Friday, June 3, 2016

Pope Video 6 -- Finally Something Good



Perhaps the people who make "The Pope Videos" have been reading the Bear's reviews. It looks like they finally came out with one that is not only unobjectionable, but actually quite good.

Gone is the stereotyped three part format (nice -- problem -- solution); the stock footage and over-reliance on montage; the bland synthesized score; left-wing politics; and, best of all, dubious theology. Pope Video 6 comes as a pleasant surprise.

We get an actual continuous narrative that rather sweetly illustrates the intention, which is for solidarity and encounter in big cities.

Two street musicians -- one with a guitar and one with a saxophone -- notice a down-on-his-luck and lonely old man across the street. They move next to him and collect tips in a hat. At the end, they give the hat with the tip money to the old man. The video captures the "encounter" between the musicians and the old man. The money (not much) is less important than for the old fellow to be noticed.

This Pope Video is the best so far because it is not politically charged or ambitious. No saving the planet, or guaranteeing donkey-farmers a good income. The tips voluntarily come from many people through the good example of just two. There is not the slightest whiff of some ambitious redistribution of wealth. Just Christian charity.

Typically, there is nothing uniquely Catholic about it (except for the Pope shown reading from his script) but remember, Pope Francis "transcends his own religion." His pectoral cross is not visible, but the Bear does not know if this is intentional or simply due to his position behind the desk. The Bear is not inclined to complain, but mentions it because it is an issue for some.

Pope Video 6 gets five out of five fresh fish from the Bear.

Reporting from Damascus, the Bear.

38 comments:

  1. I enjoy how the solution is free market capitalism + charity.

    The two street musicians are earning a living by providing a good / service (the entertainment of their music) and people are paying what they think it is worth. Then they give their earnings in charity to the old man.

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    1. Earning their living? You're joking. They begged, gave the coins to the old man who wasn't as good at begging as they were. This message is just more of the same. I thought the Pope's mission was to preserve the Faith in toto, hand it on, and save souls.

      Socialist, Marxist propaganda is socialist, Marxist propaganda even if it's done in a more pleasing way. I'm surprised at you, Bear, for being soothed in this way.

      And no, I'm not being overly rigid, nor am I exercising one virtue to the exclusion of others. I'm seeing the same crap dished up in a whole wheat wrap this time instead of a tortilla.

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    2. ADM~

      I was being facetious but not joking. The young gentleman are not beggars, but street musicians. The wandering ministerial is an age old profession and it is how they are making a living (or supplementing another job somewhere else). Notice how they are dressed and groomed. They are professionals, either full time or part time.

      http://time.com/money/3753898/how-much-street-performers-earn/

      Delete
  2. I trust in you, Bear. So I don´t have to see it. That is the best part.

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  3. Taken in isolation, yes. It is a heart-warming little piece. Get outside of yourself. Love your neighbor. I've seen better public service announcements. The Budweiser Super Bowl commercials are similar, yet tug my heart strings more than this. Given the low Papal bar, however, it's not bad ... In isolation from context.

    2 out of five stars, with reduced marks for his continued failure to boldly present Christ crucified on his pectoral cross; for his continued failure to tie hunger of stomach to hunger of spirit and the Bread of Life that truly satisfies our hunger indeed; for his continued failure to proclaim Jesus Christ as the only ultimate answer to all of life's various problems, to lonely men like this in need of redemption from sin and a true Friend who will never leave or forsake them.

    The context of this Papacy is syncretism. This video fits nicely into that theme. And Jesus Christ is, once again, not mentioned even once.

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    1. To be fair, these are prayer intentions, not sermonettes on the Catholic faith. The Bear judges all of these videos on quality and message. This was a very well-done piece with a good message that did not use the video to encode some abomination. And it also totally abandoned the stale patter we have seen in the previous five. Credit where credit is due, which is probably whoever the Jesuit-run Apostleship of Prayer has produce their videos. Their audience numbers were awful.

      The Bear encourages everyone to stop by YouTube and give it a thumbs up. Positive reinforcement.

