The lurid headlines, the fury of victims, and all those cheesy, easy anti-Catholic jokes have been tough to bear.
Even for someone like me.
Although no film exists - this is a blessing, trust me - let's fast-forward from my first Holy Communion to my college career a decade later.
Hippies play guitars during "folk" Masses on campus, where a groovy priest with a mod blond hairdo holds forth about cutting-edge topics, such as Vietnam.
I can still hear his sermon about the vile evil, the all-encompassing horribleness, of homosexuality.
But there's hope, he says: Such unfortunates can escape the sin.
By living a life of celibacy.
To which I silently reply: I'm outta here.
And so I was.
A few years later I did briefly check out DignityUSA, the organization of gay Catholics.
Great people, good intentions, but way too much hoping-against-hope for my taste.
The Catholic Church wasn't going to change its mind, and I wasn't, either.
Almost four decades on, I'm still unwilling to do so, because it means denying, if not erasing, a part of myself as fundamental and essential as breathing.
So while I've occasionally taken Communion with other denominations, I haven't done so at a Catholic Mass. Nor will I; the church has rules, I don't play by them, and that is that.
I do still treasure the heritage.
When writing about Camden, where so many Catholic clergy and laypeople do such wonderful work, I often get a jolt of pride.
When I hear devout Catholics struggling with the parish mergers and school closings that have frayed entire communities, I empathize; the church where I made my first Holy Communion closed a couple of years ago.
And when I hear folks rejoice about Chaput's arrival, I understand their desire for the church they love to overcome the sex-abuse nightmare, and thrive.
I may disagree with some of the new archbishop's politics, but I've made peace with the fact that the institutional church and I will never see eye to eye politically.
Faith is another matter.
Watching that home movie recently, I was reminded of the mystery and majesty that touched me so deeply.
As an 8-year-old, I was stirred by the possibility of earthly goodness and (maybe) eternal life.
The church, along with my parents, gave me a start in what has become a confusing, challenging, and sometimes exhilarating relationship with God.
It was a great gift.
And it's still mine.
Contact staff writer Kevin Riordan at 856-779-3845, email@example.com, or @inqkriordan on Twitter. Read the metro columnists' blog, "Blinq," at http://www.philly.com/blinq