One day after Mass, a friend introduced someone to me. "This is Joan. She's just recently come into the Church."
"Wonderful!" I replied. "Things are a mess, but welcome aboard!"
Later on, when my friend and I were alone, he said to me, "You know, you really shouldn't have made that comment to Joan about things in the Church being a mess. She's just converted and doesn't need to hear negative things at the beginning of her journey."
After apologizing for any lack of prudence or charity in my comment. I took a moment to explain the intent of my comment to Joan.
Part of our mission as Catholics is to bring souls into the Church, and any time that happens is cause for celebration. Since the Church is the only means of salvation, a person's conversion is not merely a "nice" thing -- it's an everlasting life-saving event.
At the same time, we cannot be oblivious to the realities of the turmoil within the Church today. Mass attendance is low. People don't go to Confession. Many Catholics fall in line with the culture when it comes to divorce and remarrriage, the use of contraception, and any number of other things. There is bad preaching that sows confusion amongst the faithful. Many falsely believe Catholicism can be reconciled with a "pro-choice" view on abortion. An infriltration of homosexuals into the clergy has given cause for great scandal. There is division within the Church concerning the current papacy, the Latin Mass, and on and on....
While we shouldn't allow the turmoil within the Church to frighten away would-be converts, it is nonetheless important for people to know, at least to some degree, what they're getting into. (Though they are certainly bound to find out soon enough!) Just as the ark in Genesis was the only means of being saved from the waters of the great flood, so too is the Church the only means of salvation for human souls (and resurrected bodies). That said, I'm quite certain that conditions aboard the ark must have been rather awful at times. I can just imagine the smell alone.