More than a little bit of revisionist history going on in Catholic circles since the death of Pope Benedict XVI. During his tenure, he was widely regarded as a step in the wrong direction. His Resignation, while surprising, was a welcome end to a turbulent reign. And now you would think he was the most beloved pontiff ever.
Why do we care?
And does it really break the church? (hint: it does)
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Pope Benedict passes away in Catholics rewrite history hi I'm Scott hey I'm Mark so what's the problem here okay well you know people shouldn't die right no okay those Germans going out and dying on us I mean what's the deal with that
what is the deal okay so let me just let me just do a quick synopsis of of my my perception of the bigger story of Pope Benedict okay Joseph ratson ratzinger born in Germany 1927. he is the first pope ever who stepped down instead of died in the position which kind of cemented his place in history uh for bizarre reasons okay um came up through the ranks like anybody else he was uh ordained a priest in 1951 made Cardinal in 1977 served as the chief theological advisor to Pope John Paul II is that like the Chief Operating Officer or the C Chief technical officer or the Chief Financial Officer I I'd say it's kind of like the CEO yeah chief operations officer all right uh so uh let's see and then in 1981 he took over as the head of the congregation for the doctrine of faith and so that's kind of like the guy who says this is what we officially believe like it or not you know so the only person who supersedes him would be the pope at that time um he was elected Pope in April 2005 following the death of John Paul II uh that all seems well and good right um I think for most of us who live through the uh the Pope Benedict era and who remember it well we tend to remember [Music] um all the shenanigans that happened during his tenure yeah that's kind of the unfortunate thing isn't it yeah so let me just list those out real quick he was an outspoken outspoken outspoken in his anti-lgbtq stance um the big thing during his tenure was he was associated with attempts to cover up claims of abuse within the church um he was very quick to silence any sort of dissent within the the leadership ranks of the Catholic Church um he was very preoccupied with tradition and what I call a regressive approach to Ministry uh like going back to Latin Masses and all that kind of stuff yeah so I mean I can hear like somebody you know yelling at their you know YouTube screen right now going okay so how is this guy different than every other Pope yeah uh yeah so well I don't know about every other Pope I'm not that old okay uh well the last thing before before I answer that question last thing um and probably to me the thing that stood out the most is he became known as the German Pope who was set on purifying the church yeah because number two you don't want those two words ever together German and purifying yeah or Italian and purifying isn't much better right in my best George Bush voice that's bad very bad right okay so is is this is any of this really making Pope Benedict different than like John Paul II or John Paul the first or any really any other Pope let me say this um I remember um John Paul II and of course there's our current pope pop Pope Francis Frank Pope Francis both of whom are very widely regarded as um like Pope Francis definitely regarded as more Progressive yeah more more about the Practical um ways that the church can be um a light to the world in terms of Charity in terms of doing things that you and I talk about on a regular basis feeding the hungry clothing the naked uh housing the homeless right uh Pope Francis is very serious about that now Pope John Paul II was alive during a more conservative time but in his time he was known as a more Progressive Pope who was also very much concerned with rehabilitating the the um the image and the mission of the Catholic Church to be um less about the theology less about the exclusiveness and more about how the Catholic church can be a a source of light and healing in the world around it so that's what I would say is in a synopsis of of the contrast between Pope Benedict and the bookends of popes around him if that makes sense I think I think it's a great way of summing that up yeah I mean the list of things that he was known for kind of speaks for itself being outspoken on like I guess today in 2022 right it's no big deal every Christian Pastor is outspoken about being anti-lgbtq it seems to be the in thing these days yeah I mean like they they got to find something to latch on to and I think you know when it comes to being in the Limelight yeah I mean the pope is in the Limelight because they're the Pope yeah so it's not like they don't even have to really seek it um they're they're kind of elected there I mean because Pope Benedict had said like he didn't really want to be Pope in the first place yeah yeah but he became because he was elected and he didn't want to say no yeah otherwise I think that would have been the first person to ever say no to being Pope yeah just kind of like looking at this you know it's like okay I keep using the word Pope but you know we're Protestants you know in your opinion what is it that makes paying attention to what the pope is doing important to us as Protestant Christians whether we like to admit it or not the pope is perhaps the single most identifiable Christian in the world um yeah yeah whether we like it or not he's like EF Hutton like when he talks the Christian World listens and not just the Christian World um the president of the United States listens right the prime minister of Israel listens and you know it doesn't matter who you are when the pope speaks like the pope is like the president like stock markets can rise and fall based on what he says based on the policies he makes you know and so in that sense it should matter very much to Christians uh how the pope feels about anything at any given moment yeah and I I would want to add to that statement is that when the Pope says something that let's just say like certain kinds of Christians agree with yeah you know and you know that's not really meant to be nearly as sultry is I guess as it may have sounded but it's like you know is that if you have somebody who really wants to hold down a AN anti-trans line and the pope