Tag Archives: Pope

The Best Tweet From the Pope’s Speech to Congress


The Pope Isn’t Visiting America

He’s visiting three cities within a hundred miles of each other on the east coast.  That’s America like Cabo is Mexico.

Dear North Carolina, Please Let Me Be the Grand Inquisitor

When you set up your cool new theocracy.  I promise to do a good job and honest injun, ask anyone, I can spot a heretic what needs burning or drowning at 200 yards.  Furthermore, I have many years experience already as a sort of Grand Inquisitor in training.  And finally, I’ll do it for free.  All I will need from you is permission to seize all the property, monies, and holdings of what will be sure to be many, many victims, erm, I mean trespassers.

This is a one time offer, North Carolina.  I advise you to take it.  You’ve been warned.

That’s Odd…

Like the rest of you I see a lot of endorsements for books and software and that sort of thing.  But I have to say, this is the weirdest:

mohlDoes Mohler (who is an odd one) go around calling himself ‘ninth president’?  Because if he does that’s weird.  It would be like the Pope going around calling himself ‘Francis, 266th Pope, Vatican, Rome, Italy, Europe, World, Solar System, Milky Way, Universe’.

Oh Al… you are a ‘wonder’…

Fun Facts From Church History: Luther’s Candid Thoughts on the Papacy

English: woodcut of the pope selling indulgenc...

On 6 February 1539 Luther shared these thoughts with his dinner-companions:

“These arrogant and unlearned papists can’t govern the church because they write nothing, they read nothing, but, firmly saddled in the pride of possession, they cry out that the decrees of the fathers are not to be questioned and decisions made are not to be disputed, otherwise one would have to dance to the tune of every little brother.

For this reason the pope, possessed by demons, defends his tryranny with the canon ‘Si papa.’ This canon states dearly: If the pope should lead the whole world into the control of hell, he is nevertheless not to be contradicted. It’s a terrible thing that on account of the authority of this man we must lose our souls, which Christ redeemed with his precious blood.

Christ says, ‘I will not cast out anybody who comes to me’ [John 6:37]. On the other hand, the pope says, ‘As I will it, so I command it; you must perish rather than resist me.’ Therefore the pope, whom our princes adore, is full of devils. He must be exterminated by the Word and by prayer.”

And there you have it.  Don’t hold back, Martin.  Tell us what you think.

Hans Küng May Be Old, But He’s Still Fiery

Deutsch: Hans Küng in der Synagoge (Hechingen)...

One of the world’s most prominent Catholic theologians has called for a revolution from below to unseat the pope and force radical reform at the Vatican.

Hans Küng is appealing to priests and churchgoers to confront the Catholic hierarchy, which he says is corrupt, lacking credibility and apathetic to the real concerns of the church’s members.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Küng, who had close contact with the pope when the two worked together as young theologians, described the church as an “authoritarian system” with parallels to Germany’s Nazi dictatorship.

“The unconditional obedience demanded by bishops who swear their allegiance to the pope when they make their holy oath is almost as extreme as that of the German generals who were forced to swear an oath of allegiance to Hitler,” he said.

The Vatican made a point of crushing any form of clerical dissent, he added. “The rules for choosing bishops are so rigid that as soon as candidates emerge who say, stand up for the pill, or for the ordination of women, they are struck off the list.” The result was a church of “yes men”, almost all of whom unquestioningly toed the line.

“The only way for reform is from the bottom up,” said Küng, 84, who is a priest. “The priests and others in positions of responsibility need to stop being so subservient, to organise themselves and say that there are certain things that they simply will not put up with anymore,” he added.

Nothing will warm Ratzinger’s heart quite so much as being compared- by implication- to Hitler.  Read the whole piece in the Guardian.

