Explaining the Pope to others


My mother (a nominal Chrisitan with new age influences) and I were having a conversation when the Pope came up. She doesn’t understand why people flock to see the Pope and thinks that people should spend more time reflecting on God and not “some man who thinks he’s God”. I tried to explain to her that it’s like visiting your own father, whom you love, but she insisted he thinks he’s God and so do all these people. And that we all can talk to God. I of course agreed that we could talk to God, but the Pope has the ability to use the history of the Church and her teachings to lead us. She just doesn’t get it… Any suggestions, readings, info, etc that would help me explain this better? These are usually topics I avoid with my mother (religion and politics, lol) because we aren’t even close to the same view. And as a Catholic convert, I get tongue tied about the faith very easily, esp with such opposition.


Sometimes with family members, or just when you can’t find the right words, the best witness is a simple “I disagree” sometimes followed by a few short words. It is also important to catch the key reason someone doesn’t like or agree with something. In the conversation with your mom, the key thing you should have stuck to was “The pope does not think he is God”. You can’t explain why people go to see someone until you first can get her to agree to that first fact.

This would also work when the same conversation comes up again. You are mistaken mom, he does not think he is God. When a person truly wants to hear an explanation, they will ask you a question. If not, they will just expound on why you are wrong. A repeated “I disagree” will sometimes get through when the most eloquent explanation will not. And it allows you to stand up for the truth without getting tongue tied.

God Bless,


I would nuance MariaG’s excellent response in this way:

Mom, where did you get the idea that the Pope thinks he is God? Why do you think people believe he is God?


Hi Jennifer. I too am a convert and have an entire family of anti-Catholic, snide commenting, nasty asides, hedonistic, used to be prots who haven’t been to a church in years - but HEY! they know everything about The Catholic Church - just ask them, to put up with. It makes me angry, commbative at times and just plain tired.
I agree with MariaG; a simple “I disagree” works best since it doesn’t give them an invitation to expound on why you are wrong.


Thanks! :slight_smile: I think I’ll be using the “I disagree” statement for many conversations in the future. Very helpful responses! Thanks again and Happy Easter!
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!


Please, please, please get the book: “Jesus, Peter, and the Keys”

A must read for all Catholics and nonCatholics wanting to know the REAL explanation and understanding.



Jennifer J,

Simply explain to her that he is our pastor. Doesn’t she have a pastor? Do those in her congregation think their pastor is God simply because they gather before him to listen to his teachings?

See here for my response to the need for a single guy as the chief minister of the Church…

Unity of Command … not just a good idea, but biblically established

When the US President was in town, I went to go see him and listen to him speak. Many other Americans were there too. I don’t think any of us thought he was God, though :rolleyes:


You can only deal with her if she’s willing to listen.
If she’s willing to listen - allow the pope’s own words to speak for themselves - he is quite capable.

I suggest giving her Crossing the Threshhold of Hope.


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