Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bear's Interview With Pope Francis

At 7 a.m. yesterday, the Bear was just starting to eat his morning oatmeal when he got the biggest surprise of his life. His cell phone rang, and he answered it. On the other end a voice said this: "Please stand by for his Holiness."

You can imagine what the Bear thought as his heart started to beat faster. Was it a prank? Why the Bear? Was he about to get chewed out by the Pope? Then the same voice said in the background, "Sua SantitĂ , il Orso."

"Parla italiano?" asked a familiar voice.

"Si," the Bear answered. What followed was an incredible opportunity for the Bear to speak freely for 30 minutes with Pope Francis.

Pope Francis: "Good morning, Mr. Bear." [The Bear could detect a trace of humor in his voice.] "I have seen your blog and it is very creative. And please, go right on ahead being hard on me. It is the voice of a segment of our Church, and it helps me. Besides," [again the humor] "your Pope has a sense of humor, too."

Pope Video 1 and Universalism

Bear: [Pope Francis said he wanted to dispense with formalities and time was limited, so the Bear spent little time on pleasantries.] "Your Holiness, the first thing that comes to mind is your monthly intention videos, or 'Pope Videos.' This Bear found the first quite disturbing. It appeared to promote Universalism. The video, not the intention. At the end it had people holding symbols of their different religions together as if they were equal. What are we to make of that? Do you believe Christianity is simply one religion among many?"

End of Pope Video 1

Pope Francis: "No. Of course not. I am a son of the Church, and believe that people are saved through Christ. But the reality is that we share our world with other religions. Does it not make sense to try to emphasize what we share, rather than our differences?"

Bear: "Actually, with all due respect, no. Those other religions are defined by their error, and their similarities to Christianity are overstated. Buddhism, one of the religions in the video, doesn't even believe in God. How can they be saved outside of the Church? Why does the Church foster error?"

Pope Francis: "I must insist that each one of these religions does share things with Christianity. Where there is a lack, God's mercy fills it. [Imagine a shrug in his voice.] A good person of any religion, or no religion, may be saved through Christ. You must remember that we, too, lack in mercy, in charity, in the care we show for the refugee, the poor, the planet. Everyone falls short. Even me, if your blog is to be believed! [Laughs.] It is not that other religions are just as true, it is that wherever they fall short, God generously makes up for it."

Bear: "So people do not have to accept Christ and be baptized to be saved?"

Pope Francis: "They must accept him in those in need they see around them. All salvation is through Christ. All saved are members of the Church. But we must get used to not focusing on human formalities. Christ is bigger than we can comprehend. The Church is not a bus, that you are either on or off. The Church is the bus stop, too. It is the sidewalk along the bus route, where people are walking, some in one direction, and some in the other. The Church accompanies them, walking with them. The Church is not just one tiny, cramped bus!"

Bear: "Were missionaries like St. Francis Xavier and, for that matter, St. Corbinian, misguided then?"

Pope Francis: "We have a different emphasis now. We accompany people in Christ. We have come to understand that to proselytize is to do violence to a person, a culture."

Pope Video 3 and Contraception

Bear: "The Bear noticed in Pope Video 3 that there are nearly no examples of families with more than two children. You have previously remarked that Catholics must be responsible and not breed like rabbits. Was the size of families in the videos a subtle message? Do you believe there is a problem with overpopulation? Do you encourage Catholics to have large families?"

Pope Francis: [laughs] "I did not even notice how big the families were in the video. That was not the focus. Of course there is a problem with overpopulation. Our planet can only support so many people, and we are at that limit now. Climate change and overpopulation together pose a serious threat today. It was not so in the past. In agricultural societies, it made sense to have large families. But today, do we need families with seven children? Four children? On the whole, no. What right does a couple have to claim so many more resources than their neighbors? This is selfish. To me? I say this as my personal opinion: two children seems responsible. But it is up to each individual family, of course."

