As an individual who actively participates in the Catholic Christian faith tradition, I find Mr. Pigg’s June 4 anti-Catholic opinion to be a misrepresentation of our religious practices and traditions. The four Popes that he intended to mock used the Pope’s office to challenge our Church to engage with the modern world of the 20th and 21st Centuries and move away from a structure and attitude that was instituted in the 16th Century in response to the political and religious battles of the Protestant Reformation.
Mr. Pigg suggests that Catholics “curse” those not of our faith tradition and that, somehow, we are not a scripture-based faith community.
These assertions are inaccurate and untrue.
However, Mr. Pigg does pose two valid questions: What do Catholics believe? Do we focus on scripture?
Every weekend we, as a gathered faith community, attend “Mass” (meaning “work of the people”), and recite a prayer or Creed which expresses our beliefs: [excerpts] “I believe in one God. … I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ. … He suffered death and was buried and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. … He will come again in glory. … and his kingdom will have no end. … I believe in the Holy Spirit … who has spoken through the prophets. … I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
This prayer is proclaimed after we listen to three readings, one from the Old Testament, a second from the New Testament letters of Paul, Peter, James and John, etc. These are intended to help us connect to the Good News expressed in a third reading selected from one of the four (4) Gospels. After listening to scripture our pastor teaches us in a homily or sermon how these scriptures can guide us to focus on Jesus-centered values and lead authentic Christian lives.