You’ve got to admire Pope Benedict ex vee one for knowing how to quit while you’re ahead. As far as climbing the corporate ladder goes, getting the keys to the kingdom and the company Popemobile is a sign you’ve maxed out your promotability. And the responsibility of being infallible is a burden no octogenarian should have to bear for long. When you’re getting on in years, and noticing an increased frequency in “senior moments” you don’t want to have to invoke St Anthony to help locate either misplaced bunch of keys.
As for the new kid on the block, weighing in at a spritely seventy-six years young (getting the white smoke green light two years sooner than his predecessor), Pope Francis ushers in a new era of pontificating. Personally, I think the name Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a cooler name than Francis (no offense pastor Chan), but having a 1 in your name certainly scores points for originality.
My concern whenever the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) perennially makes the news, is that Evangelicals get swept up in peripheral discussions with their Catholic counterparts in water cooler debates at work. Evangelicals assume that Joe Catholic at work knows and believes what the Pope teaches.
I grew up in a loving, fun, and staunchly Catholic home. When my Evangelical schoolmates lobbed half-baked assaults on my Mariology, purgatory, indulgences, and praying to St Christopher for a safe bus ride, they accomplished no more than convince me they were ignorant of my beliefs.
My Baptistic buddies learned, from their youth pastor no doubt, that Catholics believe in odd myths like the treasury of merit, that contraception was evil, and that Mary was born sinless and was assumed into heaven without ever tasting death. It was true that the Pope and other die-hards knew, understood, and believed in all those issues, but I could dismiss most of their attacks by honestly denying that I believed any of it. This muffled their clamorous conversion attempts, and left me just as Catholic in my own mind as I would be if I actually did subscribe to the official teachings of the RCC.
I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret a nun taught me in the 1st grade when I questioned transubstantiation (it turns out trace elements of Sola Scriptura were already stashed deep in my spiritual DNA from before the foundation of the world, according to Eph 1:4). Here it is… Continue Reading…