Bear: "How are Catholics to regulate the size of their families?"

Pope Francis: "The Church's teaching is very clear on this, of course. But the role of conscience and pastoral advice also must play a part, as with any important decision. As with most things, it is not black and white. There are competing factors. The danger to our planet. Allocation of resources. Sometimes one must decide the less damaging course where no decision seems perfect."

Bear: "Will you rule out contraception?"

Pope Francis: "As I said, the Church's teaching is very clear."

Relations With Other Faiths

Bear: "Just a quick follow-up before we move on, but you have condemned violence in the name of religion, in terms of 'fundamentalists' and the like -- which you also use for elements within the Catholic Church. Why do you not simply say what everyone knows: that all the religious violence is coming from one religion, Islam?"

Pope Francis: "First of all, every religion has its extremist elements, even the Catholic Church, so that would not be true. Second, Muslims are a beautiful, peace-loving people. It is unfortunate that there are a very few that depart from their religion and act violently. They are not acting as Muslims, but as criminals. So naming 'Islam' would be erroneous and unproductive."

Bear: Who are the extremist elements in the Church?"

Pope Francis: "Those who reject today's world. Its problems. Its solutions. Who sow division. They also reject today's Church. All extremists everywhere make an idol of the past. They practice dead works. The only word they know is 'no.' That is what I mean by 'fundamentalists.'"

Bear: Is a word for these fundamentalists 'traditionalists?' Would you include the SSPX?"

Pope Francis: It is not necessary for me to identify anyone. They display their plumage like a peacock. They are the ones who say 'No! This is not possible!' 'No! We have not done it this way before!' 'No! This is modern!' They stick their fingers in their ears and close their eyes. Can they even find the Church in this manner? Jesus? Of course not. It is very sad."

Bear: "You have often promoted the cause of refugees. But what do you say to people in Europe who host these refugees and are repaid with violence and chaos. Sweden now has the second highest rape rate in the world."

Pope Francis: "This is unfortunate, but you are looking only at the negative. People from other countries, other religions and cultures, bring many good things, as well. But in any event, how can the people of a country say 'this is my country?' Did God draw borders? Maybe a big red line on the ground somewhere? No. There is one planet. We are all citizens in one world. We must not push people away, but learn to live with each other."

Bear: "If these other countries are so wonderful, why are people fleeing them?"

Pope Francis: [laughs] "See, the Bear who sets a trap for the man! It is fine. I like you, Mr. Bear. You would make a good Jesuit. But about your question. There are many reasons that are too complicated to go into now. The important thing is to welcome them, regardless of why they come. This is the Christian religion."

Pope Francis and Lutheran Bishop Antje Jackelén
Bear: "This Halloween, you will travel to Sweden to celebrate the Reformation with Lutherans. What benefits can you name that resulted from the Reformation?"

Pope Francis: "Certain abuses within the Church were eliminated. It eventually brought a new appreciation for Holy Scripture. It sparked the Counter-Reformation which clarified Church doctrine. It resulted in the birth of Protestantism, which provided an inspiration for the Church in many ways, and inspired Catholics to look at things in different ways."

Bear: "Some would say it plunged Christendom into a ruinous war, fractured the Body of Christ into tens of thousands of sects, and that 'looking at things in different ways,' has led to endless novelties starting with Vatican II. Indeed, the 'inspiration' of Protestantism can be seen in the Vatican II liturgy, can it not?"

Pope Francis: "War is always unfortunate, but you cannot blame it on the Reformation. Nations come into conflict, and there is blame enough for all. As for sects, each one reflects its own truth of the Christian faith, and the Body of Christ cannot be fractured. Never. God is present in each community of faith, and we trust him to make good on their deficiencies even as he makes good on ours. Christianity teaches humility. Do you suppose Catholics are perfect? Or have always expressed the truth? What you call 'novelties,' I would call growth. Our God is a God of surprises, but some act like children who are afraid of surprises, who cry for their beads and holy cards. Catholics must open their eyes and look around them. If they seek, then they shall find! I urge your readers to try it."

