, Gloucester, MA

March 4, 2013

Letter: Do we really need figurehead of pope?

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

At the time of this writing there is no pope.

Having no pope is like not having a toothache; I think it is a very good thing.

We need a new pope like we need a knight to rescue a fair maiden, like we need zeppelins to supplement air travel by commercial jet, like America needs a queen to remind us of our English origins. The figurehead of pope needs to fade into history like Hula-Hoops and Edsels.

It is questionable whether the pope and the Vatican have ever been of any use in human history and it is easy to see they no longer serve any purpose whatsoever. Humanity would be better served, and it would be cheaper, if we created a position — call it “Honorary Beatle,” — in which the appointee goes around saying: “Give peace a chance” in poetry and song and prose.

Do we need the pope for spiritual guidance? Jesus said: “But the counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” The Holy Spirit guides Christ’s followers. So, who needs a pope?

Do we need the pope to secure forgiveness of our sins for us? In I John we read: “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” God himself accepts our apologies and the shed blood of Jesus covers our sins and makes it as though they were never committed in the first place. So, who needs a pope?

Do we need the pope as a go-between, a mediator, or a lobbyist to approach God to present our case? It is written: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.” So, who needs a pope?

People can either believe Scripture or believe popes, cardinals, and the Vatican hierarchy. I’ve got my chips on Scripture.

Junk the pope. He has always been an obstacle to authentic faith in Christ.

If Jesus were around today, he’d be downtown talking with fishermen, and magically filling their nets with cod, just like he did in Israel 2,000 years ago. The Rabbi would not be in Rome hanging with religious scallywags.