So we were in the car one day and the trusty husband turns to me and says, “you know the Pope said that Catholicism is the only way to get to heaven.” Really? And here I am a piddly little Lutheran. Damn. I’d had it all wrong all along. Evidently that whole Bible and God’s word thing really isn’t the authority on who actually gets into heaven. Apparently it is the word of some old dude in Rome who wears funny hats.
I pondered my husband’s statement for a little while. You see he does this to me to give me more fodder to poke fun of Catholics. Not that there isn’t plenty of stuff I make fun of Lutherans for. I have many Catholic friends. I don’t hate Catholics so don’t go sending me hate mail on how I’m going to hell for making fun of “the one true religion.” There are a few Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness, Baptists, Christ Scientists and any other religious sect who would disagree with that statement.
Either way, I didn’t quite believe that a man who is supposed to teach the word of God would make such a bold and sweeping statement. The Pope is basically saying that the rest of us who have faith in God, but commune in a different church are all going to hell or somewhere other than heaven if you are like me and don’t actually believe in a purgatory.
However, the Pope’s statement was real. The actual quote can be found here and in many other newspapers around the world. The quote has become so controversial that it is ruffling feathers worldwide. I can’t see why? I mean come on, the are millions of us around the world that attend church
regularly semi-regularly on a bi-annually basis who think we are getting through the pearly gates. Personally I think I’m going to get to the door just to have St. Peter tell me I did it wrong and send me back as a roach.
This isn’t to say that showing up on Sunday is an automatic in. What I am saying is that does it really matter what side of the pew you sit on? Doesn’t it say in Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith?and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Right there in the Bible. That book that is supposed to be the word of God. It is by the grace of God that you get in. You don’t give that right to yourself. The Pope does not give you that right. God gives it to you. It is his gift. If I’m not mistaken, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” That’s pretty clear cut for me.? I don’t see any fine print that says, “but only if you are Catholic.”? Is my Bible missing an addendum or did I just not get that memo from God?
Who gives the Pope the authority to tell us that Catholics are the only ones who get saved? Certainly not God. Or does the Pope have some top secret red telephone under a glass case that has a direct line to the man upstairs. If that is the case I want to use that phone. I have a beef or two with the big man that I want to hash out.