Not Counting the Barnacles

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Okay, I am a Protestant. I get that. This is why I believe there are many things wrong with the papacy, and that is not even counting the barnacles. But hope springs eternal, and every time a new pope is selected, a lot of people — including Protestants who should know better — start yearning for some kind of new thing to burst forth.

The occasion for these comments is an interview that Pope Francis recently granted, an account of which you may read here.

“His surprising comments came in a lengthy interview in which he criticized the church for putting dogma before love, and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalized.”

For the present, I simply want to level one criticism, which is that the new pope is busy surfing the waves of contemporary incoherence. This is what I mean. “Do not put dogma before love” sounds dogmatic to me. And “serving the poor and marginalized” over against moral doctrine is a moral doctrine.

This does not bode well.

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Brian Watson
Brian Watson
8 years ago

Note also, from the same New York Times article, this quote: “I see the church as a field hospital after battle,” Francis said. “It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars. You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else.” Francis is assuming that the the “injuries” people have (according to the rest of the article) are poverty and oppression. Once we take care of those “real” issues, we can start to discuss everything else. But our injury is our sin. If… Read more »

Rick Davis
8 years ago

Although I haven’t read the interview in question, there is one thing that stands out about the media coverage of the new pope. The media are, without exception, determined to spin a narrative that this pope is somehow the antithesis to the supposedly old fashioned, backward-looking, dogmatic-to-the-exclusion-of-love Benedict. Thus, no matter what Francis actually says, it’s going to be construed in light of the popular narrative. The pope washed a woman’s feet? He must be considering women’s ordination! The pope says we shouldn’t judge others? He must be in favor of gay marriage! Thus far, it doesn’t appear that Francis… Read more »

Tony from Pandora
Tony from Pandora
8 years ago

Brian said, “Francis is assuming that the the “injuries” people have (according to the rest of the article) are poverty and oppression. Once we take care of those “real” issues, we can start to discuss everything else. But our injury is our sin.” The way I read it, is simply that a person is much less likely to receive the Gospel message when he’s starving to death or being shot at. However… if you feed him or give him shelter, he will be much more inclined to listen. “But our injury is sin” Is not Poverty and Oppression a result… Read more »

Michael Lynch
Michael Lynch
8 years ago

This has nothing to do with this post: I just read on Denny Burk’s blog that you will be appearing on TBN. I wrote over there in the comments: “Say it ain’t so. Are they going on to rebuke those false teachers?”

Doug, why on earth would you do anything on that station except rebuke them?

David
8 years ago

I haven’t read the interview transcript yet, but I doubt very seriously that the pope was as incoherent as the New York Times account of his interview.

DanielBlowes
DanielBlowes
8 years ago

The absolute CRUX of the matter is that the Pope/Catholicism is NOT (primarily) a sin against us and our Protestant sensibilities, but against God and at The Cross we see His response: forgive them, they know not what they do.. Once we have accepted this we may have fellowship with Him in HIS suffering by forgiving and blessing etc.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
8 years ago

I used to be a high school English teacher. Every year there would be a few new young teachers who were far too hip and cool to make an issue about punctuality, homework, and not disrupting the class. And every kid would adore these hipsters until, around November, the hammer came down. Rules would get enforced, and the kids would feel betrayed. I like the new Pope, but I think the media who think he is offering Catholic Lite is in a shock. He didn’t get to run the Catholic Church in Buenos Aires without toeing the party line on… Read more »

Eric Stampher
Eric Stampher
8 years ago

If we understand the pope to mean our dogma must be accompanied by love, then he’s practically quoting Paul & Jesus. But loving like Christ can get you hoisted up on a cross.

Bill Buchanan
Bill Buchanan
8 years ago

God is love but love is not God.