It’s something we’ve all heard before: I believe in God, but not organized religion.
But as Catholics we believe that Jesus started a Church—yes an organized religion, if you will.
The Church is a gift to the world, which God has ordained as the vehicle in which we are sanctified and grow on the way to our heavenly destination.
Above all, the Catholic Church is a family. Man is not an island, as it was once famously said, and we need the community found in our brothers and sisters in the Faith.
A visible Church is necessary for the dispensing of the seven sacraments, which Jesus instituted for the forgiveness of sins and growth in grace.
And God has always desired that His people gather to give Him glory by corporate, liturgical worship and sacrifice, which is fulfilled in the New Covenant by the Holy Mass.
Yes, the organized institution of the Church has often had its share of scandals and sins. The human face of the Church can be messy and imperfect. But God does not desire for us to escape to a spiritual island or alternative religion, but to serve Him and His people in the Church He founded and has promised to be with until He returns in glory.