A priest much beloved to me wrote to me privately (among other things) these thoughts on my article on the “Failure of the Church.” He is entirely accurate and his words bear posting here lest I be misundertood. May God bless him in his ministry.
It’s tempting when we see scandal and sin in Church life to attribute these things to the Church Herself. But there is no time or place in the history of the Church where the Church can be shown to have sinned, or to have failed to save Her members. Emperors, hierarchs, priests, deacons, monastics, laypeople all sin, all fail. But the Church does not, becuase She is not a human institution, She is a sacrament, or rather, *the* sacrament. Protestant missionaries couldtoday, but they will be hungry tomorrow. Only the Church feeds people with the Bread that came down from Heaven, and the Living Water that springs up unto life everlasting. So long as the Church accomplishes these things, we shouldn’t presume to say that She has failed. So long as She continues to offer the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world upon Her altars, She continues to be triumphant, accomplishing in Her Divine Head the re-creation and renewal of the universe and the redemption of the fallen human race. So long as there are saints, the Church has not failed.
To which I can only say, “Amen.”