Letter #20 from a Protestant minister.

One of the oddest letters we’ve received from Pastor Pitstop concerns his soul.  Suddenly, he is very worried about getting into Heaven.  He is questioning his decades as a minister with some real soul-searching.  In the process, Pastor Pitstop has invented the most bizarre theory we have ever heard about how non-Catholics and Protestants may be practically guaranteed of Heaven.

Dear Catholic Fundamentalism:

You guys never come right out and say, “If you aren’t Catholic, you’re going to have a harder time getting into Heaven.”  But, it’s what you think, isn’t it?   Really.  You think I can’t get into Heaven, don’t you?  You think I’m keeping people away from your Church just so I’ll have a job, don’t you? 

Some of you think that, by keeping people in my church, I’m keeping them from yours, thereby leading them astray.  You think I’m going to end up with a millstone around my neck!

I can’t go to Confession, like you do, and be forgiven.  I’d have to be a Catholic to do that, and if I became a Catholic, I’d lose my job.  My Board would say, “Pastor Pitstop, if you think that you can’t get to Heaven if you’re in our church, do you think we can’t, either?  Why are you here?  We’ll have to ask for your resignation.”

Do you think we all should become Catholic?  Then, what would I do?  I’d be unemployed either way.

Can I go to “semi-confession”?   You know, talk to a priest, tell him that I’m stuck, I can’t get out, and see if he would provide some sort of forgiveness? 

Sometimes, I go to well-attended “Ecumenical Meetings”.  All the important clergymen and clergymenettes in the area get together.  We listen to long, impassioned speeches about “the unfairness of it all”, are given armloads of literature to review, and we all look gravely worried about any number of things.  “Common issues of concern.” we call them.

I have actually met the local Catholic Bishop.  We had our picture in the paper.  The two of us were standing together in the annual “War Against Racism”.  We were protesting all the injustice in our area and in the world.  And, we were plenty worried about the environment, too.  Both of us were looking very serious.  You know what?  I think that is my sure-shot into Heaven!

I mean, if your own Bishop is going to be standing right next to me, and be photographed in front of the whole world, and never even whisper a warning in my ear, “Travis, if you don’t become a Catholic, you will have a harder time getting into Heaven.”, then my failure to convert must be his fault.

Doesn’t that make sense?  I mean, if The Bishop doesn’t love his neighbor enough to say something to save his soul, then he’s providing what I call “The Appearance of Benign Approval”.   From a Catholic Bishop!

You know what?  If I could get to Rome, and sneak into a Papal reception, clearly identified as a Protestant, with a big name tag that said “Permistianist Clergy”, and have my picture taken with the Pope, and He didn’t tell me to straighten out and increase my chances of salvation by becoming Catholic, then I would have The Appearance of Benign Approval from the highest-ranking Catholic of all.

I’d be a shoo-in for Heaven!

Sincerely, Pastor Travis T. Pitstop

As the latest letter was passed around the table, one or two of the younger folks were concerned.  “You know, Pastor Pitstop might be on to something.  If no one in The Church ever tells these people that they are running a very real risk of losing Heaven, is it The Church’s fault?  Can they make a case for getting into Heaven on that basis?”

The older editors explained that every human being has been given an equal chance to evaluate the evidence and make the right decisions.  “Everyone is free to choose.  What Pastor Pitstop is really doing is blaming The Church for his own failure to do the best thing.  It’s a common disorder, and it’s even found among some chronically unhappy Catholics.”