A Frank Talk About Papa

We are so used to Pope Francis' eccentricities we hardly ever see the big picture anymore. Let us first realize that the Papacy is an office with a rich tradition and global power. It demands ordinary prudence, at the least, and respect for its dignity. To put it another way, the Pope should be a grown-up who recognizes that he is part of something bigger than himself and acts accordingly.

Pope Francis, with all due respect, has not demonstrated this capacity. If there is one word that sums up his personality, it is narcissistic.

Someone who is narcissistic thinks of himself as exceptional. He craves the approval of others, yet he lacks empathy. He exhibits grandiosity: self-centeredness and feelings of entitlement. He feels superior to others, and is condescending. He needs to be the focus of attention of others. Comments and criticisms of others can be vicious.

These descriptions are taken from diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

The Bear is not claiming to diagnose the Pope. Yet, think back on his papacy, and the way Francis bounces from one scandal to another like a pinball, seemingly unaware of the damage he causes and unable to stop himself. Recall how he seems to consider the papacy as his own personal belonging. That is not humility. Even his acts of "humility" often seem to feature the imposition of his will upon tradition.

What about criticism of those who don't agree with him? Here is a lengthy collection of his insults. "Rosary counter," and "self-absorbed, Promethean neo-Pelagian" are just the start. (Who can forget "Bat Christian?")

Now here we are waiting on a papal encyclical based on the controversial topic of climate change. Once again, Pope Francis can bask in the spotlight. As the Bear pointed out in his last article, Catholics are required to give "religious assent," i.e. agreement, to such a document. How this is going to work out in practice the Bear has no idea, but it doesn't matter. On the possibly fraudulent or misguided science of climate change, "Roma locuta est, causa finita est."

The Church works when grownups are in charge. Frankly, we could add when people who do not exhibit symptoms of mental illness are in charge. Should there be an odd-ball, the sheep can only be unsettled and mistrustful. Even worse, what does this say about the Church? We are expected to swallow an encyclical on dubious science because we believe the Pope has divine assistance to get it right.

The Pope expects assent to his climate change encyclical. The faithful expect a Pope who is not incompetent. We seem to be at an impasse.

Comments

  1. We've had a lot of bad Popes in the past. We've been spoiled recently - which was really helpful to me in becoming Catholic! I have to keep reminding myself that the Pope is only the VICAR of Christ, Who is the true Head of the Church.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am running up a huge bill at the Church's field hospital.

      Delete
  2. That's some gooood writin' (and thinkin') pardner. Can't disagree with even a comma.

    ReplyDelete
  3. BTW....you been in Sacramento lately Bear? Just wonderin'.....

    http://www.breitbart.com/california/2015/05/01/old-man-punches-bear-in-face-to-save-his-chihuahua/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He should have just given the bear a marmalade sandwich. Win-win.

      Delete
    2. Do marmalade sandwiches work with Popes?

      Delete
    3. aaaaaahhhhh...don't think so. But a nice big plate of pasta (BIG) might do the trick....at the very least, this will make him very, very sleepy and less apt to talk. We should try this...EVERYDAY.

      Delete
  4. Self admittedly by the Pope himself, he has a 'nervous' problem with some 'neuroses' that he has to take medicine daily. This was reported in an interview with him where he said he only had 2 to 3 more years before he would be 'going to the Father's house'. Before this interview, I used to wonder (sometimes out loud) if the Holy Father had some kind of a 'medical condition' because of his sometimes very bizarre and eccentric pronouncements that swing from wildly delusional to sometimes sound Catholic doctrine.(along with a few others of us that were thinking the same thing) Now at least part of the puzzle is beginning to fit. Not that knowing about these neuroses that he 'medicates daily' will do the faithful nor the Church as a whole any good, unfortunately, but it explains some of the problem. Nor can one excuse it all because of his delicate condition, but you can be sure that the wolves that surround him are taking full advantage of the situation. They are surely feeding into his brain imbalance. Pray for him. I have as of late been praying for 'healing' for him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Weight gain is a common side effect of psychotropic drugs. I was not aware of this admission. Just playing this out, it is possible someone with a mental illness might lack the insight to realize he was not up to leading the Roman Catholic Church. Or realized it, but was driven by a.pathological need. I am reminded of Captain Queeg from The Caine Mutiny. He wasn't a bad guy in the end -- he just wasn't up to the job. May God protect His Church and heal and guide the Pope.

