Those Bad Catholics
Is this a good reason not be a Catholic and to Reject the Catholic Church?
The biggest problem in the Catholic Church right now is Catholics who do not live out their faith as they should. We see examples of this in the clergy and with the laity.
How many times have we had a non-catholic friend tell us that all the Catholics they know drink, swear, get drunk, don't go to church, don't read the Bible, and so on and so on. This friend often goes on to say that these catholics cannot be Christians because they do these things. Unfortunately many non-catholics look at the Catholic Church through the lens of these bad catholics and they judge the Catholic Church by the sins of it's members. While many of the above actions may sometimes be true it's not fair to judge the whole Catholic Church because there are some Catholic's who fall short of what the Church teaches. After all the Catholic Church does not promote these bad actions or act as if they are not sinful. Sin is sin no matter who commits it and weare all guilty of it at some point in our lives. If we are really honest about it there are many non-catholics who do these same bad actions. It would never be fair to say that every member of the (insert any church denomination name here) church is not really a Christian because of the sins of one or more of it's members.
We should always remember that Christ's Church is not a sanctuary for Saints, but it is a hospital for sinners. Christ did not die on a cross for our sins so that only the Saints can be saved. It is also very clear from the Bible that even the first 12 apostles who Jesus chose were sinners. Jesus did not reject these men even though he knew they were sinners. After all Peter denied Christ three times, Judas betrayed him, and Thomas doubted the resurrection, but they were still chosen to be apostles. So, while it is clear that all Christians should strive to be united with Christ we should never be scandalized when other Christians fall into sin. Instead, we should always strive to keep sin out of our lives and we should always pray that sinners will be reconciled to Christ and will become the best Christian that they can.
As Catholics we should strive daily to be a better Catholic and to always follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, which are the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Here's are some Bible verses which touch on the subject of "Bad Catholics":
“that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own." (Phil 3: 10-11) St. Paul is aware of his sinful ways.
Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27) St. Paul is aware of his sinful ways.
“If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.” ( 1 Jan 5:16-17)
“Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off.” (Rom 11:22)
"And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times." (Luke 22:61)
"Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him." (Matt 10:4)
"But there are some of you that do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him." (John 6:64 & 71)
“The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22)
“Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:17-21) Christ left us the ministry of reconciliation (sacrament of confession) because we are all sinners.
“And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery” (Eph 5:18) Drunkenness is the sin here not
drinking the wine.
“But I say to you, do not swear at all” (Mt 5:34)
“Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine...” (1 Tim 3:8, )
Obviously it is okay to drink wine,but we must not be addicted to "much" wine.
“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” (1 Tim 4:4)
“No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” (1 Tim 5:23) Timothy is told to drink a little wine.
“Hear and understand, not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth…” (Matthew 15:10-11)
“For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man has come eating and drinking; and you say, 'Behold, a glutton and a drunkard...” (Luke 7:33-34)
Concerning the latest scandals of the Catholic Church: Recently the media has focused much attention on the current and past sex scandals that have occurred within the Catholic Church here in the United States as well as overseas. Because of this attention we have seen many people (catholics included) condemn and judge the entire Catholic Church and it's clergy. While we should never ignore these acts as if they did not occur we should always remember that the Catholic Church did not condone them. Even the few Bishops and priests who ignored these acts were obviously acting against the teachings of the Catholic Church. Yes, these actions were horrible, but we can apply the same reasoning with regards to these sins as other sins and that is that we are all sinners and we must all seek forgiveness. Again, it's unfair to judge the Catholic Church and it's clergy because of the sins of some of its members. Fortunately, the Catholic Church under the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI is taking a very strict and pro-active approach to correcting this problem. As Catholics, we should always remember to pray for the victims as well as the sinners themselves.
Lastly, it should be mentioned that the sex abuse which has occurred within the Catholic Church is at a much lower percentage than even the public school system as well as other Christian denominations. Not to downplay the seriousness of these acts, but the media has consistently chosen to attack the Catholic Church while ignoring the other abusers. Why?