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B.B. wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Why is the pope necessary?
  • What happens if the churches across the world stop paying him money simultaneously?
  • The churches will still operate, so will forgiveness cease?
  • Why does the pope excommunicate, for example, women who had abortions?
  • How is there so much money behind an organization that could literally fund curing any disease, but justifies Bentley's, crowns, robes, and life terms for an elected officer so that said election may not occur in most people's lifetimes?


  { If the world stops paying the pope will forgiveness stop and why not use money to cure diseases? }

Eric replied:

B.B. —

The pope is necessary to manage the Lord's household until he returns (cf. Luke 12:42-44), to adjudicate disputes, and to serve as a ground of visible unity (Matthew 16:18-19).

Churches around the world actually don't pay the pope. He raises his own money through an effort called Peter's Pence, which individual members can give to as they see fit.

That said, if he had no more money, no, of course forgiveness would not cease. That betrays a serious misunderstanding of the role of the pope. Forgiveness does not come through the pope. It comes from Christ, administered by the priest (2 Corinthians 5:20, John 20:21-23). While in individual cases, the pope can revoke a priest's authority to administer the sacrament of Reconciliation (and hence his authority to forgive), it doesn't depend on the pope being funded.

The pope excommunicates as a medicinal measure to make people aware of the gravity of their actions. It is meant to wake people up and bring them to repentance. You mention Bentleys.

  • Can you give a single example of a pope or any other official of the Church riding in a Bentley and has Pope Francis not spoken very strongly against such things?

I have a question for you:

  • What good is it to cure an earthly disease which lasts a few years, when there is a disease that lasts all eternity that needs to be cured and must be cured before death?

Hell is forever. It is far better for the Church to invest in keeping people out of the eternal fires of Hell than to cure diseases which, in many cases, help keep them out of Hell. You also mention crowns.

  • When was the last time you saw a crown on a Catholic cleric?
  • How about a robe?
  • I have to ask, are you actually in touch with present-day Catholicism?
  • Where are you getting your information from?

For the record, the longest papacy was Pius IX, who reigned for 31 years. That's well within an average lifetime. Remember popes are elected as old men so they don't last that long. The second longest was considerably shorter, 26 years, St. John Paul II. I've seen four papal elections.

Doesn't seem too bad to me.


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