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    2. Proclaimng Jesus Christ is not just a sermon. He is our God, our lifeblood. A Christian cannot help proclaimng his Savior; applying His Gospel logic to every big and small problem and circumstance. Jesus Christ should infuse everything we do, say or think; by the very nature of who we are; more especially Christ's Vicar.

      That's not to say we always live as we ought. But it IS what we should aim for, train for, and expect on the whole. Thus, to the question of prayer intention movie ratings. 2/5 from me. Not sacreligious. Not overtly bad. I agree with you to a certain extent. Fine as far as it goes, (thus 2). But this is a Papal video production, and Jesus is absent In Jesus' Vicar's prayer for the world ... again. In this present day that means a lot to me, (so I cannot praise it as exemplary either).

      A thumbs up from me demands our Crucified Lord be removed from the Pope's pocket and placed proudly and prominently on his heart where He belongs, proclaiming Him thereby to the billion Faithful and the rest of the World. This was a staged video, and could easily have been done if desired. A thumbs up demands that Jesus Christ, author and Fount of Mercy, be included in a Papal video intention about mercy.


      Delete
  4. I suppose even a blind bear can find a bee hive every so often. I'll have to check this one out, thanks Bear

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  5. I see where he did manage to shoehorn in one of his favorite buzzwords, "solidarity". The last time I liked that word was during the days of Lech Walesa. But it's not bad at all.

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  6. The old man was cute. The musicians were sweet. Who can object to the message, but can the pope say the words "Jesus" or "Christ"? How about "Savior". He's allergic. He invented mercy. Mercy came into the world when he was elected, not before. Oy. I haven't watched four of the others, but I believe you when you say this one stinks the least.

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    1. The Bear does not recall intentions of previous popes being exhortations on Catholic beliefs. Remember what a prayer intention is. That those who are suffering illness may be comforted. That governments will find peaceful solutions to their problems. That married couples will be blessed with harmony. That earthquake victims on Guatentinador may be given assistance.

      The Bear does not fault the Pope for not making them explicitly Catholic. What he does elsewhere in his pontificate is another matter. But this video -- if we're going to have videos, which is another question -- is a perfect example of what an intention video should be.

      It is also not divisive, as the other have been to one extent or another. Let's hope they've gotten the message and we will get more of this and less of the uninspired by-the-number exercises in leftist politics and dubious theology.

      Delete
  7. Bear,
    This is a better effort. Unlike the previous videos, there is continuity. The three characters in the story are interacting to make the point of the monthly intention. This is certainly a welcome change from the previous five videos.

    I, too, would like to see the Pope's pectoral cross. I want to see him show the sign of his Petrine office. Also in this video, the Pope's left hand is resting on the desk in front of his chest further obscuring the cross of Christ. This was not the case in the previous videos where his hands were further apart and you coukd get a glimpse of the top of the cross. Why is he hiding the cross?

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    1. The Bear does not know if he is "hiding" his pectoral cross. Everybody knows he's wearing the white outfit, and is the Pope of the Catholic Church, after all, so the Bear is not sure he's fooling anyone.

      Is it possible he has "transcended his own religion," as the pollster recently said, and wants to reach everyone? Maybe. But, other hand, sitting at a desk is likely going to obscure the cross. The alternative would be to stand, but that would be awkward.

      There's something to be said for being positive about a pivot in a desirable direction. For all we know, the Pope Video people are responding to the backlash and plummeting audience numbers.

      Delete
  8. Of course it's not Kung Fury (infrequent strong language, nonstop cartoonish violence). Running time 30 min. Hilariously over-the-top indie film made like it is from the 80s. But not kidding about the language.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS5P_LAqiVg

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    1. Kung Fury is hilarious! I love it!

      Delete
    2. Labor of love, obviously. Who knew dinosaurs lived in "The Viking Age" thousands of years ago?

      Delete
  9. Thanks Bear. Help the homeless. This is a good one. Congrats to Pope Francis. Hope we see more in this direction.

    But I am sure some folks will see this video negatively, e.g., giving money to an alcoholic street bum is a bad idea.

