Why Should Catholics Listen Just to Pope Francis and NOT Archbishop Justin Welby, William Lane Craig, Joel Osteen, Karen Armstrong or Dan Barker?

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President Biden in a recent meeting with Pope Francis

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

There are more than 1.3 billion Catholic Christians in the world. Should their understanding of reality, metaphysics and the Christian doctrine be defined by Pope Francis? At least, traditionally the office has been considered as infallible by the devout. Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church which states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the pope when he speaks ex cathedra is preserved from the possibility of error on doctrine “initially given to the apostolic Church and handed down in Scripture and tradition“.[1]

After meeting the Pope, President Biden the second Catholic US President ever, declared, Pope told me that I should ‘keep receiving Communion.’

If you had not followed the controversy before many a US Bishops opposed Biden’s getting the Communion or Eucharist given his stance on abortion: Bishops’ debate over Communion sparked by Biden seeps into holiest sacrament for Catholics.

The division among the Catholic leadership shows you that even though many have been denied Communion historically for similar offences, nothing is written in stone. Pope can make a concession when it suits his agenda. There is after all nothing sacred, holy or permanent about what the Catholic Church decides to do at a given time. Sometimes it is demonstrably contradictory at the same time in the same place.

If nothing is written in stone, why not examine other versions of the Christian truth in pursuit of the greater truth?

Archbishop Justin Welby

Think of Justin Portal Welby (born 6 January 1956),[2] who is the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury and the most senior bishop in the Church of England. He has served in that role since 2013. He is the Primate of All England and the head primus inter pares in the worldwide Anglican Communion, the communion has more than 85 million members.[5][6][7] 

 Before we go any further, let me suggest to the open minded readers, to read on and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.”

Does Justin Welby preach better dogma or doctrine than Pope Francis?

The best and the most interesting way to figure this out is to watch a dramatic 40 part historical fiction television series The Tudors in Netflix that tells us how the Church of England came to be out of the Catholic Church. It is set primarily in 16th-century England, created and written by Michael Hirst and produced for the American premium cable television channel Showtime. The series was a collaboration among American, British, and Canadian producers, and was filmed mostly in Ireland. It is named after the Tudor dynasty as a whole, although it is based specifically upon the reign of King Henry VIII.[1][2]

The Tudors premiered on 1 April 2007; it was the highest-rated Showtime series in three years.[3] In April 2007, the show was renewed for a second season,[3] and in that month the BBC announced it had acquired exclusive broadcast rights for the series in the United Kingdom, which it started to broadcast on 5 October 2007. The CBC began broadcasting the show on 2 October 2007.[4]

Season Two debuted on Showtime on 30 March 2008, and on BBC 2 on 1 August 2008. Production on Season Three began on 16 June 2008 in BrayCounty Wicklow Ireland,[5][6] and that season premiered on Showtime on 5 April 2009, and debuted in Canada on CBC on 30 September 2009. The day after broadcast, downloadable episodes debuted in Canada on MoboVivo.[7]

Showtime announced 13 April 2009, that it had renewed the show for a fourth and final season. The network ordered 10 episodes that were first broadcast on 11 April 2010.[8][9] The series finale was broadcast on 20 June 2010. The final season was shown in Canada on CBC starting 22 September 2010, and ending on 23 November 2010.

William Lane Craig

Next you meet William Lane Craig (born August 23, 1949) is an American analytic philosopher[5]Christian theologianChristian apologist, and author.[6] He is Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University and Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology (Biola University).[7] Craig has updated and defended the Kalam cosmological argument for the existence of God.[8][9][10][11][12] He has also published work where he argues in favor of the historical plausibility of the resurrection of Jesus.[13] His study of divine aseity and Platonism culminated with his book God Over All.[14][15] He is a Wesleyan theologian who upholds the view of Molinism and neo-Apollinarianism.[16][17] He has countless video debates against atheists and others in YouTube.

You could broadly get to know him and see him through my eyes as well, Refuting William Lane Craig’s: ‘The Birth of God’ and Video: The most famous Christian apologist, William Lane Craig, accepts there is no Trinity in the Old Testament.

Pastor Joel Osteen

Next you get to meet the charismatic and popular televangelist Joel Osteen through my eyes: Videos: Let Joel Osteen Breathe Hope, Optimism and Success in Your Life.

Fields of Blood author Karen Armstrong shown in Toronto, Ontario, November 19, 2014.

Now that you are more optimistic and hopeful you can study some more and try to figure out, why if you are a Christian, you never heard of Karen Armstrong: A Nobel for Karen Armstrong will bring the Christians and the Muslims closer.

Dan Barker

Your journey should not stop here. You should also meet a skeptic and an atheist Dan Barker. Does the God of the Bible exist? Dan Barker & Russell DiSilvestro, Dan Barker – How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists and Dan Barker’s Challenge to Every Christian about Resurrection and Ascension.

If you have gone through this interesting journey, you would now have greater hunger and appetite for knowledge.

Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times and author of this article

You may realize that you need more of me. if my articles are boring to you, it may be that you need to read more of them, as was suggested by John Cage, who was a famous American composer of the twentieth century, “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.” May I suggest: I am a Jew, a Catholic, a Christian and a Muslim; I am Zia H Shah.

The Muslim Times has the best collection for interfaith tolerance and non-sectarian understanding of personal religion and Monotheism of the Abrahamic faiths.

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