comes out and says well you know trans people are going to hell or whatever um then you know those people are going to latch on what the Pope says and then they're going to turn right around and say like well the pope has no Authority he's just a man he shouldn't be leading the church or some nonsense like that um yeah but he kind of becomes you know like a uh he becomes that Authority so when when people want to make that that that also common logical fallacy that the appeal to Authority the pope can be that authority too yeah and and that's I I see the pope is being used by uh by Protestants and particularly evangelicals as just kind of like uh uh what's like it's he's like a seasoning that we use to like uh make our message more palatable well the pope said it and you know he can't be all that bad yeah so I totally agree yeah yeah so then that kind of leads me out so then you know because I didn't want to say to you like hey how does this break the church yeah and have some Billy saying well he's a pope who cares because like we do take a more worldwide view of the church in this podcast exactly more holistic for sure um I also I just wanted to say the reason why this story is so interesting me to to me boy I just can't talk tonight my my uh Speech apparatus apparently Justice decided not to cooperate tonight you could say speech apparatus but you couldn't say mouth right yes exactly right nice well played sir well played okay so what makes this story interesting to me is not the Pope's his actual tenure as a pope what's interesting to me is now that that he has passed if you watch the Christian Media and read the Christian headlines headline after headline after headline how much how awesome he was and how much respect he has and how much he did to advance the kingdom and how much he's done for Catholicism and how much how his teaching and training will be Everlasting they make him sound as if he is like at the right hand of Jesus now you know and how much he is loved and respected when that was not the case at all he was a big big big problem for the Catholic church and for Catholic leadership because he had undone so much of what was been done and worked so hard on for decades you know and that just kind of strikes me at like the whole kind of like rewriting history thing is like why do we keep doing that because we can like we're humans you know we you know history is nothing but memories and it's easy to rewrite any memory yeah but it's funny to me because like so I don't know how many of you viewers out there in YouTube land actually read the comments in YouTube but a great great many of them are something like um homosexuality is a sin and that's just the end of that and and this is wrong and that's just like Greg Locke is a hero uh for hunting down witches and that's the end of that story you know and and they're all blind to the fact that we are revisionists by Nature yeah we we do not look backwards without looking at it through a a heavily tinted lens yeah you know we like we tend to over inflate uh certain bad events in our past yeah and then we tend to make like the Deep past yeah idyllic right and and oftentimes it's it's a past we never lived that's the duck exactly it's a dumb part it's like man like this like the 60s seemed like a really great time to be alive I wasn't alive then and like what Universe could I ever say anything good about the 1960s especially in light of you know my history books right oh but my grandfather told me stories so I understand it or I've read some books so I understand it yeah or you know things like that I got I've got some like Grateful Dead memorabilia so like I get it I get it you know we love to think that we get it even though we've got no clue and this is like you said this is like what the 60s or what uh 60 years ago right 60 years ago and we have no clue and then we turn around and say but the Bible which is you know the text of the Bible is written thousands of years ago we totally get it we get it like there is nothing in this book that we don't understand we understand all of it yes because the Bible was written by people who natively spoke English and who were Americans yeah that's just the truth yeah the the height of arrogance and pride in modern Christian Society for sure all right so let's talk about how this breaks the church power and position in the church any church is self-reinforcing and it largely goes unchecked yes yeah right right people who go to church are are trained and conditioned to sit down and shut up and Trust the pastor like you're the guy who may or may not have been to Seminary you know you you did your stinters the youth pastor you did your stint as the home group Pastor the executive Pastor you're the senior pastor now so whatever you say goes we love you we trust you and accountability who needs that you know uh you know a group of um advisors and people who will disciple you still even though you're the senior pastor who needs that and this is something that largely goes unchecked in American Church yeah and I mean somebody might point out that you know the pope isn't part of the American Church um but you know when we see you know just how little actual oversight there is of the Pope I mean like there's some sort of oversight from you know the people immediately beneath him I mean it's really undersight I guess I don't know what you want to call it but it's like he is like that person who they've said like this is like the mouthpiece of God on earth right you know it's like I mean it's kind of a moses-like figure um even like they're gonna say he's more like a Peter like figure uh but like it is that like you are the person that we turn to to like answer the big questions about these things yeah and I think for oh go ahead sorry and that's like a place where like I can understand anybody saying well that's a problem and I think that maybe that does kind of give some people in America the impetus to say like well I can be this high voice because I'm not claiming to be the pope you know but they really are elevating themselves that level yeah they're effectively CEOs right and churches shouldn't have CEOs is basically what I'll just say okay okay all right you hear what I'm saying okay okay okay okay all right all right number two it reminds us that people will fight tooth and nail to protect the status quo definitely you know like