Monday, January 11, 2016

The Lord of the Fisherman's Ring

The Bear has been going through the Lost Entries (from the very beginning of this ephemeris) and it is like opening a time capsule. It is shocking how much SCB has changed over the last three years. The reason is obvious. Pope Francis inflicts a new enormity upon the Church every week. Over time St. Corbinian's Bear was turned from a reflective, playful, ephemeris on Catholicism and life into a dark and sometimes angry chronicle of the Pope's relentless assault on the Catholic Faith.

The closest the Bear can come to expressing how he feels is to recall the Lord of the Rings. We Catholics are Hobbits, minding our own business in the Shire. Gradually we become aware that something has gone terribly wrong in the east. Eventually we are sucked into an epic confrontation with a malevolent force of great power.

Of course, this is Sauron. Or, as, we know him, Pope Francis.

Few people know that Sauron was originally not such a bad fellow in an earlier age. Read the following carefully.
As for Sauron's "fair motives", Tolkien emphasized that at this time he "was not indeed wholly evil, not unless all 'reformers' who want to hurry up with 'reconstruction' and 'reorganization' are wholly evil, even before pride and the lust to exert their will eat them up"
Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981) The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Boston, Houghton Mifflin p. 190.

Doesn't this describe the Holy Father to a tee?

Now he's brought the wrecking ball to St. Peter's to make room for his New Age Pan-Religious Love-Cult ashram. He's probably still not evil. His mind is like a balloon that isn't tied to anything, and floats here and there on suspect breezes, deciding this must be changed and that must go entirely. It is difficult imagining him functioning effectively as an assistant manager in a Fiat dealership, yet here he is in charge of the Catholic Church.

The Bear is always suspicious of people who are self-conscious of their image, especially for humility. Without fail, there beats the iron will that conceals the insecurity of the true megalomanic. Indeed, Pope Francis is a reformer possessed of his own, idiosyncratic vision that is not Catholic. It is not whole, or balanced. If he needs to bulldoze the Shire and all its features, well, the Hobbits get a Year of Mercy in return.

We feel as frightened and helpless as the Hobbits did. Actually, worse, because defeating him is not as simple as tossing a ring into Mt. Etna. The sad fact is, we are in a version of the story where there is nothing anyone can do about Sauron and his many minions. And there's no guarantee that the same cardinals will not do worse next time, encouraged by Pope Francis' success.

Is Pope Francis mentally sound? Intelligent? An infidel? A marxist from a failed Latin state? None of these questions matter. The only thing that matters is power. The Pope can pull the rug out from under Jesus and the twelve apostles any time he wants, and no earthly force can do anything about it. He is our Sauron, deforming the Church and harming the faithful. Leftist causes and rank indifferentism: that's the Bergogolio pontificate.

And yet, in our version of the story, everyone loves Sauron. Nine out of ten Catholics have a favorable view of him, and six out of ten have a very favorable view. But it's not just Catholics. It's the world. This is from The Ecumenical News.
But improved views of the Catholic Church are especially apparent among self-identified liberals and moderates as well as among Democrats. Ideological liberals and moderates, along with Democrats, are especially likely to say Francis has given them a more positive view of the Catholic Church.
Well of course he's popular with liberals. They know he's one of them, and cares what they care about, and isn't all that into religion.

Contrast this with the words of Our Lord.
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:18-19 RSV)
Truly, we are all now test pilots for the concept of the indefectibility of the Church.

But Hobbits are survivors. We will be scandalized. We will bear the insults. We will be largely on our own. We will be a tiny minority of believers. We will hold on to our Catholic treasures, even if the Pope thinks they're trash. Despite their worst efforts, they cannot take the Catholic Church and the ancient faith away from us.

And we will examine what our pontiff gives us very carefully, because we do have a papa who gives us serpents and scorpions instead of fish and eggs.

What is the only possible message this is sending?

Things were so different three years ago when the Bear began this ephemeris. An innocence has been lost, and a trust destroyed with the election of an elderly gentleman from Argentina as Pope.


  1. You know, Bear, I fear that when 'the great Mercy' is publicly enunciated (whatever heretical proposition(s) or teaching(s)it propounds or permits) it will be draped in some twisted appeal to the text of Matthew 16:19:

    "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."

    In short, a corrupted interpretation of the special prerogative given by Our Lord to Peter will be used to confer a licence to sin.

    1. A diabolical lie is Truth with just one degree of separation. It's the worst lie, because it is the most damaging and is the hardest to identify.

      This doctrine you hi-lite is fundamental to our Faith. Yet, it is being used to undermine our Faith. How?

