I have a pastor that is preaching on the Black Pope and I have never heard anyone else talk about this. My question is: is it true and why hasn't anyone else commented on it?
DG from Daingerfield, Texas
Keeping our eye on the ball (Part 1)
Of course I can't be sure exactly what your pastor is preaching so I'm going to have to make a few educated guesses as to exactly what this is about. We will start first of all with: who is the Black Pope?
The Black Pope commonly refers to the head of the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) which is a religious order of priests in the Catholic Church. The moniker, often considered derogatory, came about because the man normally wears a simple black cassock (dress-like robe) and that is the opposite of what the Pope wears - a white cassock. Why would they be compared? Because the Jesuits have enormous power within the Catholic Church - some would think it is power that rivals the Pope's.
Right now the superior general of the Jesuits is a Dutch priest named Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach. He has announced that he wants to retire in 2008 when he turns 80 as has held this position since 1983.
What could your pastor be preaching about? There are huge conspiracy theories that swirl around the Jesuit leader and maybe your pastor buys into them. He is accused of being the Anti-Christ; the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks; the controlling force behind the CIA and many other things. This is a rich feast for those who are drawn to spy plots, intrigue and treachery.
In every conspiracy theory there is always a plethora of so called irrefutable proof. I'm sure this is the case for the Black Pope theorists also. You ask if it's all true. But I have a different question: who cares? Is the study of the Black Pope the proper priority for servants of Jesus Christ?
We need to keep our eye on the ball. We are in a deadly combat with our enemy Satan and the clock is ticking steadily down to the end of our age. We have a generation to evangelize. We have much work that the Lord has called us to do. Jesus told us: "'And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.'" (John 12:32)
As you listen to the preaching you mentioned, ask yourself if Jesus is being lifted up higher than any conspiracy theories. Ask yourself if this information is drawing you closer to the Savior or distracting you. Give that some serious thought. The answer to those questions will tell you what to do next.