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Why is the Church so imperfect?

A bishop writes, “It’s easy to love a Church that’s perfect—if you find it. But to love the Church with its warts means you have accepted Christ’s risk, to hand that Church over to human beings. Because Christ made that risk, you and I are in trouble. Because it means that all of our defects are going to be as widely visible as our assets. That’s the way it is.

“Each of us must come to terms with living in a Church where the dance of God often happens among so many human tunes that it’s hard to see the divine element dancing with us. When we can’t accept Jesus’ Church with its human face, we send a mixed, self-defeating signal to the younger generation.

“I had a wonderful Irish grandma who knew no theology. She could never distinguish between virgin birth and Immaculate Conception and I gave up trying to explain it to her! I also had an uncle who refused to go to church. I remember her saying to him, ‘Yes, you don’t like Father Bertrand so you don’t go to church. You don’t like the bartender either, but you go for a whiskey when you want one!’

“We dance with everybody. That’s my new definition of Church. Every Sunday Catholics all over the world say, ‘I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.’ Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself, ‘How am I going to be a part of it? How can I begin to make it easier for people to believe because of the goodness of my life, because of my becoming more and more like Jesus Christ? How can I break down all those barriers that divide us so that we can dance together?’ That’s being truly Catholic.”
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