Pontiff will be guardian of moral, doctrinal issues

I couldn’t help but chuckle while reading some of the quotes from local self-proclaimed Catholics in the March 10 News article, “Do Catholics care who fills Peter’s chair?” There is a popular misconception held by many readers that the pope is somehow equivalent to a legislator who has not only the power but the desire to make changes in law based on popular opinion or cultural trends. This is not the case.

The papacy is an office of teaching, guiding and guarding the doctrines of the faith as it has been handed down since the church’s institution by Christ more than 2,000 years ago. The seat of Peter is a stable chair, not one built on wheels that points in many directions and is easily swayed by “popular ideas.” When it comes to issues of faith and morals, you won’t see any wavering by the church, or its vicar of Christ on earth, the pope. On the contrary, it is the office of the pope to be a steadfast guardian and voice of truth on such moral and doctrinal issues.

The article notes that many “tune out the pope.” Yes, many tune out what they don’t want to hear. We live in an amoral society where ideas of sin, truth, morality and authority are considered antiquated and subjective at best. For the pope, the church and its members, doctrines pertaining to faith and morals are non-negotiable.

Have individuals within the church sinned? You bet! However, the church as an institution is not to be measured or defined by the human frailty contained within its members but rather by the Holy Spirit, which guides it as a stable voice of truth.

Ken Fick