As this is written, the Catholic Church is maligned in many arenas. Our leaders are scorned in the media and hammered by the general public. Dissent from within the Church also plagues our leaders. Failures of Church leaders are trumpeted from every public forum, while their virtuous acts receive little notice.
This is not much different from the time of Jesus. The apostles were "men of no standing" (Acts 4:13). They were "a spectacle to the universe," "fools on Christ's account," "the world's refuse, the scum of all" (1 Cor 4:9, 10, 13). Throughout history, Church leaders have failed. Many apologists comment that the fact the Catholic Church still exists is proof that God leads the Church, for no institution with our failings and weaknesses could stand if God was not holding it up (cf Acts 5:38-39).
Therefore, rejoice that you, a living stone for Jesus (1 Pt 2:5), are called to be "fitted" into the Church (Eph 2:21). Rejoice that you are resting upon the shoulders of the apostles and the bishops, the successors of the apostles. There are many great leaders in the Church. Moreover, when a leader fails and leaves a hole in the structure upon which we are built, we will not crumble, for we are built into the Church "in" Jesus (Eph 2:22).
Jesus has prepared a place for you in His Church (see Jn 14:2). "Go out now and take your place" (Acts 5:20).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2005 through November 30, 2005.
†Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 21, 2005.