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Scandal and Truth

  /   Sunday April 11, 2010  

Some people in their writings have tried to use the scandals in the Church to discredit the Church’s teaching.  Mark Shea explains why this doesn’t work.  If you ever get into this argument, here’s a quote that explains it nicely:

The used car salesman who says, “Trust me” can be refuted if you produce his rap sheet.  But the math teacher who says that 2+2=4 is not refuted when you show him to be a drug dealer.  The truth that bishops hand along does not depend on their personal holiness, any more than the truth of our salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ was disproven by Peter’s chickenhearted failure to live by his own preaching at Antioch.

On a related note, the idea that the efficacy of the Sacraments is based on the holiness of the priest or bishop who administers them is a heresy known as Donatism.  Be thankful for this.  We can go to Mass or to Confession and not have to inquire on the state of the priest’s soul.

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