Updated: Feb 11, 2022
I heard the news on the radio while driving to church Wednesday… a new pope had been selected. Rome has been abuzz amidst the unexpected departure of Benedict and speculation as to whom might be the next “head of the Catholic Church” and sovereign of the Vatican State. We’re only two days removed from Francis becoming the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, and the first from the southern hemisphere but I personally believe his popularity will rival or even surpass that of John Paul’s. It is easy to see how his unassuming approach to life will win the hearts of many in Italy and around the world. Yesterday I heard teenagers literally singing his praises at the metro and today there was an endearing story of his personally stopping to pay his hotel bill from his stay in Rome this week as a cardinal. Indeed Pope Francis seems warm, personable, sincere, and humble.
Francis has been praised for his respectful approach to evangelicals and he has been described as majoring on areas of agreement rather than division (e.g. divinity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth and His resurrection, etc.) Sadly hell is not only paved with good intentions but filled with sincere people trying to do what they believe is right. It is reasonable to assume that most of the clergy and lay people that teach Roman Catholic doctrine are not deceiving people with malicious intent. They are simply passing on what has been taught to them, believing that it is the truth. Many Catholics have a zeal for God but it is not based on biblical knowledge or sound doctrine.
At a time when people are increasingly blurring the lines between the saved and the lost, heaven and hell, the truth and falsehood, I would like to examine the Catholic faith over the next few posts and ask those who might read this blog to reflect on whether the Church in Rome is indeed “infallible in her objective definitive teaching regarding faith”.
1 Toner, Patrick. “Infallibility.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910.