Monday, June 6, 2016

The Bear was Asking Whether the Pope Was Catholic Before It was Cool

Check this from Fr. Z. Is the Pope Catholic? Original article by Damien Thompson. Brutal by mainstream standards.

In other news, the State Department is pretending they know little about the Bear. A Bear without a country. From Business Insider. Never heard of the Bear, huh? Maybe open that thick classified file and see what Teddy Roosevelt had to say about him. Plus all that other stuff. Maybe those Russian cables. Lies. Hung out to dry. Everybody has been telling the Bear since he got here he couldn't trust his own people.


  1. Me too! Me too! It is no longer a rhetorical joke.

  2. You are way cooler than Father Zed .

    Seattle kim

  3. Okay, the Bear knows everyone will not agree with him (when has that ever stopped him?) but he thinks Fr. Z gets a bum rap. You might be surprised at the ephemerists he has encouraged in private.

    But not everyone can be a Bear. The Bear suspects he does as much as he can. He is a valuable asset. The Bear does not pretend to speak for the man, but he has the Bear's respect, and the Bear believes he doesn't say everything he thinks.

    Fr. Z and the Bear know they are on the same team. The Bear gets the fun part of the growling and tearing. But that just would be unseemly for a priest. Fr. Z appeals to a much larger audience than the Bear ever will. (Although the Bear thinks he has the edge in quality.) That audience is being gently sensitized to reality while he urges them (just like the Bear does) to stay in the Church.

    Father Z is an FOB. (Friend of Bear)

    But, yes, Kim, thank you. The Bear is way cooler than anyone. Except Robert Downey, Jr. Robert Downey Jr. is cooler than the Bear. A bit.

  4. I love Fr. Z. too, and realize as a priest he absolutely is limited in what he can say. He's in a position I would not want to be in. He obviously loves Christ and the faith, he's given up a great deal to serve both, but he's limited by obedience at a time which is just unprecedented. A supremely intelligent man limited by his own vows and obedience, it can't be easy. I've come to realize he's also got people who are watching him and reading him who are practically on a ledge with this papacy. He's got them to think about and I think he does. He's walking a fine line and we can't expect him to write or respond like a layperson, because he's not, even though at times it is extremely frustrating to those who visit the blog often. We have to hope he doesn't get an ulcer or have his teeth blow out from the pressure of not saying what he might like to say at times. I'm sure he's got some good compadres with whom he can speak freely. He needs them as do all good and faithful priests these days.

    1. I don't understand your comment. Why is he "walking a fine line?" Why does he have to "think about" these people who are on "a ledge" with this papacy? What are they going to do? Send him to the gulag? And so what if they do? My question isn't about Fr. Z personally; I don't know from Fr. Z except this post which seems great. My comment is about how we have come to understand virtue. Since when is virtue - even the virtue of prudence - the same as being "political" and cunning or sneaky? If more bishops on down to priests had a habit of truthfulness, the Pope wouldn't be able to indulge in so many shannanigans. The heirarchy, in their cowardice, may be guilty of tempting the Pope. (We can assume that if the bishops surrounding him didn't have the virtue they do have this Pope would have got farther already in dismantling things.)

    2. Jesse ~ If one is a part of the military, that may not publicly say or do things critical of the chain of command. Bad things will happen and their career will come to a dead end -- after time spent in Siberia.

      The priesthood is similar in that it is also a brotherhood and and order that functions on its interdependence and obedience to authority. The notion of the freedom of speech doesn't apply and it is also not really a Catholic thing anyway. Great Bear has touched on this before -- it is not really a Catholic moral principle to speak out against everything that one considers to be wrong or to speak one's opinion about matters beyond one's station, or to speak in such a way that the speech tears down a man, even if the speech is true. Thus, the difficulty of having a Pope and needing to beat him too. All Catholics are not called to speak the unvarnished truth at all times.

      I would also suggest that the episcopate is not cowardly because they don't say anything publicly about the Pope's novelties, but rather because they don't teach the faith anyway. Fr. Z does an admirable job of teaching what the faith actually teaches about topic X that Pope Francis just made a mess of without directly going after the Pope.

      Fr. Z has a good bishop, but the Madison diocesan presbytery council will be hostile to his activities. But even good bishops are not going to tolerate priests who, either by action or fame, acclaim authority beyond what they should have. WDTPRS is no longer WDTPRS for a reason. Someone somewhere, not necessarily a liberal, didn't like how WDTPRS was becoming a critical authority on the subject. Dollars to doughnuts that is what happened.

      It is a complex situation for blogging priests.

    3. There is, however, a blog by a group of Priests called 'The Denzinger-Bergoglio' that are indeed speaking of the errors of this Papacy, but of course they are 'anonymous'. They do though, have the permission of their Bishop to do so, but for obvious reasons, are nameless.

