Saturday, September 09, 2006


Is the Pope Catholic?

The New York Times may, or may not, as Elton John claims, have reported that God is dead. But one thing is sure, the paper of record did not report that God appointed Denyse "Buy My Book" O'Leary to decide in his absence who is and who is not a good Christian.

Still, our girl in Toronto feels qualified to report that, "Darwinist Theodosius Dobzhansky was not an orthodox Christian believer!" (RSR loves that breathless little exclamation point -- our creationist friends find them infinitly irresistible -- for a man who's been in his grave now these past 31 years.)

RSR, having grown up Catholic in the small-town, Protestant Midwest, is familiar with these sort of discussions. Our schoolmates used to tell us quite solemnly that we couldn't possibly be Christians because we weren't Protestant. The Pope they said was the Anti-Christ. The Whore of Babylon. There was serious doubt that the gates of heaven would be open for the likes of us.

Perhaps Protestant anti-Catholicism wasn't as intense in Denyse's Canada as it was in the Midwest of our youth. Nevertheless, it always surprises us when a good Catholic girl like Denyse, now locked in a cozy embrace with the sort of fundamentalist Christians who once felt as secure in their anti-Catholicism as they now do with homophobia, should so casually make judgements about what constitutes a good -- or orthodox -- Christian.

Not so long ago, O'Leary's Post-Darwinist blog was the source of confident predictions that the new Pope would open the Church's door to intelligent design. We hear less of that now following a weekend meeting between the Pope and his former students that resulted in reports that those present did not think much of ID.

That raises a question in RSR's mind.

Is the Pope a good, orthodox Christian? Is he Catholic?


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