Corruption, Scandal, and the Catholic Church!

Corruption and the Catholic Church!

Where did it all come from?

Corruption and the Catholic ChurchMany people who grew up Catholic find themselves scratching their heads wondering what happened to their church over the last 50 years.  Those who haven’t had the opportunity to study church history may be tempted to think that the Catholic Church has always been this way.  Think for a moment about the sexual abuse scandals, the shortage of priests, the sharp decline in Mass attendance, especially among young people, the poor catechetical formation, the increasing difficulty of keeping teens around after Confirmation, the closing of, and let’s not forget all the divisions, dissent, and confusion the Church is facing.

To have an honest and informed understanding of this whole crisis and debacle, it is necessary to rewind about 50 years or so when the 1960s were in full swing.  Though the problems began to build before this time but culminated into a perfect storm in the 60s.  Some of the problems that come to mind are the Vietnam war, major protests and riots, radical feminism, and general rampant rebellion.  The over-elevation of science, the intellect, and personal conscience took precedence over listening to the Church – and even to God.  Then, of course, add to the mix the “Sexual Revolution” which exploded onto the scene.  This revolution wasn’t just about sex particularly, but it involved a whole moral revolution which rejected authority, traditional values, and traditional views on sexuality.  Many people cast off all authority. They thrust off the “shackles” of bondage, in their marriages, in their priesthood, and in other areas all for a life of “freedom” and autonomy.

Corruption and the Catholic ChurchHow did this affect Catholics and help lead to the problems we have in the Catholic Church today?  In brief:

– Countless Catholics, including priests and nuns, desired to join the movement of sexual exploration and reject all authority for the false pursuit of freedom.

– As people started rebelling against every form of authority, many Catholics also threw off the “shackles” of the Church in the same way.

– As a result, 50,000 – 100,000 religious sisters would leave the church forever.  Many more stayed in attempts to change it from within – to make it something it never was.

Over 10,000 priests would also leave the church forever leaving a huge gaping hole in the structure.

– Consequently, because of the shortage of priests and the dire need for help, the church relaxed its rules for seminary training and let most anyone in.  Big mistake!  Where seminary training was usually strong, now the attitude of the time with that we “can’t be picky.”  Most of all of the rules were relaxed because they just needed priests. Consequently, a huge influx of liberal and progressive priests, unhealthy people who normally would be weeded out in a heartbeat came skipping into the church.  Things would quickly spiral downward as they hijacked the church from within putting in place many scandalous beliefs and teachings.  They too rejected all authority. Many of these men were completely unhealthy and should have never become priests, and are we not seeing the results in the scandals that have surfaced today?

– Most of the scandals happened 30 to 60 years ago, at exactly the time that the church was being assaulted, and unhealthy priests were taking over.

– Moreover, Liberal priests hijacked seminaries and seminary training. They targeted good and holy priests and chased them out. The book “Goodbye Good Men” recounts how healthy, strong males who would make good priest were actually targeted, persecuted, and dismissed.  Or, if they did stay, there wife was made living hell. And we wonder why we have had such a problem of sexual perversion and priestly embarrassment today.

Thankfully, all of this has started to reverse and transform for the better.  Most seminaries have been reformed. Good priests are coming out again in droves.  The Church has fiercely fought against sexual abuse of any kind, which is why over the last few years, there have only been 7 credible accusations against priests in the Church.  7 out of over 40,000.

Also, tens of thousands of men, women, and teens are going to conferences every year and being set on fire for their faith.  God knows our churches need to be purged and all of the evil.  She has suffered greatly because of it, (some of it her own doing), but now it’s time to bring it all back up to speed.

It is true that some priests broke their obligations to God and the people, and that some corrupt bishops attempted to cover it up.  There has been enough dancing around the truth.  We have to admit that those problems.  However, someone cannot swing the pendulum to the other side and claim the Church still has a problem today when the facts clearly demonstrate the opposite (as I demonstrated in my last blog post).

Less than 1% of all priests have ever been involved in the sexual abuse of any kind, especially with minors. The News media will make it seem like every other priest is a pedophile, and the conspiracy goes all the way to the Pope who probably spearheaded the whole thing. But, as always, the facts tell us differently.  1%!  Even Dr. Philip Jenkins, a non-Catholic who has made this subject his life’s work, and who is the foremost authority on the subject confirms what the Church herself claims.  He has exposed the myths propagated by the media and shows the Catholic Church is at the bottom of the pack when it comes to sexual abuse cases.  He demonstrates that most of the abuse cases happened nearly 50 years ago.  The majority of those priests are either dead or have been dismissed.

