In which I reveal that I might be a closet Catholic

August 29, 2013 in Theology · 4 comments


Yesterday I was banned from a Facebook group for refusing to admit that I’m Catholic. The discussion at hand was whether or not Peter was the first Pope and if Jesus recognized Peter as “the rock” upon which he would build his Church. To be clear, I’m not Catholic and I don’t recognize the authority of the Pope over the Church. But I, along with most other modern commentators, do think that in Mat 16.18 Jesus declares that Peter is the rock. But for Protestants of a certain variety, any agreement with Catholic theology is tantamount to heresy.

In the course of my brief tenure in that particular Facebook group, I sought to defend my understanding of Mat 16.18, not because I’m Catholic, but because I think it’s the best reading of that verse. I refused to acknowledge my theological affiliation because it was completely irrelevant to the argument I was making. But for taking such a stance I faced comments such as these:

Your use of their [Protestant] material is, to say the least, a case once more of special pleading — ignoring the material that they provided that does not fit your particular view. You accused us of non-catholic eisegesis, while practicing what is clearly a Catholic form of it.

And, dan, you still have not answered my question as to whether you are a Roman Catholic. I suspect that we all know by now that you are, and were not aboveboard about it.

You can fight against it all you wish! Peter was never your pope!

Yes, your ignorance and prejudice continues to show, Dan Wilkinson, however Peter was not your first pope—he was never a pope.

So, whether you intended it or not, you tacitly committed yourself to the Petrine Primacy or Papal Authority position. Now, if you wish to state here and now that you reject that teaching, then by all means do so!

Dan, are you a Catholic? Yes or No.

better to be called a bully for Christ than an appeaser for Satan…….

they [Catholics] cannot answer simple questions: for to do so is to be found out. So, when you press them and they continue to evade and lie against you, there remains but one option. They ought to be ashamed of their lack of ethics, but it seems the the doctrine of mental reservation is their favorite fall back position.

Evidently all you Catholics can do is call names and evade questions. Bye!

That’s only a taste of one side of the exchange. The obtuseness and vitriol I encountered there was astounding. I don’t mind differences of opinion and irenic discussions of differing doctrinal issues, but the absolute unwillingness by some “Christians” to exhibit grace and charity was disheartening. We clearly still have a long wait to go before reaching the unity we are called to!

4 comments… read them below or add one

Tim Sams August 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I can’t imagine Jesus saying any of these comments. Not one.


Dan August 29, 2013 at 11:09 pm

To be fair, Jesus set the bar pretty high!


Ford1968 August 30, 2013 at 3:10 am

The faith community I grew up in was virulently anti-Catholic. Alas, it seems like some faith is so fragile it requires an enemy in order to survive.

While I don’t always agree with it, I’ve come to appreciate the intellectual ethics underpinning Catholic teaching, and the mysticism that informs some of the orthopraxy.


Dan August 30, 2013 at 10:10 am

Agree — there is much to learn from other perspectives, even amid our disagreements!


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