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  10. The Papal Prayer Intentions were written long ago http://apostleshipofprayer.org/2016-intentions/ . The dating of them is 2015, unless that is a mistake.

    It is quite possible that all these videos are already in the can.

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  11. I see a shallow appeal to emotionalism - but not to Catholicism.

    I see people receiving public glorification for their "charity" - at the expense of the human dignity of the oppressed.

    I see suffering for the sake of human intervention - but I see no redemption for the soul undergoing the suffering.

    I see no one denying themselves and picking up their cross - all I see are people confirming their own "goodness" with no recognition at all of Our Crucified Savior.

    It is nothing more than humans for the sake of humanity. Even the atheists do as much.

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  12. The Bear said - "Let's hope they've gotten the message and we will get more of this and less of the uninspired by-the-number exercises in leftist politics and dubious theology."


    Ah, but Bear my friend, this type of banal human "charity" for the sake humanity itself IS an uninspired by-the-number exercise in leftist politics and dubious theology.

    My friend, the most potent form of leftist social engineering is seemingly passive in its endearing emotionalism of a common "good" that they believe exists without the recognition of the transcendent goodness of God.

    Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone." ~ Mark 10:18

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  13. You might find this interesting. Today, I went through the last 11 years of monthly Papal Intentions and put them into categories. The attempt was to analyse generously but also theologically.

    The results are here
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BokXR2Cqba383xX2J3rHmljxNR6Uhxo1jYBUSB70kWI/

    Two notes that don't show up in the analysis.

    Over the years, there is a LOT of recycled prayer intentions.

    The recycled prayer intentions have degraded in the last few years. For example, prayers for refugees, women, media, show-up almost yearly. The current variants are structured in a way that has very little to do with even natural law premises, where as earlier variants invoke specifically, by word, Christian terminology.

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  14. Thank you for sharing this, Bear. Finally a beautiful message from the Holy Father! The musicians reminded me of the words of Mother Teresa: "The dying, the cripple, the mental, the unwanted, the unloved-- they are Jesus in disguise."

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  15. That migrant families, especially the mothers, may be supported and accompanied in their difficulties.

    That the peoples at war and in conflict may lead the way in building a peaceful future.

    That respect for nature may grow with the awareness that all creation is God's work entrusted to human responsibility.

    Whose intentions were these? Pope Benedict XVI. Yes, they are cherry-picked (although the Bear did not have to spend hardly any time picking). Christianity, the Church and various elements of the Church are mentioned more often. But often they were secular-appearing. No doubt upcoming Pope Videos, judging by the topics, will not be praiseworthy.

    But as long as he is not preaching dubious theology, the Bear is fine with it. And if the videos don't look like antidepressant commercials, they might get five fish.

    But given what an intention is (which many seem to have forgotten for the purposes of this discussion) the video was an appealing illustration of charity. "But they weren't Catholics! They didn't kneel down and say a Rosary with the man! They were just acting out of goodness, instead of being told to do this by the Church! They're somehow Communists because they freely gave money they had earned by their own labor!(?)"

    Once again, an intention is a prayer request. That's all. Yes, Pope Francis has turned them into something else before. And they got Bear-mauled.

    The Bear seriously doubts that people are pausing their rosaries at the intention to meditate on various scriptural passages, great encyclicals, catechisms and the saints to make the intention more Catholic. That's not what an intention is. An intention is a topic for a short prayer. May the heavens send down rain. May there be peace in the Middle East. Really, that's it. There are other opportunities to go into the Catholic teachings that are behind the intentions.

    But the Bear knows when he is not going to change anyone's mind, and seldom, if ever tries to. He does not really care what anyone thinks about this video, and is done here.

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    1. To follow your lead and be more fair, the 2016 Evangelization prayers are not bad at all - very Catholic. So points for that.

      Delete
  16. Itentions are all well and good, but I thought the more complete purpose of these videos was *Evangelization* - which absolutely requires the recognition of Jesus Christ as the source of all goodness.

    After-all - isn't the ultimate purpose of the Papacy itself: *Evangelization*?

