I had to go to All Saints London Colney for the annual residential weekend for about 100 of our curates from the diocese. There I encountered some words from Ron Rolheiser, RC theologian, teacher, writer, General Councilor for Canada for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Many thanks to Dr Elaine Storkey, who was leading the event:
This side of eternity, all truth incarnates itself with inadequate expression, self-interest, personal wound, historical conditioning, ideology, and invincible ignorance. It's not easy not to be put off the truth by the very persons seeking to bring it about — and the churches have no monopoly on compromise and double standards here.
What's the answer? If every concrete enfleshment of church, morality, truth, justice, politics, family and aesthetics is flawed by inadequacy, dysfunction, infidelity, self-interest, ignorance and abuse, does this give us the right to absent ourselves from commitment?
We have a choice. However, that choice is not between what's perfect (a pure church, social justice that's completely non-compromised, art without ego or arrogance, family life without dysfunction, politics without bias, morality without narrowness, feminism without imbalance, religion without flaw or bad history) and what's bad. The choice is rather between involvement with the limping, stained and compromised or no involvement at all.