Having visited a number of ornately over-decorated Catholic churches in Liguria, and seen on walls in Italy autographed and framed pictures of various popes as though they were movie stars, this latest notice from the Vatican caught my eye.
This both amused and saddened me. Amused, because I was raised in the protestant mid-west where I was taught from a young age that it was Catholics who were not actually Christians, only protestants were. Something about it being cult-ish to venerate Mary and the saints.
My amusement aside, though, it does make me sad to see this sort of thing being said by the pope, with the implication that the worldwide community of Catholics are supposed to agree. My problems with the Catholic church are many and deep and my education on the similarities and differences between the Anglican and Catholic churches is still continuing. My upbringing was within a specific branch of evangelical protestantism that is off to one side of the bell-curve from the mainstream. But seriously, do we really need to promote this sort of Shia-vs-Sunni divide within the Christian church? How does that actually help?