      "You" (in the verse above) refers not only to St. Peter; not only to Pope Francis. "You" refers to ALL the Popes, past, present, future, along with all the Bishops and their Priests in union with him through Christ, through time.

      Satan is excluded from this Priestly communion. But he can operate very well within a dictatorship.

      That is what happened, imo. The meaning of that foundational commission of Jesus Christ was changed from a mystical communion of saints with their Lord to a dictatorship of one.

  2. This is a great blog, not just a good one. How can I count the ways you just echoed my own thoughts. Thanks for all you do Bear. We are in need of comfort, and this blog is a comfort.

  3. If Peter was given authority to act in Jesus' name, effective not only on earth, but in heaven itself, then what's to stop him, outside of some supernatural intervention? I would think that if a Pope used the power of the keys in a way contrary to the faith, it would be ipso facto null and void. But I don't have any authority for that. I'm sure there's some out there.

    This is what is so frustrating with the "recognize and resist" position the Bear has taken. If you simply say the Pope is not the Pope things are much simpler. Disagreeing with a sitting Pope is dangerous business, and ultramontanists can produce plenty of quotes that you are pretty much sentencing yourself to Hell. Yet if the Pope can release that video and we're not allowed to point out the serious departure from the faith it represents... No. I can't accept we are barred from defending the faith against a rogue Pope, which is what I consider Pope Francis to be. Yet while sedevacantism is a neat solution, I just don't see how I can decide Francis, or, more usually, everyone after Pius XII simply weren't popes. Maybe Popes who showed questionable judgment, but as much as the simple option of sedevacantism attracts, I don't see the intellectual foundation.

    1. Thanks, Bear. I'd really love to have access to an unimpeachable source who can authoritatively expound on the niceties of 'the Power of the Keys'.

      Unfortunately, I was absent the day they taught Canon Law at Law School.

    2. I am fully convinced the Seat is NOT vacant. He is valid, for sure.

      Jesus did not promise inerrant, perfect Popes, any more than He guaranteed perfect, wise, godly Kings to Israel. They struggled, were punished and rose again many times. So do we.

      As an old Economics Professor told me many years ago (the only thing I remember him saying), "economics depends on the knowledge that perfection is for the next life, not for this." Life depends on this axiom. We struggle in a fallen, less than perfect world. That is the point of life in the proving ground for eternity.

      The Bride remains pure. The Church's Hierarchy given to us by our Lord consists of ALL Popes, Bishops and Priests in union with each other through Jesus Christ. To the extent a Pope leaves this communion, he is harming only himself and those he takes with him, NOT the mystical Bride of Christ.

  4. Bear, I am sure that you wrestled mightily, for quite a while, with your conscience, before you finally came to a place, where speaking the Truth about Christ and His Church become an imperative, regardless of where that leads or whom it may contradict. There is no other way to inner peace except through being intellectually and spiritually honest and letting the chips fall where they may. At the same time, only a very proud, arrogant bear (or man) would find joy having been put in a position to "recognize and resist" dangerous errors or even more directly, those in the highest reaches of our Church today. Your writings show your frustration and reticence to speak of such matters, but it is also clear that your conscience compels you to do so.

    For my part, my heart breaks and my soul is filled with the deepest sorrow and anguish, when I see our Blessed Lord being scourged and crucified once again in His very own Church stripped, mocked, and abandoned but for a faithful few.

    On the other hand, through my tears of grief how blessed I feel because I have been given the gift of faith to see and recognize the only Way, the Truth and the Life which is Jesus Christ our Lord and I find Him in the Roman Catholic Church.

    Athough these are truly the most terrible, awful and confusing of times in the Church, maybe the worst for the last 2000 years, it is NOT the time to abandon Jesus hanging there on the Tree of Life, but to stand resolutely and patiently persevering, like our Blessed Mother did, close to Jesus to the last. No matter what anyone says or does. (Or as the Bear says, "nail your foot...)

    Each in their own way needs to find ways to love and support their brother and sister in Christ. For the Bear, he has prayerfully discerned that he best serves God, at this moment in time, by using his talents and Graces to inform and engage others, through his writings, attempting to separate the wheat from the chaff from whatever comes out of the Vatican, sadly even that from that elderly gentleman from Argentina, himself. 

    So these are the worst of times and the best of times for those who have the eyes of faith. A time to deeply lament what is happening in the Church today but also a time to rejoice and be glad that we are called to live in such times. These are times that offer us a genuine opportunity, with Grace, to demonstrate steadfast faith and believe in God, show how much we truly love Him, and our willingness to sacrifice and suffer ALL for His sake and that of His One Holy and Apostolic Church.

  5. Good Bear for communicating that we have a Bad Pope. Few have the insight or the courage to do this. Let us pray for the Bear that he will continue and for the Pope that he will change.

