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  1. #11
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    It'salso that but not just that, otherwise he wouldn't be so important.
    Yeah.. Just saying that his actual office/duty is no different in nature than other bishops.

    The importance goes back to Peter, first bishop of Rome. i.e. Peter being the rock Jesus would build the church upon. Through history, this primacy made the Roman bishops "first among brothers". Of course, there's a lot of contention about that too, but that's beside the point atm.

  2. #12
    your resident asshole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    The pope doesn't do much of anything?

    John Paul helped bring down the iron curtain.
    I don't claim to know much about the Pope, otherwise I wouldn't have made this thread in the first place.

  3. #13
    morose bourgeoisie
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    HABEMUS PAPAM!

    Humans need 'figureheads' in the form of father figures. It doesn't seem to matter whether that man is competent or moral. He can simply be replaced and the system renews itself, and no degree of vice or incompetence makes people rethink that system itself.

    The pope is one of them there figureheads.

    People are not rational at all...

  4. #14
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    The system has flaws, but I don't know many other systems that last as long. That has to speak for something at least. It's also been a system that's been relatively successful in giving space to it's different voices and offshoots. Franciscan, Jesuit, Benedictine, Marianite, etc, etc. The segments it couldn't reconcile with were the Reformers (reformers didn't necessarily want a new church btw). But at this point, the original reformed churches have more in common with the Catholics than the thousands of evangelical denominations that split from them.

  5. #15
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    So they just picked the next Pope. There are an astounding amount of people excitedly surrounding the Vatican right now. My mom wanted to watch and she even started crying when he first came out. She isn't even a practicing Christian. I don't get it. The Pope doesn't seem to do much of anything anyway.

    Anyone mind enlightening me?
    For many, the Pope is an authority figure of major importance. For people who find comfort in looking to and following an authority, having no pope is like having no boss, or no teacher. When the new boss or teacher finally arrives, there is a sense of relief. More broadly, the Pope is a living symbol of the Catholic Church, in this sense much like the British monarch. Filling the vacancy is like removing the scaffolding from the Statue of Liberty. The symbol is available again.

    In practical terms, the Pope is much more than the Bishop of Rome, or a figurehead. He is the ultimate authority for all things Catholic: everything from who gets to be a priest, to the church position on things like birth control and homosexuality, to how the Mass is celebrated. When speaking officially on such a matter ("ex cathedra") the Pope is considered infallible. In this sense, he is more like the lead Ayatollah in Iran, though his secular authority is limited to Vatican City.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    The system has flaws, but I don't know many other systems that last as long. That has to speak for something at least. It's also been a system that's been relatively successful in giving space to it's different voices and offshoots. Franciscan, Jesuit, Benedictine, Marianite, etc, etc. The segments it couldn't reconcile with were the Reformers (reformers didn't necessarily want a new church btw). But at this point, the original reformed churches have more in common with the Catholics than the thousands of evangelical denominations that split from them.
    Smallpox and polio lasted a long time, too. Longevity does not guarantee worth. Differences among the many Catholic variants listed above pale in comparison to the variation among the earliest followers of Jesus, and among the broader Christian world today. Not to mention that the Catholic Church has had trouble over the ages working and playing well with non-Christians.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #16
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Smallpox and polio lasted a long time, too. Longevity does not guarantee worth. Differences among the many Catholic variants listed above pale in comparison to the variation among the earliest followers of Jesus, and among the broader Christian world today. Not to mention that the Catholic Church has had trouble over the ages working and playing well with non-Christians.
    I disagree. Institutional longevity is pretty remarkable. Especially in this particular context, where the thought is how it's such a broken system, and needs vast rethinking. Nothing lasts that long if it's that broken. Democracy is one of our most cherished institutions, and it hasn't even lasted half that long (either in the modern form or the Greek one).

    I think comparing it to a disease is sophistry. Human endeavor in general works much differently than anything biological. I don't want to compare any institution (both the famous and infamous) to that. For one, it takes the fun out of history (and I'm a history buff). History is complicated, full of ups and downs, bad intentions, good intentions, bad intention that end in good, good intentions that lead to hell.

    As for the early church, you'll have to clue me in. I don't think they outnumber they factions now. Off the top of my head, there were Catholic (Roman and Eastern orthodox), Aryans, Gnostics, Ebionites, and various offshoot Gnostics like Marcionites.

  7. #17
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    Kinda like God and Allah, but in a more tangible way.
    Allah means god in arabic
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

    Read

  8. #18
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    Allah means god in arabic
    I mean the arabic version of God, don't nitpick mr. INTP.
    -----------------

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


    -----------------

  9. #19
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    I mean the arabic version of God, don't nitpick mr. INTP.
    They're the same God. Muhammad was, in a way, a reformer.. who came some 500 years after the first church. Not the creator of a new religion. He used all the typical trappings, acknowledged many of the same figures from the Bible, and used the same Angel "Gabriel" who announced Jesus' birth to Mary in the gospel story, to give credibility to his own story. The message was founded on the idea that "Jews and Christians corrupted the message, but some of it was true. So here's where Gabriel gave me the downlow." He's not much different than many 19th century American Christians, who claimed divine sanction to build new churches with the "original message". Mormons are the closest parallel.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    For many, the Pope is an authority figure of major importance. For people who find comfort in looking to and following an authority, having no pope is like having no boss, or no teacher. When the new boss or teacher finally arrives, there is a sense of relief. More broadly, the Pope is a living symbol of the Catholic Church, in this sense much like the British monarch. Filling the vacancy is like removing the scaffolding from the Statue of Liberty. The symbol is available again.

    In practical terms, the Pope is much more than the Bishop of Rome, or a figurehead. He is the ultimate authority for all things Catholic: everything from who gets to be a priest, to the church position on things like birth control and homosexuality, to how the Mass is celebrated. When speaking officially on such a matter ("ex cathedra") the Pope is considered infallible. In this sense, he is more like the lead Ayatollah in Iran, though his secular authority is limited to Vatican City.
    Thanks. So how does this work exactly? Does the Pope make official decrees every so often or something? Why do people like the idea of a single person deciding the "rules?"

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