I was deeply moved by the article that appeared at this site, entitled “Seminarian: ‘Is There Any Reason Why I Should Remain Catholic?’” What follows is my affirmative reply. I’m under no illusions that my answer will be comprehensive or convincing to everyone, but what it has going for it is the sincerity of a person who has himself been wounded by members of the hierarchy, who has been denied speaking platforms on account of upholding the traditional Faith, and who has also stared into the abyss of corruption and apostasy that mark the Church on earth in our times—and yet who believes, finds reasons to believe, and, indeed, finds reasons for hope.
Even if we take the most conservative estimate, dodging the “saint factory” that revved up in the 1980s under John Paul II, the Catholic Church venerates at least 6,000 saints officially recognized as such (some would say over twice that many, depending on how you tabulate them). Each one of these saints is a masterpiece of God’s grace triumphing in the frailty and fracturedness of fallen human nature. Each one is a bright light in the encircling gloom. Each one tells us what the Christian is called to be and can, in fact, become by fidelity to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Each one gives the lie to fatalism, nihilism, and cynicism. And each one is an unanswerable argument for the truth of the Catholic Faith.
Decades ago, Joseph Ratzinger made the following observation: