Dear Sons Of The Rising Superchurch:

Last December in our Christmas gift list we put Episcopal Bishop Chauncey Kilmer Myers down for a manual on how to shoot from the lip. A recent statement by this successor to Bishop Pike on San Francisco’s Nob Hill makes it abundantly clear that he has now developed his talents as a theological blunderbuss. In a daring departure from his church’s Thirty-Nine Articles, this “veddy high chu’chman” has said that Protestants should acknowledge the pope “as chief pastor of the Christian family and … joyfully acclaim him as the Holy Father in God of the Universal Church.”

Bishop Myers apparently yearns for the good old days before Henry VIII’s hanky-panky with Anne Boleyn and the consequent separation of the Church of England from the Church of Rome in 1535. If we join Chauncey in his voyage home, we can expect experiences that Protestants have missed for four centuries.

First there’s the pomp and pageantry. We will be able to join the acclaim for the humble chief shepherd as he is borne on his throne through the cheering multitudes. We may even have the opportunity to bestow a kiss on the papal ring (or in lieu of this, kiss the worn-down toe of St. Peter’s statue). We may join the poor in gazing at the abundance of gold, silver, and precious stones nestled in the Vatican treasury and realize we somehow have a stake in this wealth.

Next, we will have a final authority on all matters of faith and doctrine. Protestants leery of sola scriptura (the “paper pope”) will, as followers of the Holy See, have church tradition to guide them and, in the clutch, an ex cathedra utterance from the Vicar of Christ. True, our wives will have to stop taking birth-control pills—but only for a while, since we expect ...

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