That is a great question.
Right now, all over the internet Protestants are calling for Catholics to "Come out of her, my people" claiming the clergy sex scandal proves that the Catholic Church is and has always been the Whore of Babylon. And frankly, who doesn't think that we deserve such a label right now? At the very least people are curious about why we would stay faithful to a church who has such wicked clergy.
The responses I read and hear from Catholics are deficient. They defend the Church with, "Catholic clergy have less sexual predation than other churches and way, way less than public schools!" It is true that our sexual predation is no more than other religious groups and it is a lot worse in other institutions. However, "but mom, everybody does it," is a childish excuse.
Bad men take advantage of powerful authority. The structure of the Catholic clergy gives cover to their lust. It is a place where greed can feed. But it is an absolute abomination that this has happened and more—that it is not dealt with and it is covered-up. Satan will come with false Shepherds, that is forewarned. But when shepherds cover it up and allow these devils to freely prey on the innocent sheep…. that is an abomination of desolation. Scripture records that when God's messengers encounter men, the first thing they command is for them to have courage. And this horror happens when good men's courage fails.
[TAKE NOTE OTHER CHURCHES: The Catholic Church's great crisis serves as a warning to you. Do not protect Your Church when they are covering up evil. Deal with internal problems instead of covering them up!]
Now, to answer the question: Why would we continue to remain faithful to a church where Satan seems to have enthroned himself? Why don't we leave?
For a superficial response, I could say, "Why would you watch any media when some of it is fake? Why would you see any movie out of Hollywood when there are Harvey Weinsteins in it? Or why would you continue to be an American when Trump is president? The short answer is: a few bad people do not define the group.
To give a fuller explanation, I will have to return to my Protestant roots.
To a Protestant, you are Protestant like you are Republican or Democrat. You can switch sides if you no longer believe what your group stands for. Protestants are united in truth, or what each person believes is the truth. They agree on the doctrines and teachings of their church. Even if you are raised in a particular denomination, it is eventually a connection made by assent. At some point in your life you stay in the denomination by a decision of your will. And you can leave your Protestant church like you can leave a job.
Protestants can fire a bad pastor. Priests can't be fired anymore than a father can be fired by his children.
Catholics have a fundamental perception of the Church that is vastly different from Protestants. We do not see the church as an organization. We see it as a family. Catholics have always believed that Christ founded a community, a church that would be filled with His family. We are genetically made into the family of God—not symbolically, not united simply by our agreement of doctrines. As important as truth is, Catholics believe that truth flows from the family of God. Truth is the outcome of being united with Christ. The Bible and the truth is sourced in the House of God—the Church. Converts to Catholicism are drawn to the family of God who Christ said is the foundation and bulwark of the truth. This is a vital distinction from Protestants.
Therefore, it is similar to this situation: If a father is found to have been a mass murderer, his children cannot erase their connection to him. Even if they can physically placed themselves in a different geographic location they are eternally genetically connected to their father. That is the Catholic connection to their Church. Catholics can even apostate and call themselves Protestant but the Church will never recognize that they are not fundamentally Catholic. We can no more say that a Catholic is a Protestant anymore than we can say a biological male is a biological female. We still consider Martin Luther a Catholic priest. Even in hell, Catholics will forever bear the indelible mark of being a Christian (Catholic/Christians—same thing in a Catholics' mind). Because when you are Catholic it is a genetic connection.
How is this possible?
Unlike the doctrinal/truth connection of Protestants, Catholics have the Eucharist. We partake of the Body and Blood of Christ at each mass. Each time we commune with God through His Presence in the manna/bread of life/Eucharist, we are physically becoming part of the Body of Christ.
Catholics are Biblical literalists in ways Protestants are not. For two thousand years, Christians/Catholics have taken these passages literally:
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is My Body.” Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26: 26-28Catholics do not daily go to church in order to be inspired by a sermon or even simply to hear the Word of God. Christians can stay home and listen to a sermon online and read scripture. I want to be clear though. At mass, absolutely, we hear the Word of God spoken and we are exhorted by a sermon. But that is not the summit and point of mass. It something far, far greater—we go in order to receive Christ literally into our bodies. When Christ said, "This is My Body. This is My Blood," we know those are supernatural Divine mysteries that make us—Christ's Bride—one with Him.
We take this passage, Christ spoke, literally (and please go and read all of John 6, I am only recording a few phrases here):
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed His seal of approval.…So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' ” Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen Me and still you do not believe…. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world….Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”When Catholics participate in the Eucharist, ("Give us this day, our daily bread") we are partaking of the mystical bread of heaven spoken about in the above passages. By our regularly doing this "in remembrance" of Him, we are being restored to the original Adam before the fall. We are becoming as He made us "in His image and likeness." This is not symbolic and Catholics have no human words to adequately describe it, anymore than we can describe the Trinity. It is something we grasp by faith.
And when we become embroiled in such an abomination—this horrific evil of predatory homosexual priests—faithful Catholics are devastated because these fathers are part of God's genetic family and we can't escape the scandal even if we were to distance ourselves geographically from them.
Jesus told us that these things would happen. Judas betrayed the Son of Man also. And when the Shepherd was struck by Satan, the sheep scattered. Satan is again striking the shepherds by infiltration of a group of very powerful false shepherds. Scripture foretold of Antichrists coming. Prophets and saints wrote to warn us that in the last days, there will descend upon the church an abomination of desolation that will shake the church to its foundation. Yet, we are never to lose our faith, because Christ promised to His Church, "Lo, I will be with you to the end of the age," and "the gates of hell shall not prevail against you."
Because of this catastrophic wickedness that has come from the leaders, we can assume the Apocalypse has come and it seems as if the very gates of hell have been opened wide and the destroyer has been unleashed. The man of perdition is in the Holy place and for those who are paying attention to the spiritual realm, it is a terrifying time. And Catholics must throw ourselves at the feet of God in humble prostration, many of us are verging on despair, begging Him to explain what is going on and to help us!
Finally I want to end with the next passage of John 6. Because Jesus asks us to remain in His Church despite the scandal, we ask, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. (From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.) “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asks us today. [And faithful Catholic must answer Him in the words of Peter]: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” See John 6:60-68.
We are Catholic because there is no where else to go. We cannot escape our baptism and our anointing anymore than Jonah could run from his duty. And if we try to, we shouldn't be surprised if we are swallowed by a whale. We are family and that means this crisis is our own personal family crisis. The war has come to our door and we must now spiritually fight or spiritually die.