Yesterday, I argued that humble popes don’t exist. They’re mythical because it’s categorically impossible to receive the unbiblical role of supreme pontiff, make people kiss your hand and call you “holy father,” and then be able to travel under the descriptor “humble.” The papacy is an act of self-excommunication from the Church, albeit with no small amount of flair. And therein lay the rub and temptation for many Christians.
I heartily agree with Clint’s previous post, and am not suggesting you begin a conversation with Joe Catholics with the foregoing. Yet, I believe it’s pastorally important to remind Christians that the Pope has no clothes. As Rome’s pomp and circumstance gets paraded on CNN, Christians too often begin to view their own churches and traditions with more of a jaundiced eye. In an age of plastic, self-designed spirituality, who can deny the appeal of firm traditions made of stone and mortar? And the traditions of Roman Catholicism would indeed hold beauty, if they weren’t false.