This is really something to think about!
In a recent video entitled, Why Remain Catholic? (With So Much Scandal), Bishop Robert Barron lays out excellent and empowering reasons as to why Catholics should remain strong and “fight” for the Church throughout her current crisis.
Here’s the full video:
The auxiliary bishop the Archdiocese of Los Angeles explained that he “totally understands people’s feelings” of anger and frustration about the current scandals of the Church. However, he said “Leaving is not what we ought to be doing. What we ought to be doing is fighting.”
He then compared this situation to that of Abraham Lincoln’s outlook on slavery, and quoted his Gettysburg Address:
“Four score and seven years ago, our Fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”
Bishop Barron continued, “Notice he’s articulating the principles that define American Democracy—freedom and equality. He knew what was at stake in the war was American Democracy itself. He knew that slavery was the kind of cancer that would undermine American ideals.
The bishop then said that even if Americans would have said that they are “leaving the country” and “giving up,” Lincoln would not have chosen that path. He would have fought.
Bishop Barron explained that the same goes for our Church. He said he believes “something similar is at stake right now,” and that the Catholic Church “is indeed threatened by this terrible scourge of sexual abuse. It is indeed a blight upon the Church.”
Bishop Barron then provided these words of encouragement:
“What’s called for is the Lincoln option: fighting for the Church that we believe in so powerfully—seeing this blight, naming it clearly—unambiguously, but then fighting to set things right. It’s not the moment for cutting and running, it’s the moment for getting into the fight.”
He then explains how Catholics can fight for the Church:
“You fight through your own righteous anger. You fight by writing a letter to your bishop. Write a letter to the pope. You fight by your very presence at Mass. You fight by keeping people’s feet to the fire. You fight by organizing your fellow Catholics. Fight any way you can. But you fight because you believe in the Church. You love the Church. You realize that despite this terrible blight, it’s worth fighting for.”
After explaining how we can fight for our Church, he added that “we are not Catholics because of the moral excellence of our leaders,” and that we “want our leaders and we expect our leaders to be morally excellent, but we are not Catholics because of that moral excellence.”
He stressed that we are Catholics because of Jesus Christ, Trinitarian love of God, Mystical Body of Christ, the sacraments, the Blessed Mother, the Saints, and “especially because of the Eucharist.”
“Even as leaders in the Church fail morally, the Catholic Church remains…And she’s worth fighting for.”
Towards the end of the video, he explained that each baptized person is a prophet and should “raise their voices,” adding that “prophets didn’t cut and run when Israel was in trouble—the prophets spoke out.”
He concluded with these words:
“We’re not fighting primarily to save our institutions… We are fighting for the victims of these terrible crimes…for the people who were sexually assaulted, sexually abused. If we cut and run, precisely at this challenging time, who will be the prophetic voice on behalf of these victims?
“…This is not the moment to abandon the Church. This is the moment to fight for the Church.”