The difficulties and scandals that we face in the Church today are real, but not new: unfortunately, even when it comes to sin, it seems that there is nothing new under the sun.
And yet, the solution is the same: sanctity.
Back in 2002, in the midst of the uproar over the priestly sex abuse scandal in the United States, now-deceased Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete told journalist Michael Sean Winters this:
If, in addition to all the terrible things we have learned, if tomorrow it was revealed that the pope had a harem, that all the cardinals had made money on Enron stock and were involved in Internet porno, then the situation of the Church today would be similar to the situation of the Church in the late twelfth century … when Francis of Assisi first kissed a leper.
Not only does this quote give some perspective to how bad things have been at various points in the Church’s history (and how things today are far from the worst), it points to the solution: saints. Commenting on Msgr. Albacete’s words at the time, Fr. Richard Neuhaus in turn said this: “In short, the Church will only be renewed by saints, meaning sinners — bishops, priests, and all the faithful — responding to the universal call to holiness.”
Don’t just Be Happy. Be Holy.