Q. 1. I have something that is bothering me to the point that it is destroying my faith. For years, I have been visiting a website called spiritdaily.com by the author Michael Brown. This particular website appears to enjoy reporting every Catholic scandal that it can find anywhere in the world. It constantly reports scandal after scandal. While I realize that these scandals are a very small percentage of the priest population, Michael Brown makes it appear as if every priest is a pervert, or a thief, or secretly married, and the list goes on. How does one deal with this?
A. 1. My first advise to you is to no longer visit a website such as this. Promoting scandals is not the Catholic way of doing things."
Allow me to quote the wisdom of Father Gerard Desrochers, redemptorist, in his book "Christian Answers to Your Questions"; Volume 2:
"People who denounce doctrinal doctrinal errors and moral deviations can be subconscious enemies of the Church. In wishing to eradicate the evil, they risk destroying the good; they threaten the overall unity and peace of the Church; they divide the Church and sow seeds of suspicion. They should leave the preservation of faith and good morals to those who are appointed and qualified to see to it. Priests are responsible to their bishop; the bishops work in the Church together with the Holy Father. Let us not become super-priests or super-bishops, much less super-popes." (End of quote)
Is a priest disobeying the authentic teachings of the Church or behaving immorally? Voice your concern to his bishop or religious superior. Let them deal with the matter. For they have been appointed by God to do so.
Let us not forget the words of Jesus, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged." [Matthew 7:1] Saint Paul reminds us, "You judge by human standards." [John 8:15] There are many who judge the Catholic priests by their preconceived opinions and prejudices. Are they really promoting the Catholic faith? Or is it all about making money by selling scandalous books?
Always remember, "There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you, who are you to judge your neighbor?" [James 4:12] "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." [Romans 2:1] "You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat." [Romans 14:10]
,br> In the Old Testament, you read, "But, O LORD Almighty, you who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have committed my cause." [Jeremiah 11:20] Therefore, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." [Luke 6:37]