I had just started working for Baptist General Convention of Texas (now Texas Baptists) when I wrote a letter to Pope John Paul II in 1992. I never heard back from him and guess that he never saw the letter. Or maybe someone on his staff had a laughing good time and then threw it in the trash.
After all, why would a Baptist write a letter to the Pope?
I wish I had saved the letter, but it still clear in my mind what I wrote. So I am going to recreate it for the purpose of this blog.
Dear Pope John Paul 11:
I work in the Church Starting Center of the Baptist General Convention of Texas which helps start new churches. We start many Hispanic Baptist churches, and the need is very great for more churches to be started.
Catholics used to be missionary minded people and started many new churches in Texas. The need is still very great for new church starts.
Now that may seem like a strange letter for a Baptist to write to a Pope. But you have to remember that even in 1992 I was working for women’s equality. What I really wanted was to point out the fact that if women could be priests, more churches could be started.
It is too bad that he did not take my letter seriously. The Catholic churches in this area are suffering greatly because of a lack of priests, and new churches cannot be started because young men do not want to give up their lives to celibacy. I doubt that women do either, but my guess is that they would. Instead, Catholic churches secure their priests from foreign countries and the congregations can barely understand what the priests are saying.
There is a new Pope. A new hope for Catholics. A new hope for the furtherance of the gospel.
Would that my Baptist friends also see that there are 7,000,000,000,000 (is that a billion) people in the world, and there are not enough male pastors to preach to them. Would that they, too, see that lost people are more important than the gender of the person preaching.