Mind – I say – mind your manners, son! I got a pointy hat!

I stopped at Union Station for lunch, and it’s absolutely overrun by girls in little Catholic school outfits.  (I’m told there were boys from the same schools there, too, but somehow I didn’t notice them as much.)  Yes, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI (known to his friends as “Eggs”, arf arf) arrived in town yesterday, and the Catholics of this area and elsewhere in the nation are flocking to DC to hang around and bask in his general Popeness.  He will be holding a Mass at the new Nationals Stadium tomorrow, and I am really looking forward to the traffic that that will cause; my own prayer will be to thank Ghod that I take the train.  The Nationals, it should be noted, are doing their part to welcome the Pope by stinking up their stadium so much that it needs the Pope to hold a blessing in it.

As a Protestant, Catholicism always made me uneasy.  They’re Christians, I suppose, and they’ve got some good points and some bad points.  On the first side, they do believe the same stuff, such as the Bible and the teachings of Jesus, which I consider pretty darned good, and they will speak out on issues such as war.  Also, as a Rev myself, I appreciate ritual in the worship of Christ, and man, nobody does ritual like the Catholics.  On the second, they have a lot of hangups and missteps, of which the pedophilia that’s been rampant throughout the Church in the U.S. is only the latest and by far not the worst.

Mostly though, the whole thing just seems weird.  The mixture of temporal and ecclesiastical power, with the Pope as the head of a powerful-beyond-its-size Holy See causes me some cognitive dissonance.  There’s also the whole Catholic idea of the Pope as somehow being more than a guy in a pointy hat thanks to a descendency in a sense from Christ Jesus through Peter the Apostle.  This idea is, how you say, a little thin in places, which should at least prompt some reflection.  Mostly, just because the idea makes sense when compared to other similar institutions (and by this, I mean massive concentrations of elites and their money for some specific purpose, like a government or a multinational corporation), I find myself agreeing with Luther that yeah, this whole thing went off the rails quite a long time ago, and despite the best of intentions, it is sometimes better in the long run to just blow the whole thing up and start over from scratch…and this Pope really is just a guy in a pointy hat.  (A nice guy, I would imagine, who at least seems to stick to his principles even if I don’t agree with them, but a guy nonetheless.)

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4 Responses

  1. I have only recently understood our Catholic brothers and sisters.

  2. You certainly are your mother’s son.

  3. @Mary: So, what, you’re down with the Pope?

  4. That wasn’t my point, and to answer that — no, pretty indifferent about the Pope. I was just teasing Bob last week for her statement that Catholics were “weird.” She now denies it — guess she’s planning to run for office.

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