    I believe it is.

    Let's revisit our entire purpose here: We are called as Catholics to bring the "Good News" of Jesus Christ to the world; Not just some altruistic sense of humanistic "goodness".

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  17. "But the Bear knows when he is not going to change anyone's mind, and seldom, if ever tries to. He does not really care what anyone thinks about this video, and is done here."

    On the contrary, I think "The Bear" has no intentions of changing his own mind - because that would require "The Bear" to fall out of love with his own growl.

    Sometimes, a bear taught how to teach - forgets how to learn. Especially when the Bear starts to become entertained by his own celebrity.

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    1. Perhaps a simpler explanation is that we disagree on the matter, which is not, after all, that big of a deal. If the Bear ever detects you have anything to teach him, he will gratefully take advantage of the offer. He learns from other commenters all the time.

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    2. The Bear is missing his celebrity appearance on Jimmy Kimmel because he's stuck over here in Damascus. Thanks for reminding him.

      Delete
  18. Granted these are not catechetism lessons-- and are prayer intentions. But it begs to be asked in the absence of any reference to God or Jesus--to whom are these prayers addressed? And why is the Pope so oblique about the recipient of these prayer intentions?-- indeed, in the absence of any explicit supernatural reference it is entirely reasonable to expect the pectoral cross to show-- or to have a painting of Jesus behind the pope. At least that would provide a context for the intention.
    It is not seemly that the Pope should appear embarrassed by Jesus. any faithful Mason could have expressed these exact sentiments.

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    1. Call the Bear crazy, but he thinks having the Pope in them may be a tip-off. The Bear would not be surprised if the Pope subjectively sees these intentions as universal. He does seem to want to be the Generic Spiritual Leader of the World. The Bear finds the intention nonetheless to be very Catholic, and the video to be a well-done expression of it. What it comes down to is that some people seem to want a uniquely Catholic intention -- which has not always been the practice with other popes -- made so by reference to Jesus. This reminds me of the disciples complaining to Jesus that other people were casting out demons in his name. Jesus said those who are not working against me are working with me.

      As the Bear has said, if you don't like the video or intention, fine. You are certainly allowed to have your opinion, although the Bear's is clear on this one.

      The broader issue is whether there should be these videos at all. On that the Bear says no. No matter what, people are going to be bothered by them, and the Bear suspects we have not seen the last truly objectionable video.

      Delete
  19. The Bear said "Call the Bear crazy, but he thinks having the Pope in them may be a tip-off."

    Okay, the Bear is crazy. With any other pope in recent centuries that would be a tip-off. Because, you know, popes actually *were* Catholic. But not this pope. Not nanny-state Jorge and his small nondescript god-of-shallow-surprises.

    The Bear said "This reminds me of the disciples complaining to Jesus that other people were casting out demons in his name. Jesus said those who are not working against me are working with me."

    Uhm.... do note that the Demons were being cast out expressly in the name of Jesus. There was no ambiguity about the Source of the Divine Power. They were casting out demons expressly with Christ - expressly is His Divine name. Also, this example involves a personified evil (demons). However, are hunger and homelessness necessarily evils? But also are the motive and the way in which such suffering is alleviated important? Yes, says Our Lord. And to that point, these acts of "charity" are entirely humanistic and frankly self-serving in their public displays.

    "Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you." ~ Matthew 6:1-4

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    1. What's the fun of being right when everybody agrees with you? Thanks LG.

      Delete
  20. In 1948 Venerable Fulton J Sheen warned that Satan will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Catholic Church. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content:

    "In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. . . .
    But the twentieth century will join the counterchurch because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex cathedra from Moscow on the subject of economics and politics, and as chief shepherd of world communism." ~ Fulton J Sheen

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    1. Interesting that you quote Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen. He was an enthusiastic supporter of Vatican II, well-known for his ecumenical work, and preached at Robert Schuller's church in 1972. He show was meant to reach a broad audience. (It had sponsors.) In other words, he was a man of his time. Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, of all people, would have understood a video meant to reach the broadest possible audience..