The Catholic Church is now the safest organization in the world because of the steps it has taken to fight against this plague, which we will look at in the next post.  We will also look at how Jesus Himself warned us that there would be corruption.  So, it shouldn’t be a surprise.  Some people have left their faith because of a corrupt priest, a man.  However, no man is the head of our religion – JESUS IS!

About Bryan Mercier

Bryan Mercier is a professional Catholic speaker, retreat leader, author, YouTuber, and a Catholic apologist who has been teaching and preaching for almost two decades. He has also been aired on TV and radio in different states, including Relevant Radio, Ave Maria Radio, Sirius XM Satellite, and EWTN. He is the founder of "Catholic Truth," a non-profit dedicated to the New Evangelization and helping Catholics to know, love, and live their faith with purpose and passion each day!
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20 Responses to Corruption, Scandal, and the Catholic Church!

  1. John says:

    I’m a 51yo Christian, went to Sunday school (I’m a protestant now) etc and defend false attacks by the lost against the Rcc when I hear them but friend, you just can’t see how utterly insane you sound.
    This pathological bias not common among some Catholics though… .it’s universal. You’re all so thoroughly blind about your church it’s actually bordering on mental illness.
    You’re at the bottom of the pack? Woo hoo, only 1% rape children? You mean in the only True church who curses those who don’t agree to hell in myriad proclamations? At least you don’t send people off to be actually Lit On Fire.

    Your tone is terrible, your excuses horrible, and no one rational would buy it. Please, don’t use this shtick live. Anyone who would buy it might just be those undesirables you claim ruined everything.

  2. John, you need to read my blog again (and more closely) because you misquoted me big time and then went on a tirade about something I didn’t say. I never claimed the Catholic Church was 1% of all perpetrators. I said 85% of sexual abuse happens in the family, while 15% happens in the Public Schools, and 1% takes place in ALL religious institutions, of which the Catholic Church is the least of any and all religious institutions. One case in any church is too much, but my whole point in saying this is that the Catholic Church has taken many steps and put many things in place to make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again. Isn’t that a good thing?

    Moreover, you said something else very wrong, falsely judging the Catholic Church in your very emotional rant. You said the Catholic Church condemns to hell anyone who doesn’t agree with them. That’s not true at all, and in fact, if it is true, can you show me from the official Catechism of the Catholic Church (where all our beliefs are found) where it says that? Please quote the page number and paragraph. I know it’s not there because the Catechism says the opposite. So, please try to get your facts right and try to be a little more charitable next time. Thanks.

  3. Daniel Henry says:

    This writer is typical old school Catholic and the reason the Catholic Church is coming apart at the seams. The corruption within the church has been on-going for decades. History has only revealed a fraction of the criminal activities and continues to hide and protect the “vault” full of secrets in the Vatican. The Pope is doing all he can but he is only one human being drowning in a sea of filth.

  4. Jeanette says:

    I am still recovering in a church in the Poconos,PA where I was sexually harassed by several deacons making jokes about my body continually and harassed a priest who looked at me wrong once and I was run out of every church I tried in the dioceses and finally I filed a complaint with the bishop/vicar’s office to get counselling and was denied. I filed a report with the attorney general’s office and they arranged counselling with a battered woman’s shelter for sexual harassment. Another priest on the list of 301 tried to get me into his car at the villa retreat across from Mt. Airy where I went for mass.
    These men are complete predators and the bishop will continue covering up for them. I do not believe they are celibate and believe they are all in sexual relationships unless they are too old or finally uninterested.

  5. Jeanette, first, I am sorry that all of those people disrespected you and used you as an object. That is something Jesus, and the Catholic Church ironically, completely condemns. Second, it doesn’t surprise me. So much corruption, moral filth and evil has entered our Church since the 1960s-1990s. I am actually going to be making a YouTube Video soon on where all this corruption came from in the first place and how these pervs are destroying our Church.

    This is a rogue and evil generation that has entered our Church. If you would like a little piece of the puzzle, check out the book, “Goodby Good Men” which shows how the priesthood was hijacked by immoral priests and bishops. Very sad. But the Church is turning around and that generation is passing away Thank God. Seminaries have been reformed, and more good, healthy priests are coming out now.

