As a Reformed Presbyterian, I take issue with several tenets of the Roman Catholic Church, but probably the most admirable thing about her is her unwavering, unashamed, and unified faith that stands opposite pagan society. If there is a bulwark to be found standing for the sanctity of life without exceptions, or homosexuality, or marital infidelity, it is the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants have the unique ability to insecurely poke and prod at these sins, without taking a fundamental and concrete stance against them. We like to boast how we are kinder than God, and maybe Jesus loves you despite your sexual perversions. Or maybe abortion is just wrong if it’s committed after 20 weeks. Or maybe Jesus will wring His hands enough that you’ll return to the Church and be a better person.
Peggy Noonan wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal this week (found in tomorrow’s paper) about the reaction of Catholics to the Pope’s resignation. While I’m obviously opposed to the position of the Pope, I have always been very thankful for his outspoken Christian leadership, and pray that God would grant the Catholic Church another leader who will continue to oppose the tricks and twists of the devil. But all this aside, I was encouraged to see the faith of the Catholics who Noonan quoted in her piece, indicative of a Church which is alive and well, grounded in the faith that God sits in the heavens and is in control. Despite the Catholic Church’s flaws, such faith is to be commended.
Here are a few of these encouraging words:
- “…ultimately, I am willing to be optimistic. I tend to take the long view on these things, because I know God’s hand is always at work in everything, and that all things work for our good—in His time, though, not in ours, which is the thing that gets us unnerved.”
- Some have been “unsettled” by the resignation because they think of the pope as a rock of stability, “but Benedict’s point is that he couldn’t be that anymore. Christ is the head of the Church, not him. If his physical and mental circumstances were not adequate then he should get out of the way.”
- Almost everyone I spoke to mentioned that they’d taken comfort from the words of Benedict, in a general audience in the Vatican on Ash Wednesday: “What sustains and illuminates me is the certainty that the Church belongs to Christ, whose care and guidance will never be lacking.”