Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Herr Pope!

Before I get to the Pope, I have discovered that Bayou Boy wants to take me on for the glory of the South. All right, then. To arms, you cowardly ninny! You have the rank smell of elderberries!

On to the Pope! April Deconick updated her
post on the Pope and made some very important comments.

One of my favorite bloggers,
Madpriest, is from Newcastle Upon Tyne, which I have been informed is perilously close to Scotland. He has some fine posts about the Pope, whom he lovingly refers to as "Bennie."

Anglicans are more concerned about the Pope and his statements than the rest of us sinners. I suppose that Anglicans are still hoping to get more cozy with the "Italian Church" as Maddie calls it. I, of course, have no such dreams.

A story: When I served my first congregation in upstate New York, (isn't it pretty?),

our congregation participated with five others in the Lowville Council of Churches. This grand body consisted of the local Episcopal, Methodist, Mennonite, Baptist, Roman Catholic, and Presbyterian churches.
We gathered to run the food pantry, the second-hand clothes store, and we gave turkeys to the poor on Christmas. We felt pretty proud of ourselves.

One day, a Mormon church moved in to our peaceful Christian village. I contacted the president of the stake, as it is called, and invited him, if he was interested, to participate in our august body. He thought it would be swell.

So, I presented the opportunity at our next board meeting. All hell broke loose. The local Baptist pope popped his veins and declared that the Mormons believed that Jesus's brother was Satan and other half-truths and bluster. He threatened that if the Mormons were allowed in to the club, the Baptist church would leave in a big snorty huff.

He wasn't the first bully I would meet nor the last. However, I still regret this to this day. After a bit of heated discussion, it appeared that others had reservations. Gosh, should we lose the Baptists for the Mormons? I was new in the ministry, perhaps two years or so, and after the fury, I withdrew my motion. I am a bit more plucky these days. Today, I would have forced a vote.

I didn't quite understand his problem. After all, I had to debase myself by sitting at the same table with my colleague, a damnable Arminian Methodist. But even he could figure out how to bring a can of beans to the food pantry.

The representative of the Catholic Church, Sister Mary, told her priest about the situation. He came to visit me the next day for consolation. I really liked him. I will never forget what he told me. He said, "You know, Mormons are just the same as Presbyterians. They are not Catholic."

That was incredibly freeing for me. Yet, opposed to the blustery Baptist (nothing against Baptists, just him), he was gracious enough to allow that my used skivvies were holy enough to be donated the thrift store as his.
Institutions are screwed up. The same reactionary nonsense occurs in every denomination. Thankfully, local people are still human.


  1. Whew!

    In the email I sent you I reasonably talked about creationists. I almost talked about the unlikely historicity of the Book of Mormon, given the lack of any correspondence between any Egyptian or Semitic language, (or Greek and Latin, for that matter!), and any language spoken by the natives of any of the Americas!

    I'm glad I referred to the creationists! I didn't know you liked Mormons so much! ;-)>

    Just kidding, of course

  2. John

    I should have added one more thing:

    Re: the pope and being a presbyterian:

    Bishops? We don't need no steenking bishops!

  3. There are some within the Anglican Church who would like to be "more cosy" with the pope, but I think a major reason we are preoccupied with what he says is that, because we have a similar ecclesiology, we see ourselves as in competition with Rome. Above all, the fact that popes keep saying we do not have "real" priests really smarts. I know it shouldn't, we should have more confidence in ourselves, but we all have our Achilles heal, and those Italian types really know how to wind us up.

  4. For my next dumb comment....

    ever notice how the Pope bears more than a passing resemblance to ?

  5. Oh how sanctimonious people can be. I know from first hand exposure that around here the Christian Church considers the Mormons to be low level heathens. Personally I like to remind people about the required prerequisite for throwing stones!

  6. This pope is a politician, not a priest.
    He promotes a reactionary, ultra-conservative, exclusivist version of the Christian religion. Meaning that he's just another Pat Robertson. The vesture of a peacock, surrounded by Idols and other wealth. Piety on parade!

    He could sell that stupid hat he wears and get enough money to feed half of Africa so his aversion to moral relativism fades into the shadow of his own moral relativism.
    Fancy that. :)

    Any way you slice him, his ecclesiology still dictates that us peasants cannot communicate with the holy spirit unless we do so through the church. B*&6%4*#!

    This is why I always remained silent during the recitation of the Apostle's Creed. Swearing allegiance to the "holy catholic church" at a protestant service really bugged me. Hell, it'd bug me anywhere.

  7. As far as mormons are concerned, they have their intelligent ones and their snake handlers just like everyone else.

    Sen. Harry Reid is a good, faithful man. Mitt Romney is a deceitful liar. Both Mormon.

    Aside from that, if God himself gave me some gold tablets with his own writing on them, I think I would die before I lost them. Strange.

  8. tn420,

    The phrase "holy catholic church" means the universal church, not the Roman Catholic Church. A definition of the word catholic is "Including or concerning all humankind; universal"

  9. JD Crossan had a fine quote:

    "I will happy to give the Pope the gift of infallibility, if he would only respond with the gift of accuracy."

  10. I do have very schizophrenic tastes, I admit. I love "South Park", and this year's Easter special was a hoot (it was a wacky take-off on "The DaVinci Code"--complete with a scene where the wise professor thwarts the Pope's minions by putting a carton of Peeps in the microwave to make them explode). According to SP, Peter (the first pope) was actually Peter Cottontail, as Jesus wanted a rabbit to be pope. You see, rabbits can't talk and therefore can't issue silly proclamations. Besides, how else do you explain the hat? It's designed for a rabbit!