Saturday, April 16, 2016

Amoris Laetitia Pt. 3 -- Already on the Crazy Train

It is time to return to the Bear's Cliff Notes (can he say that?), or Precipice Notes (better, anyway) on the execrable Amoris Laetitia. Previously on LOST... [TV14 Bearishness, Language, Drug References, Sexual Situations, Heresy, Brief Sedevacantism]

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?
Welcome to the new patroness of marriage, St. Skank. Yeah, the Bear knows Jesus forgave her and he's okay with that, but when you make it into the Bible as "the woman caught in adultery," people aren't going to remember you for your wonderful goat sausage recipe. Maybe she really didn't sin anymore -- sorry, Bear means fail to lead an even more worthy life. The Bear hopes so. But whether she did or didn't is beside the point, isn't it? Of course she committed adultery. She was frail. She had limitations. Jesus doesn't really care that much, and neither should we.

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.


  1. Mary Magdalene was simply a woman caught in an irregular situation.

    Seattle kim

    1. Um... yeah. And the Bear is just a regular guy in need of some manscaping.

    2. P.S. did you catch all the TV warnings?

    3. P.P.S. Not sure it's canon that WCIA was Mary Magdalene.

  2. If marriage is a dynamic path to personal development, it's all about me, no? If marriage is a sacrament, it's all about my Lord Jesus Christ.

    My marriage is a sacrament. C'est tout.

    1. The Bear may have been quoting Tony Robbins' blurb on the back cover, not sure.

    2. To paraphrase Flannery O'Connor, speaking of the Eucharist mischaracterized as a "symbol": If marriage is nothing but a dynamic path to personal development and fulfillment, then to hell with it.

  3. Good heavens, if you isolate paragraphs and focus on only one, AL really DOES look bad.( Be careful with that diazepam). There are a lot of paragraphs. My brain tries to group them into who the specific author of each little gem is, and then gets very tired.

    1. Don't worry. The Bear uses all of his psychopharmaceuticals responsibly. Well, maybe not the tranquilizer darts, but he has an extremely high tolerance by now. There is no way he could read this document closely without a little help.

  4. One of the funniest dang things I've read in a while. St. Skank; and Abner?! Awesome.

    1. The Bear lives for the laughs. If you eat popcorn while you read it's even better.

  5. I think you'd find Unam Sanctam's article on WCIA fairly interesting. If correct, the usual suspects are even more wrong than I had thought:

  6. The elephant in the room that no one wishes to acknowledge is that only a minuscule number of Catholics in any given church or diocese go to confession anyway, and yet virtually everyone who attends mass receives communion. In America, priests simply do not deny communion to any one if they appear old enough to receive.

    In practice, allowing those guilty of committing adultery to receive communion simply rounds out the field of an overwhelming majority of faithful receiving unworthily.

    Empty lines leading to the confessional are a public scandal too.

    This sad reality has existed in the church for decades and as I see it, AL is simply inviting those with a scarlet letter to do what the vast majority of Catholics are doing already on a weekly basis - perpetually receiving communion in a state of mortal sin.

    Troubling times.

  7. Mr Bear, don't ya know that our dear Pope is just regularizing the irregular as indicated by the Indian twosunrun above. Pope Francis is just getting with the "program", i.e., helping folks become happy and guilt free. Here is his theme song:

    "Accentuate The Positive"

    You've got to accentuate the positive
    eliminate the negative
    Latch on to the affirmative
    But don't mess with mister inbetween

    You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
    Bring gloom down to the minimum
    have faith, a pandemonium
    Libel to walk up on the scene

    To illustrate my last remark
    Jonah in the Whale, Noah in the ark
    What did they do
    just when everything looked so dark

    They said we better
    accentuate the positive
    eliminate the negative
    latch on to the affirmative
    But don't mess with mister in between

  8. The time we'll use to evolve doctrine into a new religion is greater than the space of any one exhortation.

  9. All good comments. But this is a different Gospel that the Church now teaches, "magisterial" or not. That distinction might come in handy someday, but doesn't mean anything now,

  10. Ah, Bear. I do so love your posts. I read them, every one, and enjoy them at so many levels. The owrd-play is masterful. Keep at it.

  11. Hah! Meant 'word-play', of course, but between my thought 'word-play' and an alternative comparison, 'sword-play', I hit the wrong key on my keyboard and contrived a 'dumb-play'.


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