From Fr Dwight Longenecker’s article “Help, I’m Sinking in the Quicksand of Scandal‘:
When you stop again and think again, why did you expect anything else, and furthermore, wouldn’t you be suspicious of a church which wasn’t riddled with sin and populated by sinners? Have you ever been involved with one of those creepy religious communities (and I’ve know both Protestant and Catholic versions) where everyone is smiling all the time and pious 24/7 and always sweet and holy? Don’t such communities actually give you the creeps? They do me.
I love the church. I love the faithful people. I love the triumphs. I love the tragedies because I see in all these things we are more than conquerors. I see in all these things God’s mysterious hand of providence at work. This is the lesson from the Old Testament–that God is working his way out in the world not only despite the human frailties and failures but through them. Yep. He doesn’t just steer around them, he uses them to accomplish his final purpose.
Remember that all is harvest. He will use even the sin to accomplish salvation. Isn’t that what a crucifix says? Here was history’s darkest deed. Here was mankind’s most terrible action–they killed their own savior, and through that action God saved the world.
If he can do that, then I believe his promise that he will never forsake his church and that even all the hordes of the underworld, howling from the gates of hell shall not prevail against her.