Why Are They Still Here?

Given the painful revelations of the sex scandal, why are Catholic churches not empty?

Every Sunday, all around the globe, a minor miracle is occurring that has gone almost unnoticed: despite continuing revelations about the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, somehow the churches aren’t empty. Despite all the terrible news about the Catholic Church sitting at the top of everyone’s RSS feed for days on end, it was still standing room only at the Holy Week events. While it is strictly anecdotal evidence, people are still coming to church even when the reports of the sex scandal are so dire. Can you imagine any other organization on earth weathering this type of negative publicity over this long a period and still being able to function?

So we asked young Catholics themselves why they still come to church. Is it simply out of obligation? Do they defend the church? Are they able to see value in their faith despite institutional mismanagement?

Bill McGarvey, Joe Williams and Brittany Janis visited a parish with a large young adult population to ask that question and several others. This video is a small sampling of the many thoughtful answers we received.

But we would like to hear your thoughts as well…

Share your thoughts about the scandal, the Church’s response and your own spirituality as reflected in what is going on. Submit your comment below, or upload a video response on the video’s Youtube page — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnuN1eG3dk4.

Originally published April 15, 2010.