Bear Left Behind at Yalta
The Bear was left with a medal and a hearty spasibo from General Wrangel for his exertions against the Bear's former employers, the Bolsheviks. Of course, you will not find any records of the Bear, either official (purged) or in histories (too improbable). The Bear's contributions survive only in a sealed collection at the library of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York. (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.) Or so the Bear has heard, anyway, and has no reason to doubt it.
However since time is greater space (?) the Bear cannot provide even the barest outline of his service to the legitimate nobility of Russia. Suffice it to say that not all lines are extinguished, and he has kept in touch with one or two who are familiar with family histories that include the Bear.
Somehow, whoever was in charge of making sure the Bear got on the boat with the rest of the VIPs at Yalta failed to do his job. The Bear suspects it was no accident. If he has learned one thing in 1300 years it is that humans are unbelievably treacherous. We will visit possibly the worst chapter of the Bear's life next time.
Which makes an excellent segue to our next installment in the truly awful Amoris Laetitia.
Welcome to Crazy Town
Last time, the Bear left you with this teaser: "[The Pope] talks about how the Church got marriage all wrong by its 'almost exclusive insistence on the duty of procreation,' and it's 'far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage.' The Bear is unfamiliar with the truth of this, although he must admit that marriage is a relative novelty to him. He suspects it is a lie, but doesn't like to call people liars.
"Excessive idealization," has made marriage unattractive, according to your Pope in paragraph 36, which is, of course, total B.S. (Bear scat). (And this from the man who will shortly tout marriage as the vehicle of "true happiness.") But the object of the exercise, of course, is to delegitimize the very idea of marriage, so it can be replaced with some shoddy substitute made up by Pope Francis and whoever wishes to cooperate with the fraud.
By paragraph 37, we are officially on the flaming train to Crazy Town, Mayor: Jorge Bergoglio. Your Pope is the master of the false dichotomy.
37. We have long thought that simply by stressing doctrinal, bioethical and moral issues, without encouraging openness to grace, we were providing sufficient support to families, strengthening the marriage bond and giving meaning to marital life. We find it difficult to present marriage more as a dynamic path to personal development and fulfillment than as a lifelong burden. We also find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations, and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations. We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them.
First of all, notice how he puts into opposition "doctrinal, bioethical and moral issues" with "grace." Among its other problems, could it be any more Protestant in sensibilities? Now please, all of you sing "Amazing Grace," while the Bear fixes himself some ice cream.
Your Pope loves to put one truth in opposition to another truth in order to distort the teachings of the Church. He continues to suggest that if the marriage bond is not strong, and there is no meaning to marital life, it is because he, Pope Francis, has only recently arrived upon the scene to reveal all truth and correct the terrible defects of the pre-Franciscan Church.
|Everything you need to know bout Amoris Laetitia in one image.|
Psychobabble and Primacy of Conscience
Then he recalls his EST seminars back in Argentina to come up with marriage as "a dynamic path to personal development and fulfillment," instead of the "lifelong burden" marriage was before Jorge the Prophet delivered the truth. (Always remember, Jorge Bergoglio sees himself in the role of Prophet, not Pope.) Anyway, this is the puerile and imbecilic idea of marriage Pope Francis is selling to eager religious consumers. Who wouldn't choose "dynamic path to personal development" rather than a "lifelong burden?" The Bear cannot read these paragraphs without feeling embarrassed for the holy Father. The technique is so unsophisticated and transparent the Bear wonders how anyone is expected to take it seriously.
The answer is, they're not. (Its length means nobody will even read the damned thing, anyway.) Its purpose is obviously not to persuade, but simply to provide a fig leaf for guys who want to dump their wives and start over with the that younger woman they met at T.G.I. Friday's last week. It's a "get out of jail free" card filched from a Monopoly game and signed by Papa Francesco.
The Bear could call his whole project successfully concluded now, and you wouldn't miss much. But he hopes you will continue to accompany him on this journey to the observation platform over the pit of Hell.
Incredibly, it gets even worse. The Church has not made room "for the consciences of the faithful, who very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations." (Is this true?) In fact, "we have been called to form consciences, not to replace them." (The Bear remembers this "Conscience Game" when it came in the Humanae Vitae edition.)
No one can get more mileage out of a half-truth than Pope Francis. Francis is eager to deform the consciences of the faithful, then replace the Church with the deformed consciences of bad Catholics and clergy. In other words, we'll all be Protestants, with our Bible in one hand and our neighbor's wife in the other. I can't sin. I've got limitations.
Good luck with that one when it counts.
Oh, forgot, the Pope also stuck in "discernment" into that paragraph. (Yes, we have spent all this time on one paragraph. Thank you for wasting this part of your life with the Bear!)
St. Skank, Patroness of Marriage
Fortified by a cheap-vodka martini and ten milligrams of diazepam (note to self: do NOT run out of tranquilizer darts before tackling another episode of Amoris Laetitia) let's do one more briefly. Paragraph 38:
Yet we have often been on the defensive, wasting pastoral energy on denouncing a decadent world without being proactive in proposing ways of finding true happiness. Many people feel that the Church’s message on marriage and the family does not clearly reflect the preaching and attitudes of Jesus, who set forth a demanding ideal yet never failed to show compassion and closeness to the frailty of individuals like the Samaritan woman or the woman caught in adultery.
By now you know how to play this game at home. The good news is that marriage is doing okay in Africa. The bad news is that everywhere else we've been "wasting pastoral energy" (the Bear suspects this is a euphemism for something not mentioned in polite company, but isn't sure). Anyway, for the slow learners, on one hand we have the terrible tragedy of being on the defensive, and wasting our precious bodily fluids, or whatever, and, on the other hand, "finding true happiness." (See Gospel according to Disney.)
Helen Keller said "true happiness is found in fidelity to a noble purpose." Pope Francis says true happiness is found in trading up.
|What getting caught in adultery really|
looks like. She wasn't all pathetic and
chastened at the time, was she?
Is the Bear the only one to realize that -- contrary to artistic representations of a chastened and disheveled woman -- the whole point of the story is not to feel sorry for her, like she had just got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time? The point is that Jesus was willing and able even to forgive what was, in those days, an almost unimaginably horrible offense and betrayal. A capital offense like murder today. Think about her poor husband, if you want to feel sorry for someone. The rest of his life he was known as "that guy whose wife committed adultery with Abner, poor schmuck." Maybe that's why Jesus warned her not to sin any more (a fact conveniently omitted from your Pope's accounts).
Reality check. Our Lady of Fatima: (1) more souls go to Hell for sins of the flesh than any other sin; (2) many marriages are not of God and do not please Our Lord. Score, Our Lady 2, Francis 0.
Pope Francis mischaracterizes the "preaching and attitudes of Jesus." You may remember Him as the one who said divorce and remarriage was adultery. But according to your Pope, Jesus "set forth a demanding ideal," but knew all along no one could possibly meet it. That is the nature of ideals. They are targets, something to strive toward, but never to be grasped.
The Bear is feeling a bit disinhibited by his cocktail and something is telling him it's time to just stop for now. Believe it or not, this ephemeris does have ideals. But at this rate, this analysis will last longer than Francis' pontificate.