The Pope Isn’t Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity



If some priest somewhere is a molester that priest is himself guilty, and not the entire Catholic Church.  Blaming the whole Church, or the Pope, for the deeds of a tiny minority of priests is like blaming every American for the war in Iraq or every German for the actions of Hitler.  All can’t be blamed for the actions of a few.    Someone’s just looking for publicity.

Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have accused the pope, the Vatican secretary of state and two other high-ranking Holy See officials of crimes against humanity, in a formal complaint to the international criminal court (ICC).

The submission, lodged at The Hague on Tuesday, accuses the four men not only of failing to prevent or punish perpetrators of rape and sexual violence but also of engaging in the “systematic and widespread” practice of concealing sexual crimes around the world.

It includes individual cases of abuse where letters and documents between Vatican officials and others show a refusal to co-operate with law enforcement agencies seeking to pursue suspects, according to the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a US-based organisation that represents the claimants.

To be kind, that’s just stupid.  We all loathe perversion perpetrated against children.  But blaming the Pope and the Vatican wholesale is just simply stupid and betrays a lack of sense and intelligence.

Why the Pope ‘Has to be Infallible’?

I’m willing to hear Michael out.  And since this is just part one, I’m guessing more is to follow.

Let’s start with the question: who is the final arbiter of the interpretation of Scripture?  I start with this point, because (surprisingly) Catholic and non-Catholic expressions of Christianity are largely agreed that the interpretation of Scripture is the essence of Christian doctrine.  For example, Benedict XVI has stated that the dogmas of the Church are, in essence, nothing other than the authoritative interpretation of Scripture.


And I have the feeling that it’s right here that we will part ways because he offers only two options:  the church or every Christian.  Neither of these is the actual answer.  The actual answer is the Holy Spirit.  When the Holy Spirit guides our understanding we will understand and interpret Scripture correctly.   When our minds are guided by themselves or some other thing then we will fail to rightly apprehend the meaning of Scripture.

But who decides if an interpretation is sound?  The Church does in its collective wisdom; because the Spirit doesn’t just guide individuals, it guides the Church.

This is why the work of the Reformers was accepted and embraced: theirs was viewed as the proper understanding of Scripture.

To be sure, there are always lunatics on the fringe who will gather dilettantes around themselves who adopt their dilettantism; but they are the exception which proves the rule.

Hence we need no infallible Pope.  We have the authentically infallible Spirit.  And that Spirit will not this year say this thing ex cathedra and next year something else.

16th Century Propaganda

One of the more fascinating aspects of life in the 16th century was the willingness of all sides of debates to use broadsheets and ‘comic strips’ and illustrated panels to inform the wider (largely illiterate) population of their various positions.

Take, for instance, a delightful booklet, published in 1545 and with Luther’s express permission to affix his name to it, featuring a series of 10 plates portraying the birth and rise of the Papacy.

My favorite panel is this one, showing the birth of monkery:

Luther called the collection of cartoons his ‘testament’!    And some hobbits think I’m crude…  They don’t know their history very well.  The 16th century knew how to put crude to work!  If only I could photoshop well enough I’d attach names.

Justin Bieber: Catholic Theologian…

“Basically, I don’t even consider religion. Like, I’m a Christian, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins. I believe that I have a relationship and I’m able to talk to him and really, he’s the reason I’m here, so I definitely have to remember that. As soon as I start forgetting, I’ve got to click back and be like, you know, this is why I’m here.”

I’m not really sure what the first sentence means. Maybe it’s some sort of weird Canadian-ism for ‘I don’t question religion’ or ‘I accept the fact that religion is an important dimension of my life’. Nor am I sure why such inarticulate ramblings are news-worthy. I mean really, if I wanted to read stuff like that I’d just go ahead and read his book.

But now I feel a bit bad about disliking the untalented pseudo-singer. He’s a Catholic… theologian… And it’s Stephen Smuts fault that I’m even mentioning this.

The moral? It’s better to get your Catholic theology from the Holy Father than it is a Canadian kid singer. Trust me.