What about Pedophile Priests?

I can't be Catholic because of pedophile priests.

In the past several years, the Catholic Church has been hit with one after another of sex-abuse scandals. This is a hideous sin, and in priests or Religious (who should be imitating Jesus) it is truly an abomination. These scandals have badly wounded the Church. It must also be admitted that in some cases mistakes have been made by Church leaders in handling the issue. In some cases, the Vatican has had to directly intervene. First of all, celibacy has nothing to do with pedophilia or other sex scandals involving priests. Most pedophiles are married men. We are seeing pedophilia in major institutions everywhere, not just in the Catholic Church. In the USA a few years ago several television evangelists were involved in sex scandals. All of these televangelists were married but nobody blamed these scandals on the institution of marriage. Nobody demanded that because of these scandals Protestant ministers ought to renounce marriage. Just because half of all marriages break up does not mean that we should abolish marriage. If we don't judge marriage by those who break their marriage vows neither should we judge celibacy by those who break their celibacy vows. Comparatively speaking, the Catholic Church does not top the league table in the hall of shame that records clergy sex-abuse cases, yet it is the Catholic Church that receives far more headline news coverage when Catholic priests or Religious are involved than any other religious denomination. [See Fr Benedict Groeschel's An Urgent Appeal video, 2002, grassrootsrenewal.com]. Secondly, scandals in the Church are not an argument against the Catholic claim to be the true Church. Of the 12 Apostles, one betrayed Christ, one denied Him, one refused to believe in His Resurrection, and they all abandoned Him at the Garden of Gethsemani. The Church, being human, will have scandals, but it will last forever because it is also divine. We don't judge the Church by those who break its laws, but by those who truly live up to its teachings (the saints).



* Please note that this text should be read in the context of the whole work and in recognition of the appropriate paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church highlighted in the index.