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The Pope Busts Pelosi

I must admit, it did my Protestant heart glad when the Pope lectured Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, on the Roman Church's position on abortion.  Pelosi was on TV, not long ago, appropriating Augustine to support her rather militant pro-choice (dare I say "pro-abortion") position.   The Pope sees things differently.  And his view trumps hers.  Click here: RNS Feature: "Pope gives Pelosi a stern reprimand"

Terry Mattingly reminds us that evangelical fads may keep Christian trinket-stores in business and garner much publicity, but these things do very little to communicate the truth of Christianity to non-Christians.  But then we already knew that.   Click here: The Morning News: Religion : Evangelical Fads Don't Always Reach Others

Here's an Episcopal Bishop (newly-elected) who also holds a Buddhist ordination and sees nothing wrong with it.   For Pete's sake, make up your mind!  Click here: Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD)

Since being gay is in vogue these days, ELCA wants to re-think the whole of idea of whether or not homosexuality is a sin.   We sure didn't see that coming . . . Click here: Human Sexuality - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Reader Comments (17)

If the Pope may lecture Pelosi then I am not clear on what's wrong with Warren's or Dobson's kingdom confusion. It seems to me that it's one thing to agree with Papa on a certain political question, another to approve his kingdom confusion and eccesiastical abuse here. Otherwise it would seem that the doctrine of spirituality of the church only applies when it doesn't involve something that really, really gets one's goat.
February 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
What will be interesting to see now is whether or not the priests and bishops in her diocese support the Pope and refuse Pelosi communion until she recants - or waffle. If they waffle it could mean a re-wind back to the 60's when certain renegade priests in the Northeast ran around in the streets along side Viet Nam war protesters.

As a counterpoint to Zrim's comment, here in the Chicago area we are constantly bombarded with media coverage of another renegade priest who is constantly seen arm-in-arm with Jesse Jackson protesting "easy" access to firearms (as though obtaining guns is easy in Illinois - heh).

Kingdom confusion seems to be the only order of the day....
February 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
Zrim and George:

Good comments!
February 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd

I'd like to believe that if they "waffle" it may mean they are more Protestant than Catholic. But something tells me it would mean they'd just be bad Catholics.
February 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
You of course are being facetious when you say "we didn't see that coming." Sadly, this has been coming for years, as they submitted an almost identical proposal 12-14 years ago. It is a tragic turn in Lutheran circles.
February 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRaymond Coffey
"As a counterpoint to Zrim's comment, here in the Chicago area we are constantly bombarded with media coverage of another renegade priest who is constantly seen arm-in-arm with Jesse Jackson protesting "easy" access to firearms (as though obtaining guns is easy in Illinois - heh)."\

Ah, yes, Father Pflieger (sp?), known to gunnies as "Snuffy", for publicly advocating the murder of a gun shop owner. Pleasant man. .
February 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter"lee n. field"
Anybody have a link to Joe Carter's actual manifesto that Mr. Mattingly refers to?
February 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter"lee n. field"
How is it ecclesiastical abuse when a well known politician cites church history, theology, and theologians as support for her position, and her church leaders correct her as to what the church teaches its people about what is being talked about, particularly on something which is viewed as a violation of the sixth commandment? Of course the Pope can lecture her on this issue, she claims to be a Roman Catholic, and hence in submission to the teaching authority of her church. The reason she has got the the kind of attention she has had is because she gave a theological justification for something considered a sin. Interestingly, the Pope also referred to the "requirements of the natural law" on this issue.

I echo Dr. Riddlebargers comments about it "making my Protestant heart glad."
February 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto
I agree with Alberto. She was trying to appeal to the authority of the Catholic Church for her opinions, which means she was confusing the kingdoms, not the Pope, even though I think the office of Pope is an antichrist for its anathematization of the gospel.
February 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwalt
Nancy Pelosi got chewed out by the pope, so what then, well she be under church discipline? Though I am glad that the Pope corrected her when she spoke wrong on their view of abortion.

Pastor Kim this well make you happy. Our rep for a Jesus trinkets company just canceled a show his company was planning for Friday. Though I agree with many of the trinkets as "Jesus junk" I well say that there is a few expectations like the crosses either for wall hanging or necklaces. Any way true bookstores like the House of Bibles actually carry books and bibles not allot of trinkets. In the last five years the stores who carried trinkets have closed down in our area, so far five stores closed. Bookstore like ours with many books are still struggling but still open.
February 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertiminator
Alberto and Walt,

How Pelosi being guilty of bad argumentation translates into Papa not being guilty of ecclesiastical abuse isn't clear to me.

Here is how I would rank the problems from least severe to greatest:

1, Pelsoi's politics (and perhaps reference to history, etc. to gain support). Since political views are debatable and subject to Christian liberty, not too bothersome.

