In today’s first reading (Acts 5:34-42), Gamaliel says to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel, be careful what you are about to do to these men.” “I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”
His words have special meaning to us today as we read the “news” reports of the so-called “sins” of the Catholic Church. Let’s be clear. The Church doesn’t sin. It’s incapable of sinning. Jesus told us that. The sins that are being charged against the Church are sins of men. Period.
Outside influences, and sadly some influences inside the Church, are attempting to discredit it. I heard an interview on the radio yesterday, on the national news, with a man who says he was abused by a priest in 1959! 1959? That’s fifty-one years ago! How is that news?
It’s not. But neither is it news that more than 40,000 priests in the United States are doing good works, saving souls, and just going about their daily business as Jesus taught them to do. Good men doing good work doesn’t sell newspapers.
But, as Gamaliel told the Sanhedran, if this endeavor, this activity, comes from God, it will never be destroyed. Or as Jesus said, even the gates of hell won’t prevail against it. I think after more than 2,000 years, it’s a pretty safe bet that the Church will be around long after its critics, at least this group of critics, are long gone.