In case of a bad pope


What is it exactly that we honour when we honour the Pope? Do we honour the man who holds the office, or do we honour the office itself? Like, if a bad man were to become Pope (as we know painfully well that can happen), do we still applaud him in parades?

Like, if I can draw an analogy, people cheer the president, and there’s respect that’s expected toward the presidents. But, it’s not respect toward the presidents themselves, but rather, respect for the office that they hold. You could be in the opposition party and think that the president is the worst human being spawned on the face of the earth, but you still need to stand up when the president walks in.

Is it like this with the Pope? Is it that we kiss the ring of Peter’s office, and not that we kiss the ring of the man occupying it?


I believe that we honor the office, like with the US President. We kiss the ring in submission to the authority of the church, symbolized in the pope. But unlike presidents, who may be yelled at and ridiculed (just listen to some of the horribly mean things people say these days), we must remember that, as Catholics, we believe that the Holy Spirit has a role in naming the pope. God’s plan may not always be obvious. Remember, however, this is not an ‘either this or that’ issue. We can also honor the man, to the degree that it isn’t undue honor for a human. JPII was a great hero to many people, and it had nothing to do with his being pope. Just my :twocents:



It could be that a really holy pope is worthy of our admiration.

Another pope might be a real scoundrel.

We honor one and not the other.

However, the office is always honored.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


Warning! In case of bad pope break glass!


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