Is the Pope Protestant?

Is the Pope Protestant? April 17, 2015

No.  The Church is Christian. If the notion of the Catholic faith as a living relationship with Jesus Christ sounds un-Catholic to you, you’re doing it wrong.  The entire raison d’etre of the Church is to form disciples of Jesus Christ.

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  • antigon

    What? Sounds like this is just a prudential opinion of Papa B’s. According to Eye of the Tiber it’s the Sign of Peace!

  • ivan_the_mad

    A very timely look back, given the promulgation of Misericordiae Vultus!

    I can’t help being a little silly here: “We will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lordship of Christ …”. Lizard people. The Vatican knows.

  • ManyMoreSpices

    I don’t recall encountering any Catholic who rejected the idea of a personal relationship with Christ, but it’s a big internet. What does clang against my Catholic ear is “accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.” That sounds tremendously Protestant, but is there (likewise) nothing theologically wrong with it?

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      I think it sounds wrong to Catholic ears because of some of the ideas connected to it are theologically wrong. In my experience, it is often followed by “once saved, always saved” instead of the idea that salvation can be lost and we should always be moving closer to Christ (accepting Christ is a lifelong, daily process, not a one-time event).

    • petey

      ” What does clang against my Catholic ear is “accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.” ”

      against my catholic ear too, but my issue is not with such a statement, but that too often that’s where protestant dogma ends. the idea that such an acceptance might lead to a change in one’s realtions with other people seems to be devalued; conversion in its catholic meaning (the daily work of turning your will over to god, abetted by sacramental practice) is absent. it’s solipsistic. my understanding of catholicism and my adherence to its social aspect is contained in CCC 1749: “Freedom makes man a moral subject. When he acts
      deliberately, man is, so to speak, the father of his acts. Human acts,
      that is, acts that are freely chosen in consequence of a judgment of
      conscience, can be morally evaluated. They are either good or evil.” that doesn’t make a person obsessive, it merely means that you recognize the equality before god of your personhood and that of everyone else, and you act accordingly.

    • Mark S. (not for Shea)

      Even when I was a Protestant, that phrase irked me. Not that it’s bad theology. It’s bad English. So bad that it kind of becomes bad theology.
      “Personal” is the most obviously irksome because it’s unnecessary. If Jesus is Lord, then He is Lord. Not a personal Lord. Not an impersonal Lord. Not an occasional Lord.

      But that reasoning leads me into being irked by “accept,” because then it becomes evident that the entire emphasis of that doctrine is on the individual. On me. On what I think. On what I accept. And that is exactly what you want to get out of the way in true conversion. It ain’t about me. Jesus is Lord. Always has been. Always will be. Whether I accept it or not.
      I do get what they’re going for. But it’s so muddled that it gets people off on the wrong foot from the get-go. At least it did for me.

    • Sue Korlan

      I think the Catholic version of that saying is to know the Lord Jesus. However well we think we know Him, there is always more to discover in our friendship with Him.

    • Joseph

      The only thing wrong with that phrase is that, thanks to Southern Evangelical Protestantism popularised by televangelists on the 700 Club et al, it is synonymous with rejecting the need for the sacramental life, simply saying ‘I believe’, then presuming that one will inevitably go to Heaven despite their continuing sinfulness after making that proclamation Thus the phrase, at least in America, has very clear anti-Catholic connotations and deliberately so.
      However, this is just Evangelicals staking claim to a Catholic idea and turning into their motto, presenting it as something *they* offer… like a sales pitch. No obligation… until they start attending their churches and mandatory tithing comes into play to help the pastor drive a fancy car and live in a nice house.
      Casting aside the relatively new, and inherently American, baggage from the phrase it is easy to see that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Pope Francis isn’t American. I doubt that he associates it to the relatively small scale Evangelical movement in the U.S (as compared to the world). He sees it for what it is… a real, free offer to those interested in understanding God in Jesus. On the other hand, he could be working to take that motto from the Protestants and show the world that it is not a contradiction to Catholic belief (as it’s currently presented by Evangelicals). Though I don’t think that’s what he’s trying to do, I think he’s just speaking from the heart.

  • Stanzas four, four and one:


    If and when we are relieved of sin,

    Of greed and self-importance, loathsome

    Will it be painful to be stripped

    Against the tender spirit, will it

    On no, He said, I am more tender

    The softest woman and the gentlest

    For when the skin of pride is
    taken off

    It will by My devising be so soft

    That like a glove removed without
    a pain

    The skin will come away with every

    To leave you uncorrupted and so

    That you will be amazed, so is My

    If your soul submits to Me with

    I will remove from you that loathsome


    April 16, 2015