve, at least in most people's minds, as the public face of the Catholic Church?
If you were the Devil, wouldn't you try everything you could to get a priest/bishop/cardinal to commit some serious sin? As a professor in the seminary once noted, there is a GIGANTICALLY different sound to "Dave the plumber committed a crime" and "Dave the priest committed a crime." The difference is the scandal the latter causes - it is damaging and harmful precisely because some people WILL leave the Church because of the actions of some of these Cardinals and bureaucrats.
Again, I'm saddened by all this, but my faith isn't shaken here in the least - heck some popes of the past have had concubines and fathered children...compared to situations like that in the past, the types of things going on in the Vatican today are pretty darn mild.
We pray for Pope Benedict, we pray for those who are being tempted to sin, and, it appears, have given in to that temptation.
All of this is further confirmation that those who work for the Church are not the Church, that ordination does not prevent a person from sinning, and that there will likely always be, on this side of the veil, weak men who, despite their ordination, are distracted by the glamor of evil.
Sad - yes
Surprised - no
My Catholic Faith affected by this incident - no