Why I left the Catholic Church

It’s become commonplace for Catholic laypeople to ask themselves why the clergy has responded in the way it has to the scandal — how Pope John Paul II (along with Neuhaus) could have turned a blind eye to the myriad abuses committed by Marcial Maciel Degollado; how Archbishop Cardinal Bernard Francis Law could have been rewarded with a cushy sinecure at the Vatican as his “punishment” for basically overseeing a decades-long child-rape gang in Boston; and how Theodore McCarrick could have been promoted to one of the most powerful and prestigious positions in the Catholic Church in the United States after decades of alleged sexual predation with the full knowledge of (once again) untold numbers of priests, bishops, and possibly popes.

The behavior is only mysterious if you assume that anyone in their place would respond the way you and I would: with revulsion. But it isn’t mysterious at all if you assume what should be obvious by now to everyone: They just didn’t think it was such a big deal. Judging by the current stance of the Vatican to the pope’s pesky American critics, the character of that response hasn’t changed one bit down through the years.

Let’s be adults, shall we? If you believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected, that he is the Son of God and the second person of the trinitarian Godhead, that his teaching tells us how the creator of the universe wants us to live, then by all means be a Christian. But to believe that this particular church, of all the Christian churches in the world, is the one most fully and rightly ordered through time, over and above all of the others? You can’t possibly be serious.