Not so long ago, the Bear asked if the Pope were Catholic. The Bear concluded that Pope Francis's engine was leftist humanitarianism rather than Catholicism. As long as you attempt to view him as a religious figure, the image will remain fuzzy. But understand him as leftist humanitarian, and suddenly the image pops into focus.
Knowing who Pope Francis is does not tell the whole story, though. He may have a secular orientation, but he's still Pope. He has a reformer's spirit. He's not happy with the Church, and wishes it were very different. The Bear would like to explore Francis the Reformer.
There'll Be Pie In the Sky When You Die
Communists used to deride Christianity with the song, "There'll Be Pie in the Sky When You Die." In other words, religion wasn't much use to the unemployed, the hungry, those without safe drinking water, the lonely elderly, the refugee. The less fortunate need help in the here and now. In the latest episode of Terror at 20,000 Feet, Pope Francis deflected a moral question about the use of condoms by, essentially, singing a few mocking bars of "There'll Be Pie in the Sky When You Die." Tut-tut, let's eliminate all injustice, then we can worry about silly religious questions, if you must.
The Bear's breath is is still taken away by the audacity of that answer. "Casuistry," as Francis calls applying doctrines, has no place in a Church as long as it has not yet accomplished its mission. That mission is first, last and only bringing into existence an environmentally sound, one-world government presiding over a single brotherhood of man, where wealth is evenly distributed. (To be sure, the Church will be rewarded with its own special role as moral guarantor.) This is the long game.
And Pope Francis is not shy about pointing out how the needy must be helped. He said 17% of the world's population has 80% of the stuff worth having. Obviously the Church should be involved in the redistribution of wealth. Pope Francis always insists "that's not communism," but the Bear doesn't know what else you would call it.
Bergoglioism and Doctrine
Pope Francis has said he doesn't believe "in a Catholic God." He calls proselytism "solemn nonsense." The Body and Blood of Our Lord are dismissed as "a little bread and wine do no harm," if a divorced and remarried woman wishes to receive communion. Doctrines should be soft, and yielding, like the flesh of Jesus. If you believe in absolute truth you are a "fundamentalist," of which the Church has "so many." Pope Francis has made it clear that these are the enemies of the Church.
If there is a principle in Bergoglioism, it is this. "The exceptions swallow the rules, and, anyway, let's get back to helping the needy."
Pope Francis takes ecumenism and interfaith efforts seriously. Muslims who die trying to break into Europe "are with the Lord now." Well, then, says the Bear, so much for the role of the Catholic Church. Ah, the Pope would reply, the poor who perish on the sea enjoy special grace. They are in Heaven because they were refugees on Earth. But the Church still has much work to do for The Prince of This World.
Muslims, said Francis, “worship the one living and merciful God, and call upon him in prayer.” That has been such a commonplace in the Church for so long he really can't be blamed for that one. It is still wrong, though.
It is doctrine that so unnecessarily separates Christians. The Bear thinks Pope Francis believes this. What moldy old doctrine is worth keeping if it prevents us from communion with the Anglicans? Indeed, Muslims are fellow children of Abraham, our brothers. Mankind should be one, and it is my role to show the way.
Like any good reformer, the Pope attacks doctrine. But his genius is not to single out particular doctrines as objectionable. The very idea of doctrine is being gently separated from the Church. Think of the vast corpus of statements we already have in this pontificate. The Pope says what Jorge Bergoglio thinks and wants.
The human personality of Jorge Bergoglio has swallowed the papacy in a way we have never seen.
So we are witnessing a new phase in the age-old war between the Church and the Adversary. The Church is being re-purposed from the Church Militant to temperature-regulated planetary Mother, suckling each person at her abundant breasts with material aid and mercy.
You don't have to destroy the Church. You just have to put the right men in place who will give the Church a new meaning. The silversmiths of Ephesus will soon be back to work.
|"Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"|
The Tragedy of Jorge Bergoglio
The tragedy is that it is good to hear about mercy, and helping the needy. By presenting an unbalanced and eccentric message that just sounds like Jorge Bergoglio ruminating over his personal obsessions, however, that message gets lost. Many Catholics are merely dazzled, while others are confused and frightened by this Pope. We could do better.
It is important to remember that the Pope is not the Church. We must carry on as good Catholics and recognize that the Church is protected in ways that even someone as scary as Jorge Bergoglio cannot subvert. Nail your foot to the floor in front of your favorite pew, for now, and wait for the new pope.
Go HERE to see a bill of particulars against Pope Francis from The Remnant. While a little of it will be of more interest to traditionalists, it is still a remarkable document. It was, by the way, produced in connection with a petition for the Pope to resign. The Bear has no advice about that at the moment. It might raise your information-action ratio.