it was his Pope Benedict's tenure was was a bumpy ride it was bumpy bumpy bumpy ride and and so like the Catholic Church like the leadership they went from Pope John Paul II who may have been too Progressive for the conservative leadership at the time they went through the bumpy ride and then if the lights came on finally like like oh maybe Progressive isn't as bad as we thought it was yeah you know because people actually loved Pope John Paul II they loved Pope John Paul II yeah and then like they elected Benedict who thought that Vatican II was an overreach yeah and I don't know of much anybody who thinks that Vatican 2 represents a real huge change in the Catholic church right yeah that being yeah absolutely okay number three this is a modern illustration of how quick and easy revisionist Tendencies find their way into the church right like I said he he he literally you know was on was Pope just elected in 2005 I mean that's less than two decades you know like so he is still fresh in our memories and he's barely dead and everybody is out there rewriting the books of what his tenure as the CEO of the Catholic church has been it's no different than what um you know what we saw with um what's her face Queen of England person Queen Elizabeth Elizabeth I'm like yeah about to say Victoria I'm like no that's so again I guess I just lost you I guess like no Knighthood for you oh goodness no like and we like to do this with famous people yeah um you know it's like we like to like be like oh hey Martin Luther was great I mean never mind he was raging it semi or you know a long period of his of his life I mean it's like but we love to do this with people when they've passed and like it's like that that um like you should never speak ill of the Dead sort of value right which I never understood because nobody has a problem speaking of Mussolini right so what's the problem because history is always written by the winners um but yeah but just to say that if we can do if we can like in a matter of weeks totally rewrite the history of Pope Benedict you better believe that it is not Beyond anybody's power to rewrite the history of Jesus in 2000 years oh oh I I think there's been plenty of of that I mean yeah Jehovah's Witnesses Mormons you know like these are people who've been trying to rewrite Christian history um and this is just kind of like the big names right right but but even like my more like I agree with you totally more to the point the people who say they know Jesus would disapprove of the lgbtq they know Jesus would disapprove of anybody who's become homeless and stays homeless right that's kind of where my brain was going yeah Jesus who famously hated the homeless yeah who fely hated the tax collectors and the uh and the uh women of the streets yeah so so this is I think a good you know I honestly summary but it's more of a giant heaping bucket of what's broken so how do we fix it then yeah so first of all and I don't even know why I have to say this um but here we are tell the Flippin truth the hell you say tell the truth at all times for any reason no matter the cost especially when it comes to talking about faith talking about the ideals of the church talking about the Heart of Jesus talking about the mission of the kingdom and what it is to bring the kingdom to Earth tell the truth even though it might be embarrassing even though it might be financially ruinous to whatever Church you're part of tell the truth do not sweep it under the rug tell the flip in truth yeah I I would appreciate that you know people in like these positions of authority tell the truth that would be a nice nice thing to see that would be really nice like uh you know when when some sort of assault charge comes up or a money embezzling charge comes up or whatever whatever that you know the person gets arrested for like instead of sweeping it under the rug you go yeah with this thing this this allegation came up and we're gonna look into it and until we figure out what's going on this person we're gonna sit him down and we're gonna redeem the situation and we are going to do what it takes to get there yeah yeah and then I guess as like a comment on that I would like to reiterate a caution from you know a previous episode that we had where we need to not you know lionize people when they do come out and confess that they've done some sort of wrong and be like look how great they're that they've confessed it's like yeah that person is still confessed to you know pedophilia or sexual assault or any of a number of other like you know various crimes of of basically fraud and thieving so it's like yeah you know we we have to as a church respond positively well okay English words hard the words is hard indeed and then the other thing I want to say I think to tell the truth is a big one the other thing I want to say is we just need to break ourselves of the delusion that the people who make it to the top of the food chain in churches as if that should even exist actually have any sort of clue of what's Happening you know typically what happens in churches is the higher up you go in the organization the more removed you become from the everyday lives of the people in your congregation the people in your community so when we're looking at these people kind of going you are so freaking awesome usually they're not nearly as awesome as you think they are yeah remember everybody the cream Rises to the top but so does the scum oh yeah nice I think that'll preach yeah not my words just to make it clear I'm not smart enough to think of things in that way
nice nice nice okay well oh my gosh we're at 22 minutes so let's get back out of here oh my gosh so listen we are churches lame Mark and I get together uh every week because we think there are real reasons that the church is becoming less influential in America today and so we do this podcast we do this YouTube thing and so by all means if you have something to say about revisionist history in the church we'd love to hear you um write your comment uh give us a thumbs up uh hit those clicky buttons to subscribe notify and all those clicky clicky things and if you're listening to the podcast shoot us an email churcheslanepodcast gmail.com and please please please please please please subscribe to us on Apple podcast and with that go in peace and serve the Lord
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