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Reality and Universality

For some, the study of Christian behavior over the centuries, with all its horrors, has led to doubt, cynicism, even atheism. They see church councils bickering over petty jealousies, popes amassing wealth, bishops fathering children, monks living in dissipation; and at that dismaying sight, they lose faith. For me, however, Church history became one long confirmation of two realities: the universality of sin and the sovereignty of grace.

It was simply historical proof of the Pauline judgment that my Protestant mentors had always been so fond of quoting Romans 3:23, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Each breakaway group, I learned, inexorably retraced the missteps of the Catholic tradition to one degree or another because whatever problems the Church has, they are not exclusively Roman; they are universally human.

—from Surprised By Truth, edited by Patrick Madrid, in the chapter titled: What is Truth? by Marcus Grodi

surprised by truth

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