Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bad Pope

"Do you love me?"

Peter knew he had denied Christ. The question must have hurt. It would be repeated twice more, each time like a hammer blow on a nail, or the thrust of a spear.

"Feed my sheep."

The final, Luciferian answer is unexpected.

I love you, Lord, but I love my own idea of the Church, the good it can do by raising awareness of worthy causes. I love you Lord, but I confess I love the world more. I am thrilled by the attention. People hang on my every utterance! I am famous for my deeds of humility. Indeed trumpets sound when I bend the knee to an outcast. I wish to smell like the sheep, but I have no interest in feeding them. Indeed, I will not feed your sheep. The sheep are mine, and I will do with them as I please. The Church is mine. When it comes to it, Lord, you will see. The sheep will follow me, whom they can see, even when I do not feed them. They will not follow you, whom they cannot see.

Where is the Church? What is its future? What if there came a time when the Church lies in ruins, and a pope and his prelates thought nothing of twisting the very words of Christ Himself?

Human beings get used to nearly everything. Put them in a jail, and within a couple of weeks they will have made a sort of home for themselves, adapted to the routine, learned the ropes. Catholics have gotten used to homosexual priests molesting adolescent boys, and the string of bankruptcies caused by diocesan settlements. We have gotten used to liturgies that are uninspiring, at best, and travesties at worst. We have gotten used to ugly, modern churches. We have gotten used to heresy: Modernism. We have gotten used to African priests, shipped over because we no longer make priests of our own.

And we are already getting used to a Pope who ignores Church teaching and blurts the first thing that pops into his head when asked about important matters. A pope and bishops who just don't like the Church very much, not as it is. The old liberal dream has traded its radical uniform for clerical garb. We cannot love the Church as it is, they tell us, for it is cruel and old-fashioned. But you can trust us to change all that.

The Church must be more inclusive, more ecumenical, more interfaith, more social justice, more new, more this, more that, anything but more holy, more saving. And by any metric you care to cite, these people are killing out Church.

We have gotten used to so much more than we usually realize, until you sit and think about it. Things are far worse than we ever imagined, even in our darkest mood. If it had all happened in a week, the Bear believes people would have literally died of shock and heartbreak. "Gradualism," and evolution, and a never-ending stream of happy propaganda have spared us the shock, but left us paralyzed by a malaise. We look for the Church in vain.

The Bear wonders if there could ever be a clear -- it would have to be very clear -- choice between Peter and Christ. Some would say no. God would never torture us with such a dilemma.

We can all survive one bad pope. The first step is recognizing that we've got a bad pope on our hands. It will just be more of the same, which is not good, but not fatal. But whatever else Pope Francis has done, he has raised questions. What is non-negotiable? Where do we draw the line? What can we do to, first, survive, and, second, to rebuild a ruined Church? When do look for the Church outside of Rome?

These are the questions that will never get asked on the airplane, that Pope Francis will never get to answer in his usual, careless manner.

The Bear is only a Bear, and does not have the answers. His foot is still nailed to the floor in front of his favorite pew, and he is trying his best to live within the wingspan of his guardian angel. But there's no denying that Church has imploded. It will be remade by whichever group is more determined, although possession of the hollow institutions are a tremendous advantage. How that might work out the Bear doesn't know. But he does know that Pope Francis is all about Pope Francis, and he will not feed the sheep unless there's a television camera on the scene.

7 comments:

  1. I certainly think it's fair to say he has been a bad pope. But his pontificate isn't over, and it remains possible that a dramatic change of heart could make it the opposite.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anything's possible... It is difficult for old men to change, however. Especially when it looks like their playing the right cards.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Latin rite is a mess. The Eastern rites are very realistic about all of this.
    I'm taking my hammer and nails there.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Eastern rite is attractive, but I would be afraid there would be problems anywhere I went. That's why as bad as things get, I'll just growl and stay put. I've pulled a runner before, and learned from my mistake. In the end, I am a Bear of the West, and that's where I'll take my stand, even if I wax apocalyptic sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The parish church where I was baptized has been put up for sale.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bear said:

    "The Bear is only a Bear, and does not have the answers. His foot is still nailed to the floor in front of his favorite pew" ... where it will rot away with the wood.

    The Bear is not just a Bear but a Catholic Bear.

    I am so glad that at the seasoned age of 65 Archbishop Lefebvre didn't just nail himself to the floor but to the Cross! As hard as it is...All Catholics must nail themselves to the Cross and carry it following His true Shepherds so our children & grandchildren will follow...


    THE
    LITTLE
    CATHOLIC
    HEN

    Who'll say Mass
    Assumption Feast?
    No longer done
    Said parish priest.

    Who will baptize
    Little one?
    More important
    In-i-ti-a-tion.

    The Catholic Faith
    Please teach my child?
    Not I, said nun born-
    To-be-wild.

    Who will help
    Teach catechism?
    Don't call it that
    It sounds like schism.

    Who will hear
    My child confess?
    We're all forgiven
    More-or-less.

    Who will give
    The angels' Bread?
    Extra-ministers
    Sue and Fred.

    Confirm my teens
    Their souls they're losing?
    That must be done
    Of their own choosing.

    So little mother
    Walked away
    Hating to
    Look bold.

    Never orphaned
    Clung to Cross
    Deposit- Faith
    Her gold.

    Then up above
    On mountain top
    A man in white
    He stood.

    Just one more Bishop
    Who'll try to stop...
    Disorient
    What's good.

    But Bishop lifted
    Up her Cross
    His sons helped
    Bear the weight.

    And Pilgrims in
    Progressive lands
    Continued in
    Grace-state.

    They handed down
    What they were taught
    Vocations now
    They flourish

    And others old
    Who loved new-thought
    Had only crust
    To nourish.

    But little mother
    Saw their tears
    Starving for
    What's true...

    Come in, come in,
    We've waited years...
    His Bread's, in memory,
    For you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. "...didn't just nail himself to the floor but to the Cross!"

    Great goodness girl, but you have a way with words!.....wow.

    ReplyDelete

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