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Sin and Yang


From a Good Friday reflection by a committed Catholic:

The question has come my way several times in the past week: "How do you maintain your faith in light of news stories that bring light to the dark places that exist within your church?"

When have darkness and light been anything but co-existent? How do we recognize either without the other?

The darkness within my church is real, and it has too often gone unaddressed. The light within my church is also real, and has too often gone unappreciated. A small minority has sinned, gravely, against too many. Another minority has assisted or saved the lives of millions.

It seems like everyone is aware of evil perpetrated by Catholic clergy. The pedophile Priest is a stereotype. We never mention the work of Catholic Aid, Catholic Charities, or Catholic Relief Services. Or right in the 55418, Catholic Eldercare. Talking of these organizations is taken as a cue for more priest jokes.

What the critics do not seem to appreciate is that the aid groups are working in the image of Jesus, while the pedophiles are acting in contradiction of Christ and His teachings.

It is true that no amount of poverty relief can absolve or excuse a child molester. It must also be true that no child molester can nullify the magnificent charity performed by the Catholic faithful.

That committed Catholic, The Anchoress, wrote the above reflection for NPR. She remarks on the experience at her own blog:

[T]he comments at NPR are interesting and a little amusing, to me. Scorn is so incredibly simple and simplistic, and faith is so incredibly hard, and yet somehow the “world” thinks it’s the other way around – that my faith is simplistic and unthinking, but scornful kneejerkism is profound and deep.

As I am fond of saying, it’s not the sinners the world is afraid of—it’s the saints.