Over at Catholic Hour, there is a fun list of non sequiturs used against the Catholic faith. I saw it posted on Mark Shea's blog, and proceeded to take a look. Yes, some of the arguments I've heard against Catholicism are there, and sometimes they can be rather goofy. But fact is, not all of the arguments I've heard are presented as they are in the list.
Take for instance #2:
(2) "Fr. X sexually abused a minor."
Therefore: "The Catholic Church is evil. (And all priests are perverts.)"
Sure, for those who would make such a claim, it is a ridiculous non sequitur. And there are those who seem to make those leaps, for whatever reason (John Landis, I've got my eyes on you!). But even though some would make such ridiculous statements as 'priest abuses child, Church is evil', it doesn't take away from the fact that most who are critical of the abuse crisis, those who are fair and understanding and not out with an anti-Catholic axe to grind, are in fact concerned about much more than that. It isn't the bad priest = evil Church argument, it's the systemic abuse followed by systemic cover up and a geologically slow response when compared to the swiftness of other responses to other things high on the Church's priority list, that makes them scratch their heads. Sometimes it even makes them question the Church's moral authority to lead and proclaim the Truth.
I'm not saying they should, nor am I dismissing those who obviously appear to care not one lick about abused children beyond simply sticking it to the Church. But we can't just guffaw over all the non sequiturs while avoiding the legitimate concerns about a serious and legitimate problem that continues even now in the Church today.