      Delete
    2. y'know guys....sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

      That's an awful lot of inference you're making from a jocular, self-deprecating comment on his part. If you look back at bergoglio's past to his much younger days, what we see today is the logical and organic playing-out of a formation steeped in Peronista-marxism and liberation theology. A former high-up (defector) of the KGB has just spoken out about liberation theology being invented and seeded through the Church in South America. It all makes so much sense when we consider that.

      I think we're dealing with the 'neurosis' of extreme narcissism...and for the most part that's a sin that can be readily dealt with by the normal means of grace offered in abundance by Our Lord thru His Church. Free-will acceptance is required; free-will refusal is the person's own fault/sin...no boogey-man involved. The age-old sin of the garden.

      Sometimes a rotten apple is just a rotten apple.

      Delete
    3. AMEN to that SCB. And yes, Susan, sometimes a rotten apple is just that.....a rotten apple. We just have to wait it out and see what may come out of the wash.

      Delete
  5. The upcoming encyclical deserves assent only where it is restating sound doctrine or morals. If it contains papal endorsement of a pseudo-scientific hoax, no assent is called for.

    The encyclical may cause scandal to the faithful and to the world. It may be an embarrassment to the Church for the next few centuries, or longer. But one thing it cannot do: Create an imperative for any faithful Catholic to give his assent to what he knows to be collectivist, totalitarian propaganda.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If you think Lumen Gentium's " religious submission of mind and will" to the non infallible is a complete concept, I'd say...check your pastor or a theology teacher in a nearby Catholic college....whoever seems saner in your area. Yves Congar once noted that Councils can give statements that are incomplete and you as an adult have to study to fill in what they are not saying. Fr.VF above this post is saying a similar thing. There is no way I will submit e.g. to the new death penalty position which cited absolutely no deterrence studies...which means EV circumvented the apposite science and theologized a topic while still persisting in making data related judgements.
    Also Aquinas' article on epikeia in the Summa Theologica will help you. He's tough. He says if you obey the letter of the law, knowing it did not forsee certain circumstances that would change the judgement, you sin by your obedience to the letter of the law.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The broader point is in a well-functioning Church, the faithful are entitled to rely on the Pope's teachings on faith and morals because, as the CCC explains, the Pope receives divine assistance. They therefore give the religious assent, which is not the same as the assent of faith. They should feel confident in the Pope's teaching. Here we are not bound to his scientific opinions, but we are to his teachings on faith and morals, at least to the degree of religious assent. If we conclude his teachings are wrong, that still puts us in the position of dissenters, albeit in the right. And that, as well as scandal, is not a trivial fallout. The bottom line is this will hurt the Church, divide the Left from the Right and many will cast dissenters in the same light as the dissenters from Humane Vitae (wrongly). All because we seem to have a Pope who isn't quite up to the job.

      Delete
    2. BTW, it also devalues the encyclical by turning it into a drum to beat for the current popular cause in the World, whatever it might be.

      Delete
  7. John Paul II did not receive Divine assistance in section 80 of " Splendor of the Truth" when he said without qualification that slavery and deportation were intrinsic evils. I know that because God gave chattel perpetual slavery to the Jews over foreigners here in Leviticus 25:44-46
    " 44 [a]The male and female slaves that you possess—these you shall acquire from the nations round about you. 45 You may also acquire them from among the resident aliens who reside with you, and from their families who are with you, those whom they bore in your land. These you may possess, 46 and bequeath to your children as their hereditary possession forever."
    I know that deportation can be moral because Pope Benedict didn't stop Italy when it deported two Muslim students to Morroco who had planned to kill Benedict.
    And either Pope Leo X was wrong in affirming burning heretics in Exsurge Domine (1520) or John Paul II was wrong in calling "coercion of spirit" an intrinsic evil in section 80 again.
    God perfectly assists the Popes in morals only in the infallible statements such as the joint condemnations (3) within Evangelium Vitae wherein all Bishops were polled on abortion, euthanasia, and killing the innocent. The universal ordinary magisterium is more foggy and debatable and that is precisely why JPII moved the abortion condemnation from the ordinary magisterium to the extraordinary formula in section 62 of EV.
    In that same EV, God did not assist JPII to edit out the death penalty of Gen.9:5-6 which he does in broad daylight in section 39... citing 9:6's " man is made in the image of God" and never showing the reader that God gives that very phrase as the reason for His death penalty mandate which JPII effectively hid from view because he saw certain aspects of the OT as difficient ( for that see section 40 of EV and see his comments on wifely obedience both in TOB and in Mulieris Dignitatem sect.24, first 4 paragraphs). Result: the Church is giving no guidance on wifely obedience in the catechism because the CDF probably thought he was off track and they weren't going to contradict him. Yet the Holy Spirit mentions the topic 6 times through the NT writers.
    Bottom line. God is not perfectly assisting in non infallible documents even on morals. Pan infallibility comes in the back door if one thinks otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's fine, if that's you're argument, just as long as we're clear you are directly contradicting the CCC and taking an interesting position re: non-infallible teachings. I agree it would be much simpler if we were free to disregard an encyclical. The problem occurs when a pope jumps on the bandwagon of some fad -- I'll concede your examples for argument -- and then you've got people running around disputing everything short of an infallible ex cathedra statement because "the Pope is wrong and there is no kind of assent the Church asks me to give." What a shame the rejection of Humanae Vitae was by people making the same sort of arguments. I get that you are saying (a) the Church does not require assent of any sort whatsoever; and (b) factually, God does not gift the Pope with any assistance at all unless he is making an ex cathedra teaching. That is not my understanding so we shall just have to disagree. I do agree that the precise status of non-infallible teachings is subject to debate, but they have to mean something.

