Thursday, March 21, 2013

What Do I Think of the New Pope?

I don't think much about the Pope. I am a protestant. I am an evangelical. I am not a Roman Catholic, and I don't feel qualified to have much of an opinion about the Pope.

But, at the same time, I do care about many Catholics--my friends, neighbors, loved ones. And I care about the world we live in which is deeply affected by the Roman Catholic Church and its leadership.  [This article, while not possessing a great title, is the best short explanation of the kind of solidarity I feel with the Pope and why I care so much while still "protesting."]

So, like many others, our family has watched with interest the news surrounding the retirement of Benedict and the election of Francis. I was heartened to read the articles in Christianity Today about those in Argentina who are elated with the choice because they know this man personally and are encouraged by his personal humility and openness. This included even Luis Palau who counts the new pope as an old friend and a man who loves his Bible.

Who knows where this will lead?  I know it doesn't mean that the Reformation is over, but what might God do with these developments? It will be interesting to see.

The best book I've ever read on the relationship between evangelicals and Catholics remains Chris Castaldo's Holy Ground. It's very readable, winsome, balanced, and helpful.  I  read Chris' blog to stay up on current events at the intersection of evangelicalism and Catholicism. He continues love his Catholic heritage but also is unashamedly evangelical and protestant. He posted this week on the challenges that Pope Francis is facing as he begins his role (and how some of his first choices were to pray to Mary). Highly recommended blog.


Interesting to long-term readers, some of the first posts on Hot Orthodoxy were about the election of Pope Benedict. That seems like forever ago now, but it was only 8 years ago.


I liked his humor, and his request for prayer for his predecessor. I liked that he paid his own bills at the hotel and talked to people. Prayer with former hookers. Then of course there was the prayer to Mary and I said, "Well he is the head of the Roman Catholic Church."