Thursday, March 24, 2016

Advice to Pope Francis From an Old Show-Biz Bear

The Bear has not followed this year's Francis Foot Follies, and is better for it. But, as an old show-Bear, he has some words of advice for his fellow entertainer.

Dear Pope Francis:

You can't keep doing Shock Art, for the simple reason that it isn't shocking after the first time, maybe second. The Bear doesn't know how to break this to you, holy Father, but the house is half empty, and there are scattered boos. You are in danger of being remembered as "that Pope who did the foot thing." What's it going to be next year? "The Mandada?" A Dadist production where you wash a toaster, the feet of an empty chair, your own feet, and a Victorian elephant's foot umbrella stand?

At this point, what difference would it make? You broke the Mandatum, you bought it and now you own it. But washing people's feet isn't exactly the Superbowl commericals, if you know what the Bear means. Yawn. Bad photo-op, worse video. You look like a Shoe Carnival employee on Halloween.

Do you really want to be the Dexy's Midnight Runners of popes?

And the "underprivileged group of the year" gimmick looks -- not saying it is -- insincere. Remember when you were all like, "the poor people, the poor people!" Now I'm hearing the poor people asking, "what's up with Pope Francis? We were like special. He loved us the best. Gave us haircuts. Now, all you hear about are refugees." Don't you see the same problems? The Bear bets next year it will be victims of Facebook bullying.

Your schtick is just stale. Even the Remnant is running Pope Leo XIII casserole recipes instead of giving you any copy.

But you can do, this, Papa Frank! The Bear gives you Robert Downey, Jr. In the '90s he was a dope fiend who couldn't stay out of jail. Today? The highest paid actor in Hollywood. You can do the same. The Bear knows it. But you've got to listen to your ursine friend here.

You need to reboot your pontificate. What would be really shocking would be if you started talking like Pius XII. Kick the tires on the old sedia gestatoria (metaphorically speaking). Put on that beehive tiara. Reinvent yourself as Francis the Orthodox. Francis the Hammer of Heretics. Francis the Arch-Enemy of Islam. Send your Kasper claque back to Oktoberfest and read some real Catholic stuff. The Bear bets the SSPX would be happy to help you out. As would, of course, the Bear.

Come out with a couple of new releases -- the Bear means encyclicals (short!) -- and clinch the deal. Sell it!

The Bear feels that, as a miraculous 1300-year-old walking, talking second class relic, his talents are underused by the Church. As in not at all. Come On Eileen. Just sayin'.

Let's talk.

Your obedient servant,
St. Corbinian's Bear


  1. Bravo Bear!! Hope Pope F. appreciates all your good advice but afraid it will fall on deaf ears.

    My advice is for him to get scarce, take a break, get lost, cut the comments and go on a 60 day retreat. The less heard from him the better. He could read your Bear Chronicles during his quiet time. Maybe it would help.

  2. This is a very charitable letter St. Corbinian's Bear! I don't know if His Holiness will get the "Come on Eileen"... It WOULD be shocking, miraculous even , if he started talking like Pius XII, and I love your confidence in the belief that it COULD happen. Maybe we should all just now pray for the intercession of Our Mother and Pius XII for this Pope. An opportunity for alms giving!

  3. Well done as per usual. There was no reason to read up on what happened at Holy Thursday mass. It was not about the eucharist or the priesthood, as it should be. I don't know what he said in his homily. I am not interested in knowing. That is sad. What did they do when they could not put the Blessed Sacrament in repose and have adoration? They were not at a church.

    Loved the Dexie's MRs! Robt Downey Jr's comeback is amazing too. Good role model for the Holy Father.;^D

    1. Thanks! There were a few good zingers in there. My favorite is Pope Leo XIII casserole recipes :-) Glad you got the Dexy's Midnight Runners joke. The Dadist Mandatum was perhaps a bit high concept.

  4. "Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

    Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

    Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein." John 12:3-6

    Beware the loudest voices raised proclaiming Jesus' supposed radical preference for the poor above all else.

    1. I spent some time last night reading the Last Supper and arrest accounts. The narrative rumbles on toward its inevitable end as we watch in horror. There are casual statements that turn out to be mysterious at second look. The betrayal by Judas was God's will, but also Judas' free act. May you have a blessed Good Friday, Your Honor.

  5. Went to an Abbey where the Holy Thursday focus was on the Mass and institution of both the holy Eucharist and the Priesthood. No foot washing shenanigans. But I was thinking this morning that this pope may have a short pontificate and what he is doing will only be a small blip in the history of the Church as the next pope will be busy stating true Catholicism with purpose of amending these sad years of confusion and doctrinal monkeying.

    1. What abbey, if I may ask?

      I agree with you. Pope St. John Paul II brought down the Soviet Union.

      Pope Francis did the foot thing.

      I have always said this pontificate does not have legs. I specifically said Laudato Si would be a flash in the pan nobody would read. That's the price you pay for thinking you're so important you need a novel-length encyclical to express all of your wisdom.

  6. A burst appendix is but a small blip during the medical timeline of appendicitis, M. Prodigal. You might remove that ruptured organ, but the poison released still courses through the body.

  7. It does seem at times like somehow a hippy from the 60's has been handed command of a Warship and does not get why the crew are unsettled, disrespectful at times, and deserting in droves at each post that looks safe... The entire chain of command within the church loses the respect of the crew in the process.

    1. As a former active duty officer in the USNR, I love your example (and welcome to the comment boxes!) I saw it in action when they put women on ships with men. Just because. Of course they were not allowed to, er, date. Nonetheless all of a sudden you've got a third of the women pregnant. Jealousy, jobs undone, extra stress for the wives back home knowing that their husbands are stuck in a steel box for a year with a bunch of young women.

      What we're talking about is when people in charge mess around with stuff that is not related the mission. Just because.

    2. Oh, and occasional JAG lawyer infestations.

  8. Last night I went to Catholic Family News and read Bishop Fulton Sheen's analysis of all the intrigue surrounding Judas, the perfumed feet, the Agony in the Garden. Mind blowing stuff. Made me think about Holy Thursday in a new way. Read it, dear people. You will be transfixed.

  9. Great post! Loved the Dadaist bit.

    That said, BXVI was into theatre too, but in the right way. I know there are a lot of traditionalist people who hate Hans Urs Von Balthasar, but he was really quite orthodox - and a favorite of BXVI, because he understood the drama of Salvation and how the liturgy projects (or should project) it.

    The Old Rite was all about grand theatre and high drama. The new rite has become a sitcom combined with Oprah.

  10. Yes, capitol advice for the ol' Pope.

    Wash a hollowed out elephant's leg umbrella stand--that made me laugh. Yes, while wearing a smock and beret. I can imagine it!

  11. If this goes on for much longer, the Bear will give a Grand Guignol performance.

  12. Well, at least there's ONE aspect in Francis' pontificate that is better: traditional Stations of the Cross.

    I didn't read the actual meditations; I was afraid to. But it's better than the JPII years when we got stations for Judas.


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