The Catholic Church must do more to reform itself

The Catholic Church must do more to reform itself

Dylan Eguiluz, Staff Writer

It’s no secret that the Catholic Church has dealt with its fair share of scandals and corruption, both in the past and present. The malpractices within the Church have led some Catholics to seek structural and doctrinal change. But efforts from within the church to reform scriptural teachings are heretical and irreligious.
To many, Pope Francis is a godsend for his progressive view of the faith, but his borderline heretical statements can make it more difficult for moderates to rely on the church. In an interview in 2013 with the Pope, Francis said, “If a person is gay and seeks out the Lord and is willing, who am I to judge that person?” and later that year, “the Church is obsessed with gays, abortion and birth control.” The Pope’s statements contradict the church’s position on sexuality and downplay the importance of social issues.

“Religion itself serves to satisfy the spiritual aspect of one’s life; it is the answer to exestentialism and moral depravity.”

The mistake outsiders often make is assuming that Catholics must agree with or follow whatever the Pope says. Although the Pope is infallible when it comes to religious doctrine, papal infallibility is not applicable to the Pope’s personal beliefs. Although it is expected of Catholics to follow the philosophical teachings of the faith, there is no need for Catholics to politically align themselves with the Pope.
Liberal reform is the last thing the Catholic Church needs. The Vatican should focus its efforts on maintaining faithful moderates rather than making concessions to appeal to those outside of and wholeheartedly against the faith.
Faced with constant financial corruption, clergy abuse and heretical leadership, many Catholics have strayed from their faith. While research company Gallup reports that church attendance among Christians in the U.S. has been on the decline for years, Protestants ages 21-29 have a 36 percent higher church attendance than Catholics in the same age bracket. The study does not take into account the millions of other Catholics around the world who do not attend as often as they should.

Catholics are increasingly seeking to reform core aspects of the faith, with Pew Research reporting that 59 percent of U.S. Catholics believe women should be allowed into the priesthood. Yet ordaining women as priests contradicts Christ’s selection of only male apostles, an integral aspect of the faith.
Not a day goes by that the Church does not receive criticism from outsiders, who complain that the church is not inclusive or accepting of certain lifestyles. But that is exactly the point: the church itself is the political representative of the faith, and efforts to change doctrine to become more accepting and tolerant are completely missing the point. Religion itself serves to satisfy the spiritual aspect of one’s life; it is the answer to existentialism and moral depravity, and it is accomplished through commitment towards the moral philosophy of the faith.
The Church itself is not impervious to corruption; there is no institution that is not corrupt. That being said, the child abuse cases in the church do not negate the validity of the faith. Instead of continuing to hide the issue or throw it under the rug, the church must accept it is more effective to legally prosecute and excommunicate members who are known to have abused children.
With the revelation that church leaders in Pennsylvania covered up years of abuse by multiple priests, the church should have taken the matter more seriously and been transparent, instead of reporting the abuse to authorities and ousting those who protected the abusers, they covered it up, sending well-known pedophiles to other parishes.
If Catholics are disenfranchised by the scandals within the church, then by all means, leave. Those who are committed to the faith should feel obligated to stay and promote a stronger and unifying message amongst Catholics to root out corruption and abuse from within.