.- The Archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez, has called on the faithful not to allow the scandals committed by some in the clergy to be a reason to “distance oneself from God, to stop loving His Church or to stop believing in her.”
In his regular column, published in the archdiocesan newspaper, the cardinal acknowledged that the recent scandals involving Mexican priests cause many to question the holiness of the Church.
However, he noted, the Church is both holy and sinful, and this is reason why “even her ministers, who should be examples to the people of God,” commit sins. The Lord “ did not choose perfect men as His ministers, but rather sons of Adam and Eve.”
“We cannot deny that throughout the centuries, believers, Christians, Catholics have sinned and have committed mistakes,” both personal and collective, the cardinal emphasized.
At the same, he went on, the Church is holy in her teaching and because of the Gospel she preaches, which in itself “is sublime teaching.”
She is also holy “because her sacraments sanctify, because Christ is her founder and head, and because the Virgin Mary, the first Christian, was the Mother and the most faithful disciple of the Lord. She is also holy because of the existence of numerous saints and exemplary Christians,” Cardinal Sandoval said.
He noted that it is ironic that those who are scandalized the most and who attack the Church the most are not the saints but the sinners. “Their scandal is such that they say they no longer want to believe in nor belong to Church, perhaps thinking that thus they can justify or cover up their own immorality. Yet at the same time, there are many good people who tend to be understanding. The more virtuous you are, the more understanding,” the cardinal maintained.
In this sense, he continued, “God is infinitely holy and understanding,” and thanks to His divine mercy, “the Church is as she is,” because He “did not think of a Church only for the good; His fatherly heart embraces all His children, the good and the bad. He desires the salvation of all.”
Cardinal Sandoval also reminded the faithful that although the majority of priests “earnestly strive to be examples for the people of god,” there would always be faults “until the end of time.” Nevertheless, he insisted, this should not be a reason to “distance oneself from God, to stop loving His Church or to stop believing in her.”