|Pope high-fives televangelist James Robison.|
I see a bright future for him, as a sort of anti-Bear, boosting the Pope and calling other Catholics nasty names.
Jesus never did anything without a good reason, so the Bear happens to agree that Jesus was probably making a point with the Canaanite woman in today's Gospel. One, however, that has nothing to do with Mr. Palmer. It is surprising that this blogger, who is a priest, should miss that. Or perhaps he didn't, and is just taking a lazy swipe at Catholics Who Are Not As Good As I Am.
Which is kind of ironic, when you have decided upon a new career of calling other Catholics Pharisees.
The Catholics who were scandalized at Tony Palmer's Catholic funeral are the same Catholics who are troubled with Pope Francis' repeated doings and sayings concerning Protestants in general. They are not Pharisees, at least the Bear is not getting that from them. They are faithful Catholics who are scandalized. That is an entirely different thing from feeling superior.
In other words, Pope Francis is causing them to stumble. This is because they know the Church has in the past -- and not just in the 16th century, but in the 20th century, too -- issued warnings about Protestantism. There was the Church, then there was everyone else, including Protestants, who were outside of the salvific embrace of the Church. Catholics were told to respect the difference and avoid doing the special things they did with other Catholics with Protestants.
Like worshiping with them.
Was Tony Palmer's funeral improper? The Bear has not studied the topic. He would suspect yes, but is not going to tear up anybody's campsite over it.
None of this is about Catholics looking down on Protestants. It isn't personal. It is dishonest to try to make it so. It is all about how Pope Francis is looking at his Church. The Bear is willing to stipulate that many Protestants are better than he is. To pretend this is about feeling superior is just a straw man argument. (One thing about an open combox by the way: it helps keep you honest.)
No, this is about one thing: this Pope likes changing the rules. He likes to change small rules. He likes to change big rules. And he doesn't bother to explain to the peasants as he goes.
It is the height of arrogance for any cleric to dismiss the legitimate concerns of faithful Catholics regarding the Pope's apparent belief that the Church is merely one of 30,000 Christian "faces" on the holy polyhedron. Tony Palmer is the very same friend of the Pope whom Francis discouraged from converting, because "bridge builders" were needed among Protestants. It isn't hard to figure out what the Pope thinks of extra ecclesiam nulla salus (no salvation outside the Church) is it?
If the Pope was dealing fairly with everyone, he would lay out his beliefs. Heaven knows he can find himself a "journalist" whenever he wants to, if he can't be bothered to write an encyclical. (A Bear is about the only creature he hasn't personally spoken to.) Is it time for for extra ecclesiam nulla salus to go? Fine! Lay it out for us. Have we entered a New Age with regard to Protestants, and, for all the Bear knows, Jews, Muslims, and everybody else? Great! Tell us how and why this happened and let the good ecumenical and interfaith times roll!
But don't skulk around behind the backs of your sheep while your hirelings snipe at any that bleat. Show a little respect and, well, humility, by not acting like a Renaissance Prince whose word is law.
How ironic that the humble, gentle Franciscan Church, the very embodiment of Vatican II -- which includes the dignity of the priesthood the faithful by the way -- is reduced to what we have seen the past several weeks.