Peter’s Church, a Failed Institution

Recently I watched a PBS presentation about the Camino de Santiago, a Catholic pilgrimage to a shrine in Northern Spain. Millions of people have made this pilgrimage over the centuries and most have their own reasons for doing so.

I found it interesting to listen to some tell their story and to watch each overcome the obstacles faced along the way. It was immediately obvious that faith and spiritualism played a huge part in their individual journeys.

At the same time, I couldn’t help but wonder how these people were able to maintain their support of a religious institution as morally bankrupt as the Roman Catholic Church has proven itself to be in recent decades. In America alone, we’ve learned of thousands of priests who are sexual predators but who have been protected by the church’s hierarchy.

A quick Google reveals that the Pope himself is not without guilt in providing protective cover for some priest. Just a few days ago it was revealed that Pope Francis’ own Argentine protege has been accused of sexual harassment and is being protected under diplomatic immunity inside the Vatican walls.

While I do understand people’s need to have faith in a deity I cannot understand how they can remain supportive of an institution that is so guilty of moral corruption from its bottom to its highest levels. If I were still a practicing Catholic I’m pretty sure my shadow might never appear at a church’s front door, nor a penny of mine be placed in its offering basket.

Peter’s church was built on a rock and today that rock has a deep and wide chasm running through it.

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