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The Company One Keeps

June 2, 2020 (322 words)

Just so we’re clear, the Catholic Church is as corrupt as any institution around. There is no denying it. When your organizational chart is filled with flawed human beings, you can hope for the best but should prepare for the worst.

So I’ve never been sure why evidence of such corruption turns certain people away, or justifies others in their outright rejection of the teaching.

It is the unassailable nature of that teaching which has attracted the attention of some of the most intelligent, hardest-working, and selfless men and women who have ever walked the Earth. And not just attracted their attention, but commanded their complete and utter devotion.

It’s fashionable these days to disparage any religious belief as hopelessly naïve. In particular, adherence to or promotion of anything remotely associated with the Catholic tradition comes in for special scorn.

Such is the spirit of our age.

The story of the modern era goes something like this: Having incorrectly determined Christianity is lacking in practical solutions, we long ago adopted rationalism, classical liberalism, and materialism to take its place, and guide our worldly endeavors.

We are convinced all thorny issues can be resolved by applying formulas we can see and touch and empirically prove.

But we threw in the towel much too soon. As the wise man once said: “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried.”

The Christian ethos stills holds the key to every social problem we confront, even if its prescription is daunting and frequently asks the impossible of us. Matthew 5:44, anyone?

This unique culture, replete with challenging beliefs and aspirations, has been built and nourished in its purest form by the Catholic tradition. And by all those intelligent, hard-working, and selfless people who give of themselves to manifest its spirit.

Even if flawed followers and compromised leaders sometimes do a less-than-stellar job representing the supreme truth that tradition proclaims.

Robert J. Cavanaugh, Jr
June 2, 2020

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