Editorial: Beware Pseudo Normativeness

Pope Francis I has not been in office a day before a deformative dynamic is already in the mix–and one particularly prevalent in North American Christianity.  It is our tendency to assume the “United States view” is the norm for deciding whether or not the Pope is good or bad.

Such pseudo normativeness is the child of narcissim (false pride) and amnesia (forgetting we are a minority in global Christianity)—kind of like the time when people thought the earth was the center of the universe.

Clearly, individuals and groups have a right to their opinion, and dialog “in the public square” is necessary.  But something deformative happens when we use our opinions arrogantly or as a veiled threat.

We are “members” of a larger “Body”—will we act like it, or not?  The new Pope will make mistakes, maybe even major ones.  And the Church (not just the RC portion of it) will continue to be imperfect.

But in our conversations, may we be spared from the notion that God stops “in the good old USA” before going to Rome to tell the Pope what he should do.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 43 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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3 Responses to Editorial: Beware Pseudo Normativeness

  1. Eldonna Ashley says:

    Please use Pope Francis. He is the first Francis, but there is no Francis II, hence there is no one with whom it is necessary to differentiate. He is simply Pope Francis. You will appear much more reliable if you use the correct name. Thanks for reading my post.

  2. Keith says:

    Being from the UK, I seen this so much when I arrived here. God come to our assistance, forgive us when we do this.

  3. Rhonda Stapleton says:

    Amen!! God help us.

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