How can the Church be true when it produces hypocrisy?


Full Question

I'm seriously considering leaving the faith. My pastor and others who preach at my parish do not live up to what they are teaching. How can the Church be true when it produces such hypocrisy?

Answer

Please don't leave the Church. You are misplacing the blame. If a preacher, religious, or layman fails to live up to the standards he is preaching, the blame lies with him and not with the message he preaches. His actions say much about himself but not about the teachings of Christ.

Jesus certainly practiced what he preached, but if someone else preaches Jesus' message exactly the same but does not practice it perfectly, it is not logical to conclude that the message of Jesus must be flawed.

By way of analogy, if it were proven tomorrow that Albert Einstein was a child molester, that would not disprove the theory of relativity.

A system should not be judged by its worst adherents but by its best, those who actually live up to its standards. Judge the Catholic Church by its saints, not by its hypocrites.


Catholic Answers Staff