Tuesday, April 05, 2005

What place does the pope have in lives of non-Catholics?

Pope John Paul IISee today's Wineskins Blog about the question, "What place does the pope have in lives of non-Catholics?" I'm interested to hear what others think, so please visit and give your two cents worth.

I didn't mention on Wineskins that Dan Brown of Da Vinci Code fame wrote a better book called, Angels and Demons, which pivots on the death of a pope and the Conclave, among other things. Just as any book, particularly fiction, should be read with concern for what is actually historical, so you ought to read this book with that caution and more background reading while you learn about the Conclave narratively.

Yesterday, Jill gathered our children around her scrapbook (she had not pulled it out in years) and showed them the photo she had taken when the pope walked past her in St. Peter’s, posted above. Our children want to know why the pope is so important, why all the attention is on his death right now. We talked about how he's the leader of one billion people, their church, and he is in the line of many who have decided important things about what Christians have believed about Jesus and his mission. Yet, we temper it with our own understanding of the priesthood of all believers, the message of Hebrews, the way we are shepherded by loving elders in our lives today. Though we are not "told" what to believe by the pope, his office has still influenced what we believe over the years and I would venture to say, still does. His stands make a difference to many beyond the Catholic faith, in what they come to believe for themselves.

More at Wineskins Blog


At 10:50 AM, Blogger c said...


Funny you should mention Brown's first book Angels and Demons. My wife and I read it (actually listened to it) while driving to TX for Easter. It was somewhat helpful (minus the energy timebomb) in picturing the process of nominating a new Pope. But didn't this book resemble Da Vinci Code at little too much? I mean, both were good page turners, but I prefered Da Vinic more b/c it had more history/philosophy/theory to it than Angels and Demons, but thats my silly opinion.

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Rudy Taylor said...

It is difficult for me to identify with the papacy, but I have been inspired by the world reaction to the death of John Paul II. I have also done some studying on-line of articles by Catholic academic leaders regarding Peter being the first pope and the lineage of popes since the church's founding. It was quite interesting, especially since my own knowledge of the Catholic Church comes from what I have observed, heard from fellow Restoration Movement Christians, and my own reading of the Bible. On the positive side, I am glad to see so much media attention on Christianity, even if it is different from my own church background. I remain persuaded that Christ never intended for his kingdom to be an earthly one, with such opulence in the Vatican and the complicated bureaucracy that surrounds it. Still, historians hold the Catholic Church up as verifiable in its claims, and I am not willing to condemn those who place their dedication to Jesus Christ in a liturgical setting of worship and an ancient mentality of God's relationship to us. Pope John Paul II was surely a great man, but the emphasis still is on the latter part of that phrase ... "man."
Good shall come from this, too.



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