Marriage Issues

Bear: "Many Catholics are waiting for the final decision on issues discussed in the Synod on the Family with trepidation. What can you tell us?"

Pope: "Catholics should not fear their Church, or be afraid of change. We are not supposed to be a 16th century museum. If you want museums, come to Italy! There are many, many right here in Rome. But do not come to the Catholic Church looking for a museum! Each era, the Church meets the people where they are. Some people seem to forget that the purpose of the Church is not to say 'no,' but to say 'yes.' We want to bring people into the Church, or back into the Church. We want them to feel accepted, loved, not like criminals whom we barely tolerate. We want to give people the sacraments. This is love. This is mercy. I do not understand why anyone would fear these things."

Cardinal Kasper and Cardinal Marx

Cardinal Kasper: "Mr. Bear, this is Cardinal Kasper. You need to wake up. I've got your oatmeal for you."

Cardinal Marx: "Und this is Cardinal Marx. Jah. Bavarian style."

Bear: "What? Where's Pope Francis?"

And then the Bear woke up to see his mate with a cup of coffee and a steaming bowl of oatmeal with raisins, his very favorite breakfast after pancakes, and, well, waffles are good, too, and fresh-egg omelettes with bacon (not crisp), and toast and orange marmalade... where was the Bear? Oh. His interview with Pope Francis! Much to the Bear's disappointment, it had apparently been an especially vivid dream. Perhaps the "Pope's" answers represented what the Bear's subconscious fears he might truly believe.


  1. It sounds just like him. I don't think this is far off at all. We're all having the same nightmare.

  2. On a happier note , the other so-called pope who was one of the great architects and promulgaters of Vat 2 has this to say:

    Seattle kim

    1. [sigh] Ya know, Kim, sometimes I think that Pope Emeritus Benedict is a man who is haunted by his role in V2 and got wisdom too late. Then he got a second chance. Pope! But for whatever reason, he couldn't accomplish much. And then, for some reason he threw in the towel. What? He had to know Bergoglio was going to be the next pope. No one could know just how much bad news that would really be, but even so...

      He actually has me on his coat of arms, so I have to feel loyal, but, I dunno.

      Can a sitting pope really be neutralized? As in unable to accomplish anything? Forced out of office? I think if I was Pope, the first person in the Curia who did not get down and kiss my foot would be made an example of pour encourager les outres (Head on pike, the usual.) Is the Bear just naive? Are popes really so powerless and hand-tied by the Curia? Homos?

    2. I dunno, Bear. There seems to be a pretty nefarious bunch of homos working in the Vatican these days. Like the homo brown shirts in the U.S., they usually get their way. One especially disgusting one is in charge of the Vat bank.

      Here is what I have come to believe. The Church is indefectible, no? Yet Vat 2 taught things that are in complete opposition to what the Church taught before. You can scream hermeneutic of continuity as loudly as you want, but it doesn't work. I'm
      no genius ( well actually I am according to one standardized test ) but trying to square Vat 2 with preVat 2 teachings is like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. So from Paulette VI onward, the magisterium has taught error, but this is impossible if the Church is indefectible. So perhaps the Church ceased to be the Church at this point. What's more--- the ordination and bishop consecration rites were changed so drastically with Vat 2 that they are questionable at best. There were a lot of bishops who argued against Vat 2 but only a handful who outright refused to sign on the dotted line. They lost their pensions, of course. One of them, Archbishop Thuc, , was actually kidnapped by V2 clergy ---I know the priest who as a sedevacantist seminarian , was a caretaker for Thuc when this happened. The V2 clergy who kidnapped him claimed he signed off on Vat 2---maybe, maybe not. He died in their care as he was already very old and sick and, subsequently, easy to trick.

