Steve Sack on papal authority
by Steve Timmer
May 3, 2012, 9:00 AM

A straight line from Peter to Benedict

The Strib’s letter of the day for April 3rd:

I understand that political cartoons are supposed to be satire, but in order to be intellectually honest, this satire should at least be based in some semblance of truth. The implication of the April 30 anti-Catholic cartoon is that because Jesus did not “speak out” against homosexual acts, the pope is wrong in doing so. [We all know that popes are incapable of being wrong. Like all fathers.]
This misrepresentation of Christian dogma is easy to make outside the context of church history and teaching. Jesus founded a church, and he built this church on Peter, who was the first pope (Matthew 16:18-19).
In that gospel passage, he tells Peter, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven,” and also “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Paul later wrote in 1 Timothy 3:15 that this church is “the pillar and authority of the truth.” Pope Benedict shares in the apostolic succession from St. Peter. Also, scripture says that not everything Jesus taught was written down (John 21:25).
In other words, that Jesus was not specifically quoted condemning homosexual acts does not mean that his legitimate Christian church on earth cannot do so. The church is Jesus Christ.


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Guys like our pal Bob here go a long way in explaining why the Reformation occurred. In Bob’s Epistle, the pope is God’s agent here on earth, dispensing advice, and serving as the sole spokester for “his legitimate Christian church.”As one of those bastard Christians, Bob, I have to tell you that rankles a little. Well, a lot.

You see, I don’t care a fig what Bob thinks about my brand of Christianity. Really. But I do care when Bob, or the pope, presume to speak for the entire Christian community.

Take it from me, they do not.

Kids, Bob suffers from what Sigmund Spot might call an “ego boundary problem.” That is, he doesn’t know where he – or Benedict’s Catholic church – stops and the rest of the world begins.

You’ve really got a lot of damn nerve, Bob.

Out here in the bastard Christian world, Bob, there is the freedom to read and interpret the Bible in light of history, reason, and yes, science. Each of us gets to do it — and indeed is expected to do it — on his or her own.

For example, Bob, many of us decided long before the middle nineties of the last century when the Catholic church finally said, “Oops!” that Galileo was right: the earth really does revolve around the sun!

And it really burns me, Bob, when you say that the church — and you mean the Catholic church as directed by Cardinal Ratzinger, as he was known before he changed his name — IS Jesus Christ. Obviously an absurd statement, it is also a libel of Jesus, because it means, by necessary implication, that all of those altar boys were buggered by Jesus himself.

I don’t accept that.

Regrettably, there are some Protestants who come to same conclusion that you do — or rather Benedict does; sorry — about homosexuality, but certainly not all of them. And I certainly don’t.

And I ‘d really appreciate it, Bob, if going forward, you’d take some pains to leave me out of it when you say that Benedict speaks for all Christendom.


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