      The Bear does not know what your theology is, but he isn't giving up on the Church yet. Besides, are you not familiar with the Bear's oeuvre? Do you imagine this is the first thing the Bear has written on the Franciscan Menace? If so, you are very, very late to the party and would do better to keep your trap shut and observe, like any wise human, before flipping out on some comment. The Bear does not know if you have an ephemeris yourself, but he can't help but wonder who has reached more people on the dangers of Pope Frances between us.

      You seem a little on edge. Do you have any tranquilizer darts handy.

      As for "crazy," that is a figure of speech not an invitation to insult the Bear. You are on the bubble, LG, and not because you disagree with the Bear. But he will graciously accept your apology.

      Delete
    2. Interesting that you quote Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen. He was an enthusiastic supporter of Vatican II, well-known for his ecumenical work, and preached at Robert Schuller's church in 1972. He show was meant to reach a broad audience. (It had sponsors.) In other words, he was a man of his time. Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, of all people, would have understood a video meant to reach the broadest possible audience..

      The Bear does not know what your theology is, but he isn't giving up on the Church yet. Besides, are you not familiar with the Bear's oeuvre? Do you imagine this is the first thing the Bear has written on the Franciscan Menace? If so, you are very, very late to the party and would do better to keep your trap shut and observe, like any wise human, before flipping out on some comment. The Bear does not know if you have an ephemeris yourself, but he can't help but wonder who has reached more people on the dangers of Pope Frances between us.

      You seem a little on edge. Do you have any tranquilizer darts handy.

      As for "crazy," that is a figure of speech not an invitation to insult the Bear. You are on the bubble, LG, and not because you disagree with the Bear. But he will graciously accept your apology.

      Delete
    3. Your pride is duly noted. You're a legend in your own mind.

      And as far as Venerable Fulton Sheen - his ecumenicism was always openly centered around Christ. He was never ambiguous about his motives, and he certainly never appealed to shallow humanism.

      A word of charity: humility wants to be your personal friend. It's never wise to become too intoxicated with your own importance.

      Is my open trap offensive to God? Or just to your pride?

      I'll leave that judgement to God Himself: The Author of all Things.

      Meanwhile, Peace to you and your third-person id.

      Delete
    4. I am posting this as a bad example. It shall be out friend's last. You want to come here, act as if I am clueless and need to be instructed by you about Pope Francis. Not content to disagree ( which is fine) you insult me -- worse, with cliches -- don't apologize when given the opportunity, then reveal yourself as one of those kind of people the Bear has no patience for: someone who gives fake spiritual advice as an insult while pretending to be all concerned and holier than thou. You have zero knowledge of who I am or what I need. The Bear hereby banishes you from the woodlands for the offense of lèse-majesté.

      But even a hyena deserves a poem on the way out.

      Here sits the head of gesthemene
      Which said hey everyone look at me.
      I poked at a Bear,
      Now no one knows where
      The Bear has hidden the rest of me.

      Delete
  21. That quote from Bp Sheen is the precise premise of Fr. Robert Hugh Benson's "The Lord Of The World", one of my favorite books centered on the end of time and the coming apocalypse. I love the book, and the quote, because it makes TOTAL sense: THIS is how it will go. Satan hates the Bride. It is all foretold, including especially in John's Apocolypse.

    Obviously, as you said, this is just a Papal prayer intention video, so put it in proper context. But speaking of context, one has to understand that in a dark world that has largely forgotten God, True God, Triune God, Incarnate God, the Word, Jesus Christ AND His Bride our Catholic Church ... it is imperative more than ever that Jesus be proclaimed boldly, proudly, constantly as the light He is; truly the world's only hope. There is no other Name ... Etc.

    I think the point of the above quote is that the context of this Papcy is one that does NOT boldly proclaim Jesus as the One.True.God; and the source of all that is good, our ONLY hope.

    This is not a V II thing. The purpose behind this quote (I assume) and others is merely the Living Body of Christ demanding credit, and due homage to their King. This video is just mixed up, ultimately, with the larger context at play. We continue to wonder ... Where is Jesus?

    ReplyDelete

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