      These very brave bishops who refused to come on board with Vat 2, consecrated other bishops and ordained priests. This is where the SSPX orders, SSPV orders, CMRI orders and Dolan/Sanborn orders come in. My chapel is staffed by a priest in the Dolan/Sanborn line.

      I don't know if any of the bishops / priests of the Vat 2 sect are valid. I don't know if the Novus Ordo Mass is valid. I think it's best to avoid things that are questionable and lucky for me there is an independent chapel within an hour's drive.

      The Eastern Orthodox Catholic rites of ordination and bishop consecration as well as their liturgy were left untouched by Vat 2, so some sedevacantists go to them for the sacraments. Plans, however, are currently underway to alter their rites as well per "pope" Francis.

      You may not want to print all this and I understand if you don't. Still enjoy your writing very much.

      Seattle Kim

    3. I think where we differ is that I don't see V2 as such a break. You can pick things out of the lengthy, gaseous, difficult, hippy dippy, compromise documents that are problematical. But taken as a whole it is difficult to even say what a Lumen Gentium is even trying to say, other than, "Hey man, everybody's got a theoretical chance, but the Church is the way. Outside you are likely to get snared by the Devil." That's the way all of them are, run left, fake right, reverse. No anathemas because "those kill my buzz, man." I see V2 as a wash. I really do. It vaguely promotes "ecumenism,' but it doesn't mandate the goofball photo ops where the Pope is kissing everyone's ass to show how humble he is. That's on him, not V2.

      And if I've got a company, with a well-known brand, say, Pepsi, I'm going to protect that brand. Ultimately it's the only thing that matters. If someone steals that brand and misleads customers, you better believe I am going to do everything within my power to protect it.

      I just can't believe God would mislead 1.2 billion innocent Catholics by pulling the real Church out from under them and allowing a fake Church without even valid orders or other sacraments to shovel them into Hell. Wouldn't they be justified in saying, "Hey, we bought the exact same brand. We looked to Rome. We put up with Peter. We did everything you asked. Everybody recognized this Church, except for 0.0001%. And now you laugh and say it was all a big joke?"

      The Mass is what it is. In the early Church I doubt the Lord's Supper would have passed as technically valid. Bears don't seat details like what position the priest's fingers are supposed to be in, or even which way he's facing. One way may better than the other, but it is what it is, and it's still a sacrifice, although with more meal symbolism, which may or may not be a bad thing.

      Before I would become a sedevacantist I would be forced to the infinitely more likely conclusion that the Catholic Church had never been anything more than a pious legend, a collection of random dogmas and practices that developed organically over the centuries, without the help of any mojo.

      (In fact, I have to admit that it looks that way now, and Jorge Bergoglio is just hammering the last nails into the coffin. I have no human reason to remain Catholic in this mess of a Church. It's all faith.)

      Anyway, if my Christianity remained more or less intact, I would choose the most comfortable Protestant church, and not be tortured every single day by doubts generated by patently NON-indefectable Church that has become a a shill for liberal one-world anti-human causes.

      And of course you're a genius. All the Bear's readers are geniuses.

    4. Agree to disagree, but I still luvs the Bear.

    5. Aw, Bear loves you, too. But he still wishes you'd get back into the Church ;-)

  3. Bear, you have the papal patter down pat. Translation: Do whatever you please. Jesus loves you.

  4. The papal thinking was so accurately rendered I had to stop after the first set of questions.

    1. Maybe the Bear will get to ghost write an encyclical. On Bears. A satirist is like an art forger only you're forging a person's mind.

  5. Please, Mr Bear, do share more of these errr---- nightmares with your devoted followers. It's such a relief to wake and know it was just a dream. Oh wait...

  6. Yep, that sounds like him... double talking in the name of love and mercy...

  7. Bears are talented mimics. One of the things that makes them so dangerous.

  8. "Did God draw borders?"

    Why yes, in Genesis it appears He did just that.


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