Sometimes people wonder how Catholics can keep on being Catholic when some Catholic leaders aren't very good people. I think there's some confusion as to why someone would be Catholic to begin with wrapped up in that thought. I'm not Catholic because I like the leaders. I don't go to Mass every Sunday because my priest is a charismatic speaker who gets and holds my attention, or is so holy I feel I need to follow him. I'm not loyal to my bishop because I've decided he's a really smart man who could teach me a lot. I'm Catholic because I believe this is the very church Jesus Christ Himself intended to found through Peter and the rest of the apostles.
When we base our church choice on personalities, or on the perceived moral goodness of the leader, then we set ourselves up for disappointment when those same leaders make mistakes (large or small). If we stop believing what we believe because a leader who claimed to believe the same thing also happens to turn out to be a sinner, then we had placed our trust in that leader instead of our faith.
Is it bad that some leaders are such horrible people? Of course. But that's actually irrelevant to the question. Why be Catholic? Because I believe it is what Jesus wants. And that's all we're supposed to care about - what Jesus wants. Every group will have sinners because all of us are sinners.
Last month, an atheist blogger posted this piece about the Catholic Church. Catholic-bashers have embellished the truth about abuse in Catholic institutions. It's time to put the record straight. The world would hate God's church, and it should surprise no one that the media has had so much to say. I've said it before: I think the media is Satan's PR department.
So as we enter into the media frenzy that will be the next Pope, try to remember A) the media is against us and B) all that matters is that God's will be done.
(I actually do like my priest and my bishop, by the way.)