    Just remember that Jesus started the Catholic Church, and we are His bride, however He also warned that evil would try to destroy the Church and many evil people would rise up from within. We must rise up ourselves and fight this evil, these wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    God bless you and thank you for the comment.

  6. Not an old-school Catholic, just a faithful Catholic calling out evil that is there but not giving into hysteria and emotional vomiting void of facts.
    I agree with the last sentence, it is a sea of filth. And I am making a YouTube video on where all the corruption and filth came from since the 1960s and how it hijacked, polluted, and destroyed much of our Church and what we can do about it.
    God bless.

  7. John D says:

    I totally agree with your assessment of the situation as it currently stands. The biggest problem I have is how JPII did absolutely nothing to address the situation. He, too, seemed to aid in the coverup by not publicly coming out to speak on it. This is a man that the Church has canonized, but ceased to work what would have been his greatest miracle, which would have been to go through every single parish and clean house! Sure, every Protestant denomination has its pervs and sex offenders, but quite honestly, I expect that of Protestants. The Catholic Church is the standard; the benchmark by which the example should be set. And we continue to fall short of letting the public know our damage control. As quickly as the media will report a bad priest every chance it gets, the Church should insist on equal coverage for every priest that is dismissed and/or excommunicated from the Church. Let the Church gain back the faith and trust of the public!

  8. joe says:

    I am a former Roman Catholic. The corruption that I witnessed was extreme. I now go to a Christian church (non Catholic), and we don’t have all this corruption.

  9. Joe says:

    You say, “The Catholic Church is now the safest organization in the world because of the steps it has taken to fight against this plague.” What I witnessed was the Arch diocese communicating that it followed certain policies, when in truth they were not following the policies. I’m not convinced that they are actually a safe organization, since I am not convinced that they actual put in to practice all the steps they say that they do.

  10. N says:

    Mr. Mercier,
    I really don’t ever “comment” on a post, as typically they’re antagonistic and sometimes downright hateful; however, lately I have been struggling with the question of bridging the Catholic-Protestant divide. Sincerely, I mean not to offend or contradict.

    For starters, I am a Protestant, but my family is pretty evenly split between Catholics and Protestants. I’ve been to Mass many times, I’ve studied Catholic teaching, and I have nothing but respect for the Catholic tradition.

    With love in Christ and respect, I want to address the perception that the Catholic Church teaches that salvation outside of the Catholic Church is not possible. It’s not in the Catechism (or, at least, I haven’t found it). However, you will find it stated fairly plainly in the First Constitution of the Fourth Lateran Council. Vatican II reiterated that teaching in the 14th paragraph of the Lumen gentium. In the following (15th) paragraph, the council all but recognizes the legitimacy of Protestants traditions; even going so far as to say that in some real way they are joined with Catholics because of their sincere belief in Jesus and receipt of baptism. However, the council then, respectfully (and I believe, lovingly) hopes for unification under one shepherd (i.e. the Pope) without going so far as to state that Protestants can, indeed, be saved outside of joining the Catholic Church. As I am sure you know, a Constitution, while not in the Catechism itself, is a document published by the ecumenical council, approved by the Pope, that explains/contains/expounds-upon the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

    Please correct me if I am mistaken, as I am definitely open to further explanation on this, but it seems pretty plainly stated. I am not out to attack or criticize; believe me. My sincere interest is in bridging the gap (at least on fundamental issues of the faith…I could care less about debatable, nuanced topics). Also, it’s not lost on me that there are plenty of Protestant traditions that hold that Catholics are condemned because they’re not “Christians,” and I’ve had my share of “intense fellowships” with them.

    Anyway, just wanted to address that. Again, please address this. I would love some clarification.

