Continuing through the Catechism of the Catholic Church as it relates to prophecy:
769 “The Church . . . will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven,” at the time of Christ’s glorious return. Until that day, “the Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world’s persecutions and God’s consolations.” Here below she knows that she is in exile far from the Lord, and longs for the full coming of the Kingdom, when she will “be united in glory with her king.” The Church, and through her the world, will not be perfected in glory without great trials. Only then will “all the just from the time of Adam, ‘from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect,’ . . . be gathered together in the universal Church in the Father’s presence.”
The Catechism readily admits (and laments) the fact that the Church will never be in a state of perfection until Christ Himself makes her perfect at the end of time. With this admission we do not punt the ball and throw up our hands. We must continually work for a holier church for the salvation of souls. But at the same time, we must anticipate that evil will have the Church as a primary target of attack, and will win some battles along the way. Men with hearts of stone can work their way in and influence Church affairs. The teachings themselves on an official basis are under the protection of the Holy Spirit, but that will not stop individuals from casting doubt on certain doctrines. Certain priests and bishops can introduce error into their personal preaching that leads many astray. Scandals within the hierarchy can cast doubts even among the faithful. Catholic Theologians can introduce doubt and error into their works if not done in conjunction with Magesterial teaching. We have seen complicity among those who call themselves Catholic (with or without such standing to do so) in helping to confuse the faithful on issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, and certain political issues that enter the realm of morality and demand a response from the Church.
It is sad when any of these things happen, but rather than take them as a sign of an erroneous Church, we should accept it as a sign of exactly the opposite. When in doubt, look to the Holy Father and what he teaches, and read the Catechism.
Why is this an opposing sign? A Church that is wrong about things would not be expected to undergo spiritual attacks to discredit her. Satan wants division and confusion among the ranks. He wants the Church entirely discredited. How many people lost their faith in the pedophilia scandals? How much division and dissention was caused by that? Nothing doctrinal changed from before the scandals to after the scandals, yet people lost faith, because they misplaced their trust in men as opposed to God and the Holy Spirit. We are not Catholic because our Priests are holy. We are Catholic because we believe in the Eucharist and desire the Sacraments and believe in the teachings of the Church. Of course, we want wonderfully holy priests, because we want guidance along the way. We want to encourage our children to pursue religious vocations and hold others up as examples. We want the public face of our Church to be Holy to draw people into the truth. And we recognize that many people are not fully there yet in their spiritual journey, such that these things cause a loss of faith. But ultimately, if someone disappoints us, then it hurts, but that’s all it is. Culpability where rest where God lays it, but in the meantime we need to access our minds and realize that our emotions can lead us astray.