“They are letting too many ‘Protties’ into the school!” the elderly lady confided. I smiled and made some remark like “Do you think so?” It was the late seventies and we were attending a function at St Paul’s, a small, Roman Catholic school just across the road from where we lived. Because I was on the school committee I guess she thought I was a Roman Catholic. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was one of the offenders, but shared it with her daughter later. The Government school in the area was large and overcrowded and I had been thrilled to discover St Paul’s did indeed take protestant children.
Actually, regarding being a protestant my Salvation Army mum always used to infer we didn’t even rank that title as we were really ‘non conformists’. I have subsequently learned that if we are Christians we are actually all members of the catholic (universal) church. Whether Protestant, non conformist or Roman Catholic.
When Pope Francis was ordained we couldn’t resist making a fuss of our friend Francis and his lovely wife Meryl as they walked into church that next Sunday. Good morning Your Holiness I greeted with a mock bow so that I might kiss his ring. Francis (aka Pastor Frank Watson) is still often called the Pope in our house. Whilst Frank is a name in its own right, apparently the Americans were responsible for first shortening Francis to Frank. Why would you? Francis is a perfectly acceptable name.
However, back to the question “Is the Pope Catholic? Although I’ve never been quick enough to use it, I love this rhetorical response to a question. A question that has a foregone conclusion. I don’t think it’s cynical at all, or a response which might conclude the original question was silly. Mostly I think it’s a smart way to say ‘Yes’.
So, with that in mind here are some questions with an ‘Is the Pope Catholic?’ response.
Does God really love me?
Did Jesus really die for me?
Can I be forgiven no matter how bad I’ve been?
Is the Pope a catholic? You bet he is.