Tuesday 16 May 2006

A four-year-old's ecumenical theology

I have occasionally posted theological insights here from my three-year-old daughter (who is now four). On the weekend, she and I were watching a documentary about Pope John Paul II. Like most young Protestant children, she didn’t know what a “Pope” is. So I explained that, just as our pastor cares for the people in the church, and just as the bishop cares for the people in a whole area, so the Pope cares for all the people in the whole world; he is pastor to the world.

She was satisfied with this explanation, so we continued to watch the film. The film showed the great crowd of people who came to celebrate the election of John Paul II back in 1978. When my daughter asked me why they were celebrating, I said the people were thanking God for their new special Pastor.

And at this point she made her incisive theological comment: “But why are they celebrating both God and the special Pastor?” With this simple question of the “both/and,” she summed up in a nutshell the whole Protestant critique of Catholic theology!


Patrik said...

...or alternatively, a great testimony to the role of interpretations in the ecumenical dialogue.


Anonymous said...

John from Melbourne.

I much prefer this interpretation/understanding of the pope.


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