      Delete
  8. Initially I was willing to bend over backwards in giving Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt. Recently though I get the strong impression of a man who spent years in obscurity now thrust onto global center stage and finding himself addicted to the attention. He never seems to shut up and always appears to crave shocking his flock.

    When he was selected I remarked the Holy Spirit had either sent us a saint to lead us or a scourge to chastise us. Well he's losing the likelihood of being a saint.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't agree with your summation of my position. I leave you with this clue
    to the mistakes in JPII on slavery, wifely obedience, the death penalty. In each, he is either unknowing of scripture ( slavery) or he definitely saw the scriptures and didn't like them ( wifely obedience and death penalty ) and he felt free to hide them from view in papal documents because modern biblical scholars do something very similar. Fr. Raymond Brown, a genius but a faulty one, was the top Catholic biblical scholar in the 20th century who didn't believe Mary even said the Magnificat ( Birth of the Messiah) and he served on the PBC under John Paul II and thus under Ratzinger. Brown saw many verses as physically erroneous...no magnificat, no slaughter of the innocents, no trip to Egypt of the Holy Family. Yet Brown served under JPII...with no fear by JPII. The answer is simply that JPII was conservative on a host of areas...but not on scripture. That's why he could call the death penalty " cruel" in 1999 in St. Louis even though Scripture has God mandating over 33 of them to the Jews in the pentateuch. JPII like Brown and Benedict also felt free to skip over certain oarts of the Bible as defective.
    And you're worried about me...lol. Read section 42 of Verbum Domini by Pope Benedict online...it's small. Benedict is saying that God did not command the herem or massacre of the Canaanites but rather they were sins and scholars trained in historico-literary criticism should proceed that way. He is the first Pope ever to say such a thing. Benedict was conservative on liturgy and sex so no one noticed his liberalism in binlcal matters...ditto for JPII and Francis with his horror of the death penalty. Modern biblical scholarship taught them they could dismiss certain scriptures but Christ said..." and the scriptures cannot be broken". I'm going to go with the latter in these matters.

    ReplyDelete
  10. From where I am sitting, the present 'bishop of Rome' is an apostate. There have been too many egregious statements from him to see it any other way. .His most recent Scalfari interview stated that those who reject God merely have their souls 'extinguished', not condemned to hell. This may be only Scalfari's distorted interpretation of what Francis said, but then again there was no reaction from the Vatican to clarify the heretical talk. In 2013 Bergoglio stated--and this is a direct quote-- that 'the moral stands of the Church are compromising Her mission.' This is one of many false dichotomies created by Bergoglio. His encyclical on mercy was fraudulent in that it did not explain the need for acknowledgement of sin and sorrow for it, as well as a firm purpose of amendment, not to sin again. Francis wants us now to 'kneel in adoration of the poor'. As Socci responds, this from one who does not kneel in adoration of the Eucharistic Jesus. Bergoglio is more that narcissistic. He is truly apostate.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pope Francis climate change religio/politco encyclical is another effort to become relevant to worldly concerns while neglecting the spiritual. His leftist politics should be welcomed by the Democrat party who will certainly use him to their advantage probably in an advertisement. With climate change and income redistribution the Pope is aligning himself with same atheistic folks who favor abortion and despise Christianity. Does Pope Francis have a death wish? Has he lost his mind? I think rather that he has lost his faith. God have mercy on him.

    Michael Dowd

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. " I think rather that he has lost his faith. "

      ....that.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Your comment will likely be posted after the Bear snuffles it. Please, no anonymous posts.

Popular posts from this blog

In Cauda Venenum: the Pope's Homily

Pope Grinch

Bear Says What He Thinks About Pope Francis