Thursday, March 14, 2013

Catholics have a new papa

As God rained on St. Peter's Square, cardinals blew smoke and announced "Habemus Papam!"* Now the Roman Catholic Church has a new pope. By the time you read this news it won't be news. Most will already know; the saga of papal selection has dominated the news since Pope Benedict XVI stepped down at the end of February.** Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76-year-old archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina and papal runner-up to Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger in 2005, is the church's Pope Francis -- after St. Francis of Assisi. This pope sets a number of firsts. He is the first named Francis, the first non-European pope of the modern era, the first from South America/Latin America, and the first Jesuit pope. He was chosen to replace the first pope to resign in 600 years, and might possibly be the first pope with only one lung (due to a childhood illness).***

There is plenty of news available, reported with awe and mysticism. Rather, I want to take this brief opportunity to point out to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear -- all the trappings of Roman Catholicism, from Popes to Purgatory, Mariolatry to Mass, Images to Indulgences, Lent to Limbo and Transubstantiation to Tradition, are antithetical to the simple faith of the New Testament as taught by Christ and spread by His apostles. Which faith have you?

* Habemus Papam (Latin) means "We Have a Pope" in English. It is the announcement given by the senior Cardinal Deacon after a new Roman Catholic pope is elected.
** Hopefully news will continue to flow freely, as Pope Francis begins to lead a Roman Catholic Church diminished by sex abuse scandals and claims of infighting in the church hierarchy.
*** A list of popes can be found HERE. This list appears to be an authoritative from a RCC standpoint, though there was no Catholic-style pope in apostolic times and for at least 400 years after the apostles.

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