The first Christians had a hard time. Within 40 years of Jesus' death, Jacob, the leader of the first community, was murdered. The temple in Jerusalem, the place in the temple where they usually met, was destroyed. Peter and Paul were sentenced to death. Nero ordered his soldiers to torture and kill people who refused to worship him as a god. Yet the number of Christians continued to grow. In fact philosophy teachers found acceptable alternatives to the emperor's worship. They put together idea of Stoic philosophy, Neo-Platonism, Jewish tradition and Hellenistic cult. Unfortunately, these mixtures had one component in common that was inconsistent with the core of the gospel. As in other cults at the time, priests were supposed to possess transmissible exclusive supernatural powers . These supernatural powers became the basis for specific church legislation. From the third century onward, the authority of a few ordained men was enshrined in laws as unwavering tradition. The primacy of bishops and priests over other baptized people is colliding  with the message of Jesus of Nazareth. After all, Jesus had taught that before God all men are equal. Yet for centuries the Roman Catholic Church has clung to this pernicious structure. It has led to wars and many abuses of power. But as long as the great masses could not read or write, the church managed to cover up or justify these evils. Things changed when schooling began to develop on a large scale. Over the course of several centuries, believers learned to question bad things in the Church. Recently, the cover-up became untenable due to a series of scandals


Modern media made public the widespread cover-up of child abuse by bishops. Time and again many more forms of misconduct are being exposed.  People have started asking questions that were not answered. With this, the Roman Catholic Church as an institution has entered a crisis from which a way out seems almost impossible.


Way out