  11. +N I think you have a good question. And a good desire to want to reunite Protestants and Catholics in some way. That is good. I think you have to look at this in context. Here is the Catholic understanding of it which I think will shed some light for you and hopefully help you to understand it better. And a little bit of why the change came later and its meaning. First, we believe that Jesus started the Catholic Church, and just as the ark was made by God and Noah in order to save his family from the impending doom, so Christ started the Catholic Church to get people to heaven and to save them. Consequently, anyone who is part of Jesus’s church followed Christ, whereas anyone who is not part of his church were considered pagan, like the Gnostics, the followers of Marcion, and so on. Especially if you knew the Catholic Church was true and you chose to leave it, how could you be saved? It’s like the Old Testament. You are either part of God’s covenant, or you are on the outside, which made you like the dogs and unbelievers, as the Bible calls them. In the same way in the New Testament, the Catholic Church is the new covenant of God of which he wants everyone to be part of. And you are either part of his covenant or an outsider. How could an outsider in the Old Testament be saved except in rare exceptions? especially if you knew the truth of God. It’s the same thing nowadays in the New Testament. Especially if you know the Catholic Church is the true church. And then you chose to leave it, how could you be saved? I’m sure there were always exceptions, but this is a general rule. And especially for people like Martin Luther who once knew the truth and left, and split Christianity into a thousand different and competing denominations creating chaos and confusion. so we believe that for people like him the judgment will be more severe, unless of course, he repents. However, with that being said, hundreds of years now after the Protestant Reformation, many people don’t know the truth of Catholicism. Remember that for most of history there was only one Christian church, the Catholic Church. There wasn’t the confusion we have today. That is why the Catholic Church has taught since Vatican II in the 1960s that it’s possible for other religions to be saved. Especially the closer to Catholicism they are, and the closer they are to Christ’s teachings, the easier it will be to be saved into be in the truth. The church teaches that if it’s by no fault of your own, and if you really don’t know that the Catholic Church is true and had no way to find out, and it’s possible you can be saved. most of the Protestants today have no problem with Catholicism, and they’ve never even heard of the claim that the Catholic Church is the one true church started by Jesus Christ. In that regard, they can’t really be held responsible for it as much as people, let’s say Catholics, who know that the church is true and choose to leave for whatever reason. The consequences are going to be much more severe in the latter example than in the former. So, we still believe that the Catholic Church is the ark of salvation that Christ established. And Christ wants everybody to be part of that church. However, many don’t know that, and they really truly love Christ and would even die for him. And many of these people have the Holy Spirit because they don’t know better and still of Christ. So it’s possible that they can be saved too, as Christ desires everyone to go to heaven. The Scriptures say that Christ desires our salvation and not our ruin. So while Christ wants everyone to be Catholic, the Catholic Church still remains the easiest and straightest path to heaven. it’s like the ark. Martin Luther jumped off the ark and took his own life raft toward heaven. And John Calvin jumped off his raft and started his own. And now there are thousands of rafts all going in different directions, presumably toward heaven. But it’s going to be much more difficult to get there because they don’t have the tools or the fullness of the boat that Christ started. But it still possible that they can get there if they love Christ with all their heart and don’t reject the Catholic faith. I hope that helps to clarify it. Feel free to let me know if you have any follow-ups. God bless you.

  12. I have been in several dioceses, and in several different states. And I have always had to be trained in these things. At least from my experience in different places, the Catholic Church is very strict, and in my opinion overly strict, in implementing these things. Perhaps there is a lax here or they are, but in general, I’ve seen nothing but zero-tolerance and many people trained and aware of the problem now. God bless.

  13. most Christian churches only have about 100 people. If your Christian church had 1 billion people, like we do, you can not mistake the fact that there would be corruption. Don’t forget that Jesus started the Catholic Church. And don’t forget that it is his church, and we can’t leave it without offending him greatly. Remember too, that Jesus himself said there would be evil people, wolves in sheep’s clothing, in his church. So let me ask you a question. Would you have left Jesus because of Judas? Judas was evil and committed scandal, and in fact Jesus called them the devil. In other words, Jesus chose 12 apostles and one of them was the devil. Jesus had a 1 in 12 failure rate. Look at ancient Israel, they were God’s chosen people even when they were corrupt. Corruption doesn’t take away your calling and authority from God. Jesus said he would be with his church until the end of time, and Jesus said he would give the Holy Spirit to the church to guide them into all truth. The church you are part of is not Christ’s church, but one started by a man. Jesus started his church 2000 years ago. So I beg you to take a second look at the true church you left, and realize that it’s the one truth that Jesus gave us. Every other church on earth was started by a man and does not have his authority. Jesus knew that there would be corruption which is why he said no matter what happens, the gates of hell will not prevail. And has not. The Catholic Church has been here for 2000 years. The Catholic Church is the church that made the Bible and put the Bible together. And copied the Bible for over 1000 years. And is the largest charity on earth doing more good than any other organization in history. The Catholic Church has more missionaries, Saints, mystics, and martyrs that the world has ever known. sure there are bad people and there will be always because they are human and some are fake Catholics, but Christ said there would be in advance. We never leave Peter who Jesus built the Church up on because of a scandalous traitor like Judas. And we never leave Christ’s true church because of people who fail to live it.

