I see the Catholics have a new Pope. Someone asked me last night if I thought the Holy Spirit was involved in that decision. I do! If God raises up rulers for nations, why wouldn’t he care about the Vatican nation-state, even though it also claims to be the church? While I’m convinced the Catholic system is significantly at odds with the priorities and example of Jesus, I have known many Catholics in my life who exhibit a deep and profound relationship to God. It always amazes me what God is free to use to draw people to himself. Of course God would be concerned with who leads them, though his reasons for choosing their leader might be very different from what we would assume.
And lest you think that system is significantly different from Protestant ones, don’t be too sure. It’s just that it has had 1700 years to build its exhaustive machinery. The Lutherans have only had 500, the Baptists about that as well, and Charismatics only 40 or so. But the seeds of institutionalism and exalted clergy infect those systems as well. They just may not be as developed.
I like what Sara said about all of this while we watched part of the funeral for Pope John Paul II. “Wouldn’t you like to hear the sermon he would preach today?” Sara asked me.
Ahh, I would! He had been five days already in eternity and I’m certain he sees things far differently now than he did during his sojourn on the earth.
And I think that will be true for all of us as well when the time comes!