Thursday, February 28, 2013

Papal Perusings

A little over eight years ago, on April 19th 2005, I ate lunch with my brother in an Abuelo’s in the DFW area. I remember the day well. It was the day after my wife’s birthday, and the day before my first son’s seventh. (It was also the tenth anniversary of that OK city bombing and an even older commemoration of the Waco thing.) But the thing that marks this moment to a specific event is that Pope Benedict XVI was elected to be the Catholic Church’s mediary between God and men by 115 guardians of that institution.

I remember we sat there talking about some of the theories as to who would be the next guy. (Many of which are being repeated these days.) But when we heard the actual results we were a bit surprised. What made things more interesting in retrospect was that we had to switch our thoughts from Latin America—where we grew up and many thought the church would look for their man—to Germany where I would end up living just a year later. At the time, I hadn’t even given any thought to living overseas again.

Now, not even eight years later, it seems a bit surprising that we are going to witness the whole process again. At the time we predicted this, though. However, we did not expect it to go down like this. 600 years have gone by since the last pope—the man some think to be the voice of God on Earth—has retired. Today that will happen, and one presumes a lot of believing people will be without God’s voice for a few weeks.

What one could wish for this time around is that the church will name a man who will reduce people’s dependence on a man-made institution and redirect them back to the Word of God and the truth that we do not approach God through a religious system anymore.

But that is equating the religion of Catholicism with some form of Biblical faith just because they both sort of look to Christ for answers. That would be a mistake to make.

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