His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

The Pope – Only a Man


Should the Pope be worshipped? Should the Pope be bowed down to and praised? During the recent papal visit to the US, I saw images on TV of people dropping to their knees before the Pope and kissing his ring. This is a very familiar image and another of many that we have grown accustomed to. But please think about it; in the eyes of God is this proper behavior?

The tendency to praise someone you are grateful for is certainly natural. The Roman Centurion was very grateful that Peter went out of his way to come see him. “As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.” (Acts 10:25) Did Peter see this as proper behavior? After all, Peter was one of the pillars of the church. If any living person deserved such praise, it was Peter…

“But Peter made him get up. ‘Stand up,’ he said, ‘I am only a man myself.'” (v.26)

Okay, so maybe Peter was not worthy of having someone fall to their knees before him. But certainly angles, the spiritual agents of God are worthy. As the apostle John prepared to fall on his knees before the angle who had shown him so many things…

“But he said to me, ‘Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!'” (Revelation 22:9)

Is the Pope above Peter? Is the Pope above the angles? Are any of us? We may not have much in common with Peter, but like Peter we are all only men and women, and as the angle told John, only God is to be worshipped.

What might Jesus say to the Pope, or any of us who seek praise?

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Take off the turban, remove the crown. It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low.” (Ezekiel 21:26)

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)


Author: C.J. Penn

Reflections on a double life... I'm just a wanna-be writer. What's it like trying to do serious writing while also being consumed with a full-time engineering job? Between the two, I sometimes don't get much sleep. But I love writing - it gets me out of bed when it's way too dark, just so I can do some work on my book before heading off to work. I'm also passionate about the truth of God and Jesus, a truth that is not always visible in the outward view of the Christian religion. It's this passion that has pulled me out of bed to write for over 6 years now, still working on the same book, a book about truth. Will it ever be finished? God knows.

3 thoughts on “The Pope – Only a Man

  1. Thanks for posting. It is important to note. Although many Catholics will insist that they don’t worship the pope (they will even claim that they don’t worship/pray to Mary).


  2. Dear totaltransformation,

    It is a common and perhaps understandable misconception among non-Catholics that we (yes I am a Catholic!) worship Mary, but I assure you that idolatory in any form is still forbidden. In the same way that many Christians ask each other to pray for them, we pray to Mary and the saints to ask them to pray to our Lord for us. Since Mary is the immaculate mother of Jesus and he was unable to deny her wishes on Earth (see wedding feast of Cana) she is the ideal intercessor! We display images of her for the same reason that we display family photos. As a visual reminder. Have you ever kissed a photo of a loved one? Most of us have at one time or another. Mary is the greatest of our loved ones.

    As for the Pope, it is important to understand the difference between the man and the office. We kneel to the office not the man. The papal ring is the tangible symbol of the office which is why it is kissed. The Pope would be horrified to think he was worshipped. As a man though he is greatly loved. The enthusiam displayed by the crowds is I guess similar to what you would see at a political rally or a rock concert. Totally human!

    God Bless!


  3. Thanks for the thoughtful response. Although I disagree (and I will post my disagreements if you like tomorrow when I have some time) I appreciate your civility and polite demeanor.


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