  14. Joe says:

    The Roman Catholic Church of today is not the same organization that Christ started.

  15. Joe- Jesus started the Catholic Church, and it’s the same church. It may look different and have grown, but then again, a fully grown tree doesn’t look like the acorn it started from. (By the way, there is no Roman Catholic Church. Only anti-Catholics use that name. It’s just “The Catholic Church.”

  16. John M says:

    We can approach Christ without the need for priests!

    “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven” Matt 23:9.

    “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them” Ex 20:4-5; and Dt 5:8-9.

    “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words” Matt 6:7.

    “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” 1 Tim 2:5.

    “to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” Rom 1:7.

    “But you (all Christians) are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light ” 1 Pet 2:9.

    “A bishop, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?)” 1 Tim 3:2-5.

    “But the Holy Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth” 1 Tim 4:1-3.

    “‘But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.” “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition” Mk 7:7-9.

  17. John M says:

    If the Catholic Church really wants to solve its problems, true leaders should ditch ALL the man-made and presumptuous traditions and idolatry, and return to the Inerrant Word of God!

    Just look at the Vatican! Really look at it!! Also look at those portions of the Catechism that have absolutely no basis in Scripture (as though they were written by naive persons who have never read the Bible). Surely you can see the problems!

    The Pope, the Cardinals, the Bishops, and the Priests will all have to answer for it. Billions of Souls!

    “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” James 3:1

    “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows . . . From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” Luke 12:47-48.


  18. John M says:


    Jesus did not “start the Catholic Church,” and the Catholic Church is not the “true (Christian) church,” as suggested above. But after reviewing the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” I can understand why you might believe those statements.

    If anyone desires to read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” here it is:

    For those who have already read the Bible, you might take some time to scan the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” and compare it to the actual Word of God. Although you will find much of it is based upon Scripture, you will also find significant portions, which have no basis in Scripture and/or are contrary to it.

    So Bryan, I disagree with your statement that Christ “wants everyone to be Catholic.” Christian, YES! But the Catholic Church is most certainly not “the easiest and straightest path to heaven.” It is actually more of a roadblock. It is definitely NOT “like the ark,” as you suggest. Instead, those within the Catholic Church who are Christian, are Christian despite the man-made doctrines and traditions.

    I am not trying to be harsh with you, but I was there, so I can relate to your thought process. I attended Catholic Seminary in the 80’s, and the focus was on tradition, ritual, and self-righteousness, with very little emphasis on the Bible (other than tidbits printed in the Missalette).

    In the end, the corruption and scandal in the Catholic Church is much deeper that you suggest in your article, and actually relates to the institution’s overt violation of Scripture. You blame external influences, when the real problem is internal. The Church leaders could fix this (by shedding all the regalia and other garbage), but they don’t seem to be moving in that direction.

    John M

  19. Carolyn says:

    Jesus was the rock, upon which His church was built to be built, not Peter. The study of Matthew, especially in the original language makes this very clear. Catholics have mis-interpreted scripture. I agree with John M. Christians of every denomination are granted salvation by grace if they believe in and accept Christ Jesus, as revealed inScripture, the Savior and son of God, and repent of their sins, accept and believe that Christ died on the cross and that His death and shed blood was the full payment for their sin, and believe in Christ’s resurrection. Christ is the only mediator for humanity. No need for priests to intervene on our behalf..nor a Queen of heaven nor dead saints. Christ is sufficient and the only advocate needed to make us righteous and acceptable to our Heavenly Father. Christ alone is sufficient. All true believers make up the Body of Christ, His Church. That is what scripture says.

  20. Carolyn says:

    Jesus was the rock, upon which His church was built to be built, not Peter. The study of Matthew, especially in the original language makes this very clear. Catholics have mis-interpreted scripture. I agree with John M. Christians of every denomination are granted salvation by grace if they believe in and accept Christ Jesus, as revealed inScripture, the Savior and son of God, and repent of their sins, accept and believe that Christ died on the cross and that His death and shed blood was the full payment for their sin, and believe in Christ’s resurrection. Christ is the only mediator for humanity. No need for priests to intervene on our behalf..nor a Queen of heaven nor dead saints. Christ is sufficient and the only advocate needed to make us righteous and acceptable to our Heavenly Father. Christ alone is sufficient. All true believers make up the Body of Christ, His Church. That is what scripture says.

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