  6. To continue that analogy, one of the most difficult things at the beginning is for the Hobbit to believe there is actually a problem; to pack up his bags and leave on a journey, when there is no evidence of anything amiss except the word of an old, crazy wizard.

    The Hobbit wakes up in the morning after the strange visit by the peculiar wizard. The routine and appearance of things in the Shire that morning is as any other day: Blue sky, second breakfast cooking, friend Hobbit smoking on the porch, someone singing over the next hill. Another fine day indeed!

    The only problem is that troublesome conversation last night of dark things; desperate things about the world beyond. The world beyond has gone off its axis, he said. Nothing is the same as it was. It appears the same; but he said it is not. Indeed he said, last night, the change is fatal, and growing, and coming, and a solution depends on Hobbit leaving the Hobbit Hole with its warm breakfast, and pipe and song; traveling to the end of the earth!

    The message doesn't match the appearance of things, or any experience of Hobbit's life, or any Hobbit he's ever known.

    Breakfast smell lingers. The pipe beckons. Nap time is only a few hours away. Tick-tock. What to do?

    The wizard. Listen to the wizard; the guide. Not all follow. Not all listen. Not all see truth, when the rest of the world sees foolishness and laughs at the word of the Wizard, or worse. Either way, a choice must be made: follow Gandalf, or Saruman, (even if little hobbit hasn't yet even heard of Saruman).

    John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."

  7. After having shown the children a vision of Hell, Our Lady of Fatima told the children: "You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go...Many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray for them or make sacrifices for them."

    The Church has long and publicly proclaimed that Our Lady's apparitions at Fatima are worthy of belief by the Faithful. During above-mentioned vision Hell, i.e. July 13, 1917, of Our Lady instructed the children to say the following prayer within the context of their recitation of the daily Rosary (as by Sister Lucia to the author William Thomas Walsh in 1947):

    " O my Jesus, pardon us, and save us from the fire of hell; draw all souls to heaven, especially those most in need."

    I am not a sede vacantist. I have no first hand evidence of the election of any pontiff. I wasn't there, you know, and have always taken someone's word for who's on first. I do know that error must be resisted by those who are equipped to recognize it and who have the wherewithal to do so even if it arises at the family picnic. We do have an infallible tradition and doctrine to fall back on regardless of whether Abbott or Costello camps out in the surrounds of the Vatican.

    I shant address the present state of the Church or the canonical status (or lack thereof) of Her Supreme Pontiff or whether Francis does not believe in Purgatory, Hell, Sin, Conversion of the Jews, the absolute necessity of evangelizing the non-Catholic world, etc.

    When I can contribute a public comment in defence of the Faith I will do so. Notwithstanding, bear in mind the words of Our Lady quoted above. There is a Hell (de fide) and people go there. There is a way to prevent souls from going there, i.e. prayer (preferably the Rosary) and penance. That is what I try to do more frequently now. I pray too for the abandoned, the Jews, the Pagans, all of the unbaptized, and the Poor Souls.

    Prayer is what Our Lady specifically asked of us (and the Five First Saturdays of Reparation) . And the prayer Our Lady herself taught urges us to pray that Jesus to"...draw 'all souls to heaven' . I will suppose that Our Lady would not have us wasting time praying for that which cannot possibly be had.

    I am praying that the Holy Spirit grant me (and all men) the Gift of Discernment for the Truth, Heroic Fidelity, and an increase of Faith, Hope, and Charity so that I may worship God in Spirit and in Truth and that all may come to true conversion, repentance, and final perseverance.

    Sorry to be so wordy, if not entirely incoherent. You do admirable service for your brothers and sisters in Christ. Ride the bus to the end of the line. God willing, I shall.

  8. If you have no objection, Bear, I would like to draw your attention to a ready opportunity for all who might wish to exercise Spiritual Works of Mercy for the Souls in Purgatory at a keystroke (if you will).

    The Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society had 69 priests offering the Traditional Latin Mass at least once a month for the Poor Souls. It requires nothing but a short prayer or two for those departed souls for whom enrolment is sought.

    I confess I make daily, yes daily, use of this great spiritual resource. God knows we all have family, friends, acquaintances, and others who would benefit from the Traditional Latin Mass being offered for them a minimum of 69 times or more per month. (I include those names of persons who I learn of have met with a sudden, violent, unexpected, or unprovided death).

    Here is the link:

    I like to think of myself in some sense as the unrighteous steward facing the summons of his master in Luke 16:6-8

    "And he (the steward) summoned each one of his master's debtors, and he began saying to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' "And he said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' "Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty. And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly..."


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