Thursday, May 10, 2007

Could the Pope be reading Reepicheep?

Not a chance. But I wish he was.

Still, the timing is interesting. Just after posting my blog about the RC Church needing to exert more disciplinary accountability in her membership ranks, the Pope scolded Mexican politicians who were part of legalizing abortion in the heavily Roman Catholic Mexico City. Actually, he did more than scold, he gave authority to the local bishops to excommunicate pro-abortion politicians...kind of. Good for him. Sort of....

The problem with the Pope's letters to the various regional bishops is their "non-binding" authority. It is basically up to the local parish priests whether to exercise discipline or not. So, the Pope's letter is merely a recommendation or suggestion. Very close to useless. All bark, no bite.

Just today, one news source noted that five of the current presidential candidates (Giuliani, Kucinich, Biden, Dodd, and Richardson) are Roman Catholics, yet in defiance of their church, are in favor of (and thus, promote) abortion. Many other legislators can be added to this group. Apparently, in 2004, before becoming Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger sent a letter to American bishops, similar to the one he just sent to their Mexican counterparts. Note this excerpt from a Foxnews article today-

Donohue said that Pope Benedict, before becoming the leader of the Catholic Church, issued a letter during the 2004 presidential campaign that said bishops have the right to withhold communion from candidates who say they support abortion. The letter was nonbinding, and it is up to the leaders of the individual archdioceses across the country to enforce the Church's position.

What authority does the Pope have in the RC church? I know the doctrinal answer, but really, what authority does he practically have. Non-binding resolutions? How worthless. Talk about no teeth. Back to my original postulate- there is a reason the RC Church has so little effect on culture. Obviously I disagree with the very office called "Pope", but if I did believe He was Peter's successor, I guarantee Peter would not be sending "non binding" letters. Just read what Peter said to the Jews in Acts 3 & 4.

I wish the Pope read Reepicheep.

1 comment:

Frontier Forest said...

Along with Brother Peter’s
"binding" letters to the Jews in Acts 3 & 4, we should also remember Paul's rebuke to the false teachers of Galaita. Those who were undermining the central doctrine of justification by faith spelled out for us in Romans 3:24. They were also ignoring the important decrees set forth at the Jerusalem Council, pertaining to the false teachings that gentiles must first be circumcised and submit to the Mosaic Law before becoming Christians.
May the Pope and all of us, hear the Words to this binding letter!
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from HIM who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which there is not another, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed! For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:6-10