Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Magisterium of the Telephone (UPDATED)

No big deal. Some divorced and remarried woman in Argentina claims the Pope called her and said it's okay for her to go to communion. They are already writing their dispatches from the South Pole. (If you have not read this article, the Bear admits to particularly good timing on either his part or Pope Francis'.) To save you the trouble of reading the official Catholic blogosphere, the Bear predicts these will be the talking points:

  • The Pope never called.
  • If the Pope called, he didn't talk about divorce and remarriage.
  • If the Pope called and talked about divorce and remarriage, he didn't tell the woman she could take communion.
  • If the Pope called and talked about divorce and remarriage, and told the woman she could take communion, it doesn't mean the Church's position has changed.
  • We can't talk about it, because we have no idea what really happened.
_______________________________

Update after reading the volunteer Swiss Militia of the blogosphere: the spin can be much more sophisticated. IF you can articulate any casuistry by which a woman's marriage to a divorced and remarried man would not be a bar to communion -- despite what her priest says (!) -- THEN the Holy Father acted perfectly properly!

A really unworthy argument: If there has been confusion, it is the woman's fault. (Gee, that sounds familiar...)

Nothing, of course, about the bizarre, unprecedented and foreseeably disastrous practice of the Pope phoning random people and discussing complex and sensitive theological issues with them, especially when those people are emotionally invested in them. I'm sorry, but this goes beyond mere negligence, especially over a year into this strange pontificate.

__________________________________

According to CNN, Vatican spokesman Rev. Thomas Rosica confirmed the call, but said "It's between the Pope and the woman," and any comments should not be construed as a change in church doctrine. "The magisterium of the church is not defined by personal phone calls."

Move over Duck Dynasty, there's a new reality show: Francis Calling.

The Bear already pre-wrote his commentary on this on Tuesday (see "South Pole" link above).

The Bear is still waiting for his call. "Bear, this is Francis.
Michael Voris is wrong. Criticize me all you want!"

Update: Official Vatican Statement

[Remarkable and non-Parody] Statement from the Director of the Holy See Press Office 

Several telephone calls have taken place in the context of Pope Francis’ personal pastoral relationships. 

TRANSLATION: WE'VE CANCELLED SERVICE BUT HE KEEPS GETTING TRACK PHONES. BY THE WAY, THERE ARE MORE CRAZY STORIES OUT THERE THAT COULD BREAK.

Since they do not in any way form part of the Pope's public activities, no information or comments are to be expected from the Holy See Press Office.

TRANSLATION: BASTA. WE'RE SO OUTTA HERE.

That which has been communicated in relation to this matter, outside the scope of personal relationships, and the consequent media amplification, cannot be confirmed as reliable, and is a source of misunderstanding and confusion.

TRANSLATION: WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE POPE IS DOING, EITHER.

Therefore, consequences relating to the teaching of the Church are not to be inferred from these occurrences.

TRANSLATION: WE'VE LEARNED NOT TO PAY MUCH ATTENTION TO THE POPE AND SUGGEST YOU DO THE SAME.



The Bear also notices the Catholic News Agency is running a story with the misleading headline "Doubts Grow." Some of the details are fuzzy due to the nature of the Pope calling random people and offering various dispensations. But there is no real doubt about the essence of the story.

In fact the story is complete that Pope Francis took it upon himself to inject his private opinions into a sensitive issue, once again completely oblivious to the serious disruption it would cause to the Church.

The Bear says the following in all seriousness.

Why does the image of Humphrey Bogart rolling his steel balls in the Cain Mutiny come to mind? Captain Queeg was not a bad man. His judgment as captain, was, however, questionable. Now, the Bear does not want Fred McMurray's role of the agitating amateur writer, because he honestly feels more like Meatball. BUT...

Can popes be afflicted with mental health issues?

If so, what happens? Is there a provision for Van Johnson relieving him of duty for the safety of the ship and souls?

See also excellent commentary here from Steve Skojec.

Finally, an apt cover from Johnny Cash: Personal Jesus.

Feeling alone by the telephone,
All alone,
Flesh and bone,
Lift the receiver
I'll make you a believer...





8 comments:

  1. Maybe Father Guido Sarduchi wasn't off the mark when he held his "Find the Pope in a Pizza" contest.

    ReplyDelete
  2. History repeats itself. The first time as an SNL sketch, the second as news.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thought you'd 'enjoy' this man's writing....knowing now what good thinkers Bears are, I wouldn't be surprised if he's got a very, VERY hairy back. :)

    http://blog.steveskojec.com/2014/04/24/oops/#comment-3313

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks! You already led me to this site, although you didn't know it :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. ahhhh, a mystical Bear no less.

    However I led you there, I think it's a good match :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sunday ought to be interesting when every divorced and remarried Catholic on the face of the Earth gets in line for communion. I really feel sorry for all the faithful old folks who have denied themselves communion for decades because they were divorced and remarried. How must they feel? Guess Henry VIII was just ahead of his time, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  7. p.s....love the polar bear....veeeerrrry funny :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Little joke related to Tuesday's rather prescient article :-) The Bear has noticed his coat turning from beautiful brown to creamy since yesterday. It's a mystery.

    ReplyDelete

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