Unfortunately if this man was outside Westminster Abbey when I was there with His Eminence Abba Seraphim I didn't see him...
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Whenever the pope arrives somewhere, it seems like every possible protester comes out of the woodwork â atheists, women priests supporters, etc. I remember having a debate with a fundamentalist Christian in Denver back in 1993 when Pope John Paul II was there for World Youth Day. Most of these protesters are hard to take seriously, because none of them seem to take the Churchâs teachings seriously. But there was one papal protester in London this past weekend that I can respect (even if I donât agree with him):
Itâs not every day you see Latin on a placard protesting the Pope. When the anti-papal crowd of several thousand atheists, radical feminists and gay activists gathered in London this weekend, most of the banners were pretty simple: stuff like âNope to the Popeâ and âPapa Donât Preach.â
But later in the afternoon, on the edges of the papal motorcade, and amidst a number of cheering fans of Benedict, there was a poster raised demanding, âDROP THE FILIOQUE.â
What? You have to know a little bit of Latin, and a lot of theology and history to get that one.
It wasnât really a poster; it more like Magic Marker theology on a pizza box. And a young man named Toby Guise was happy to explain where, in his opinion, the Catholic Church had gone wrong.
âFilioqueâ means âAnd the Son,â and refers to a centuries-old debate between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, about whether the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, as the Orthodox believe, or from the Father and the Son, which is the Catholic teaching.
Thatâs tough stuff, material for smart folks debating in a graduate school seminar. Perhaps itâs too bad the Pope didnât see the pizza box; he would have been amused.
And in his former career as a professor and not a pontiff, he probably would have liked to talk to the young man holding it up.