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Electing a New Pope

130313-pope-francis-vmed-4p.photoblog600With the surprise retirement of Pope Benedict, and amid rumors of scandal and political power struggles, the Cardinals of the Catholic church have gathered in Vatican City to select a new Pope for the Roman Catholic Church. Ehttp://richhailey.shotsacrossthebow.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpach morning they withdraw, closing the doors of the Sistine Chapel behind them as they pray, deliberate, and discuss who the next Holy Father should be.

And while they carry out this solemn duty, cloaked in mystery and ritual, folks on the outside jeer at them.

  • The world is such a dork, sitting around waiting for the secret smoke signal from the pope cave.
  • They should just make a reality show out of it. Get a few judges and make them audition and then let people call in and vote. Religious Idol, if you will.
  • I’m just curious how God is getting anything done without a Pope. Is he on vacation maybe? Smoking a doobie and drinking a mai tai somewhere?

Link.

  • “The Pope had a press conference today. He said he just wants to spend more time with his wife and kids.” –David Letterman
  • “The Pope is now on Twitter. The church is really trying to connect with young people — in a way that doesn’t involve hush money.” –David Letterman

Link.

  • There’ll be a resignation ceremony for the Pope, where he fires electrical rays from his fingers as Darth Vader throws him down a lift shaft
  • The Pope must have done something even the Church finds unacceptable. I’m guessing he’s shagged an adult woman.

Link.

Gee, it just warms your heart, doesn’t it? Sometimes I understand why certain Muslims react so violently when people mock Mohammed.

Don’t get me wrong; I understand that the Catholic Church, particularly the more liberal American branch, has some things to answer for, but still, the lack of respect is staggering.

I was born and raised a Catholic. Went to Catholic grade school, mass 6 times a week, Catholic summer camp, was an altar boy and was being guided towards the priesthood until I discovered girls. I was a late bloomer by I made up for it with the intensity of my interest.

I fell away from the church and it started during those years, mainly because I saw the press of worldliness begin to overcome the American church. And then, when the church was hit by revelations not just of child abuse, but the active coverup of that abuse, my break became final.

However, I still respect the church, not as an all too fallible human institution, but as an ideal. And for that reason, I still respect the office of the Pope, regardless of the actions of some of the men who filled that office. After all, even a cursory review of papal history shows that the temporal church has had a lot of bad times. But there have always been good Christian people in the church as well, both in the congregations and the priesthood, not to mention the nuns, friars, monks, and others who have chosen to dedicate their lives to God within the bounds of Catholicism.

It is out of respect for them that I continue to show respect for their church.

Oh, and one other reason.

    [18] And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

(Matthew 16:18-19 ESV)

Catholics interpret this passage as Jesus naming Peter as the first Pope. Protestants have a different interpretation, casting the years between the resurrection of the Christ and the Reformation as a 15 century long misunderstanding. In either case, Jesus is uttering a prophesy, not just that the church will survive an attack by Satan, but that the church will be attacked by Satan. Right now, the gates of hell are certainly coming against the Catholic Church, but according to Matthew, the church, signifying the millions of true Christian believers, will prevail. My prayer is that the new Pope, Pope Francis I, will begin to fulfill that prophesy.

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