I have a number of close friends who are members of the clergy, belonging to a few different denominations. I’m not sure how they really feel about PBJ Religion. And some of my dearest friends are practicing Catholics several of whom even work for the Church; and early reviews of my upcoming book tell me they are keeping their distance.
So what is Catholicism anyway? Basically, it was invented by a guy named Jesus. He didn’t deliver rambling sermons but chose His words with precision. He talked about forgiveness. Like we should do it… a bunch. I don’t recall exceptions. PBJ Religion says accept everyone and everything, always and without exception, this is the essence of that forgiveness. Not with a little bit of apprehension or “Okay, I’ll forgive him this time but I’m not going to make it easy on him…” By the way, the Pope had to advise some Priests hearing Confessions to stop prying into peoples’ affairs, to stop asking detailed questions. To me that sounds more like what Jesus was getting at.
A humorous query over the years is, “Is the Pope Catholic?!” as a reply to a silly question which generates an of course “yes” answer. Pope Francis said that no one is condemned forever. You’re right: it’s not your grandfather’s Catechism! Some conservative Bishops think the Pope has some issues… “Not Catholic enough.” Talk about juxtaposition, huh?! He’s not perfect, I’ll admit it. But a real Catholic believes in Infallibility, which Merriam Webster tells us means that he cannot be wrong. So where do any Catholics (including clergy) get off disagreeing with the Pontiff? It’s against the rules. Jesus made the promise to Peter a couple thousand plus years ago that whatever he said for Church decisions would be a “go.” If you’re confused right now, you may be a part of the “Nones,” meaning you are spiritual but with no religious affiliation—in large part because of this confusion… often clouded with an extra dose of judgmental-ness.
As a Catholic myself, I attempt to stay on top of these doctrines, dogmas, and decisions. But it’s a constant challenge. I’m not convinced it’s exactly what the inventor Himself (that would be Jesus) had in mind when I witness some of the political nonsense and other mischief swamping the modern day Christian Churches. But I still attend; for me and for all the brothers and sisters who are trekking through this earth school…just continuing to try to accomplish the next, best, right decision. PBJ Religion encourages us to do just that. Or as the book’s foreword writer and former Executive VP of Disney, Lee Cockerell says, “I recommend we study this book and live the same religion. PBJ Religion works for all of us and you can still practice your own religion, which probably already promotes this kind of thinking and behavior.” It just makes common sense, does it not? Is the Pope Catholic?!