I found the following quote on a number of other web sites and I finally tracked down the book from which it originated. The idea of needing the Church makes sense to me only in the broad sense of needing a community with whom one can reflect on and share one’s faith journey. But does this mean also accepting the hierarchical structures of the Church?  I don’t think so, until the hierarchy owns the fact that it is indeed part of a sinful, fallible, human community, and I don’t hear them preaching that message.

Daily Meditation: October 27
by Henri Nouwen; from Bread for the Journey, Harper Collins, New York, 1997

Forgiving the Church

When we have been wounded by the Church, our temptation is to reject it. But when we reject the Church it becomes very hard for us to keep in touch with the living Christ.

When we say, “I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,” we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the Church seldom asks us for forgiveness, at least not officially.

But the Church as an often fallible human organization needs our forgiveness, while the Church as the living Christ among us continues to offer us forgiveness.

It is important to think about the Church not as “over there” but as a community of struggling, weak people of whom we are part and in whom we meet our Lord and Redeemer.