2. Papa's public preaching and subsequent abuse. But since Catholicism, like Evangelicalism, is built on kingdom confusion anyway, Papa is being as good a Catholic as Warren is being a good Evangelical.

3. Protestants lauding Papa's abuse simply because they share his politics. Championing the spirtuality of the church is waaaaay more important than championing any particular politics, no matter how strongly persuaded one is.
February 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
"How Pelosi being guilty of bad argumentation translates into Papa not being guilty of ecclesiastical abuse isn't clear to me. "

The entire papacy is a an ecclesiastical abuse of the worst kind, so what's your point? No one put a gun to her head and forced her to become a Roman Catholic, but since she put herself under their authority, I applaud the Pope (Papa, as you rather annoyingly call him), for laying the wood to her. He's simply "being a good catholic" as you so helpfully pointed out in 2) above, in which you answered your own question. He's also helping her to be a better catholic which, presumably, she would want having put herself under their authority and engaging in other outrageous RC practices like Mass, confession, first communion, etc.

"3. Protestants lauding Papa's abuse simply because they share his politics. Championing the spirtuality of the church is waaaaay more important than championing any particular politics, no matter how strongly persuaded one is."

See 2) and my response above. How can there be an abuse when she willfully joined? She even appealed to the authority of RC teaching for her opinions. The only abuse is hers.

At the risk of going around in circles indefinitely, let's just agree to disagree on this one.
February 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwalt

My point is that if Rick Warren is confusing his kingdoms by inviting candidates to Saddleback, and if Dobson is doing the same for his radio rants, why isn’t Papa faulted for his public preaching to Pelosi (how’s that for alliteration, and can you tell I grew up in the 80s)?

I agree that the Speaker is being under-Catholic, but I also thought that not only does Protestantism think that's a good thing but also held as a virtue liberty of conscience, even if that conscience disagrees with another one. I can’t help but wonder if your applause has more to do with simply having different politics than Pelosi since we Protestants have never taken well to the ecclesiastical bullying of Romanists.
February 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
Joe Carter, "Ten Deadly Trappings of Evangelicalism": .
February 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter"lee n. field"
I do think it's a little silly to invite politicians into the Church for an interview specifically to win over Christian voters. However, it's equally silly to refer to any Church interraction with politicians and their positions as "Kingdom Confusion."

As a matter of fact, "Kingdom Confusion" is exactly what the Church is trying to avoid by such interactions.

The Pope is fulfilling his duty as Pope to correct those who submit themselves to his authority (i.e. Roman Catholics). When someone, especially someone who is well known and has a wide audience, makes incorrect claims about what the Church teaches, it is necessary that the Church make clear its stance and gracefully correct the error.

Correcting mistakes like this is the duty of any Church leader who finds a member of his or her congregation speaking untruthfully (accidentally or not) about what his or her Church teaches. The Pope just happens to have a really big congregation. =)

From what I can tell, that's all that's happened here.
February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrian
Brian -

I think you're absolutely right about the Pope. Pelosi is the one who got the whole business started by placing her secular interests in pro-choice agendas ahead of her theological beliefs. When the two got cross-ways with each other she decided to "invent" scriptural justification for her views that weren't really there and the head of the Roman church, following the lead of that Bishop in Colorado, let her know in no uncertain terms where she erred. That's as it should be.

On the other hand, when priests like the Barrigan brothers join war protesters and Pfleger carries placards decrying "easy" access to firearms, I have to take exception. Whether or not the issues they champion are legitimate is not the issue; it's who they represent when they show up in the street wearing their clerical collars. If they want to present their complaints in public they need to take those off those symbols of their position in the Roman church and dress as private citizens. And even then they'd be walking a fine line because the local public still recognizes them for what they represent.

That's where the two kingdoms get confused.
February 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
I think many of these criticism are correct, we have created sacred cows. Thankfully, God is gracious and honors a needle of truth in a haystack of error. So I would like to nail 11th fad on the cyberdoor - prayer-walking.
Prayer walking, which like many of the other fads is not, at least I have not located it yet, in the Bible. I am sure that Paul prayed while he walked (he said that we ought to pray without ceasing), but nowhere did I read about him spending a large sum of denarius to travel to another city to walk around it, pray over it, and lay hands on the houses to elicit some superficial gospel blessing. Whenever Paul entered a city he preached the gospel (synagogue and market). Rather, he used the money and delivered it (if he was going that direction) or sent it to the churches in need (e.g. Jerusalem), for the purpose of spreading the gospel. I suppose that in some evangelical minds God is not omnipresent anymore and He needs some help from us. Since we have airplanes now we can relocate fairly quickly and compensate for God's "obvious" absence. I wonder what believers did before the world got smaller, before the time of plains, trains, and automobiles? Maybe they just relied on the sovereignty and omnipresence of God as they lifted up believers and the work of the gospel in distant cities, sort of like Paul did in the epistles. I guess prayer walking is like real estate "location, location, location."
February 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony V

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