A true mark of vanity is someone who quotes himself, so I guess that means I qualify. But actually, I'm just too lazy to write this all over again, so I'm just going to offer it up again for consideration.
I refer to an article I wrote some years ago on the fact that the Church has always, in all her history, struggled with heresy, dissent, schism, and trouble. The article recounts some of the bitter controversies in the early and medieval centuries, and is called, perhaps poorly, "Clergy Support in the Early and Medieval Church." Read it in its entirely here, in pdf format. Here are some excerpts:
Where is the golden age? When was the golden age? In short, there never was one, and the Christian faith has been attacked and placed under siege by the devil and his minions ever since the struggle between Peter and Paul, a struggle seen in every single century since. In every century the Church has been, as the hymn says it, “by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” Our age is no different. . . .
Thus, to sum up with broad strokes, when we look to the Church of the first millennium, we see no golden age, but continual struggles against heresy . . .
. . . let no one say we have never been here before. We have always been here before. This is life in the Church Militant. Get used to it. And let no one deceive you.
[to repeat, you can read the whole thing in pdf here]