  5. Don't you think, as a pastor, he ought to be mindful of the people who read his blog, at least a little? I'm sure at least a few of his readers are struggling due to this papacy. For cradle-Catholics who are more orthodox-minded, this papacy is a hair shirt. I would imagine he considers them a bit. If I had people looking to me for information and reassurance, and I knew they were having a hard time, I'd be mindful. Do I wish every priest, Bishop, Cardinal, etc., would denounce the flagrantly un-Catholic statements and actions PF and his coterie have committed and call them out publicly? I sure do, because it's agony seeing what is happening to people, our faith, the culture, the Church, but I am also aware that this isn't as easy as it sounds, and I'm on the outside. I see it both ways I guess. To me the silence of the clergy is almost the worst part. Even worse is when they start yammering his talking points. Ugh!
    Anyway, Cardinals have more autonomy than priests, and Cardinal Burke expressed himself mildly, and look what happened to him. Priests would have to be willing to give it all up for Christ to go against this regime, go all in. Yes, I wish they would, but I don't have to pay the price, and they have to answer for what they decided they would or would not do for Christ.
    It would certainly seem virtuous for someone to stand up to this pope in a public way that could not be misunderstood. I say you're 100% right, for many it is cowardice not to do so, but Pope Francis is his own man. I don't think he is being tempted, I think he is doing exactly what he wants to do. He was elected by men who knew what they were doing, they aren't incompetents. He is doing what they wanted and what he wanted, and it's going to continue unless God intervenes, or Bishops are inspired enough to publicly address it. It is so bad I won't be entirely shocked if this happens. I will be grateful.

    1. He is a South American Jesuit who wound-up being a bishop instead of teaching someplace. Anybody who has worked with theologians, S.J.s, or reads that type of modern theology knew EXACTLY what they were going to get.

      If you live near a mainstream Catholic university -- especially one that has a pre-theology program for the seminary, go to the campus bookstore during the fall semester and look at the required books for the theology courses.

      This is what we have got and the solution isn't to find a new Church, assume God is going to do something, but to drag your local Fr., who has wandered away to glad hand and tell a joke during the homily again, back into the sanctuary and nail his foot to the floor.

      In other words, stop giving cash to the general fund but buy theology books for the parish. Invite Father over for dinner and to have a discussion about the Eucharist. Organize like minded people and invite Fr. to be the spiritual director. Surround Fr. with orthodox pewsitters so he will not be blown about in the hot wind of FrancisMercy.

  6. I would also like to say Fr. Z. does a yeoman's job of putting up really informative and authentically Catholic teaching. He manages to be interesting and fun too. I've read the blog for a few years now and still enjoy it. Hey, we all need each other badly now. We're a relatively small group and can't afford a circular firing squad.

  7. "The notion of the freedom of speech doesn't apply and it is also not really a Catholic thing anyway." Your response is absurd. It's precisely because no one has ultimate or absolute freedom of speech and that rather we are obliged to speak not freely whatever we want out rigorously out of obedience and duty that more voices should be speaking out. For example, the Bear's wonderful posts about the "official" policy of not evangelizing Jews: was the Bear exercising his freedom of speech or narrowly fulfilling a strict duty? I think perhaps the latter. If more people did there duty in this way it would not be possible to have a Vatican office issue such heinous policies; it would be rightly shamed by the unity of voices. Meanwhile, souls go hell.

    1. Jesse~ The point that I was trying to make is that, because a priest is a priest, just like major is a major, his ability to exercise "free speech" is much less free, to non-existent, than a nonpriest. A priest, cannot simply say what he wants to say, even if 100% true and just.

      The notion that we are obliged to speak out isn't true, because often what we consider to be non-kosher is only our perception of something nor do we have the authority to say that what is being done is wrong. The virtue of obedience does require us to suffer injustices patiently and to react prudently and with charity.

      Though charity does sometimes require a big spiked club.

      inter mirfica (which no one reads) and the ecclesial vocation of the theologian are very good constructive pieces on how to exercise one's speech within the Church, which here on earth is madeup of a bunch of sinful people who constantly get it wrong and say and do stupid things and, of which, one is most definitely a part of said group.

      Now Great Bear, because he struggles with the whole problem of having a Pope and needing to beat him too, I think is more or less on a level path. I have written in support of the need to, prudently, say something.

      But the Pope, if even wrong, doesn't always need beating. That is not the point of having a Pope nor how one goes about Fraternal Correction.

      Great Bear is a bear...he isn't human. Thus his views of the human institution of the Church is a different take on things than, say, if a retired lawyer would start taking out letters to the editor in his local paper.

      Hopefully I have explained myself better now.

  8. I'm all for people doing whatever they can to help the cause. I cheer that attitude and admire it. Actually lighting that candle rather than just cursing the darkness is a wonderful thing. I just don't know that human actions are enough anymore. We're not talking about things going a little awry, they are full-steam off track and seem to be getting more so exponentially, every day. But I'm not Church, I'm just one Catholic, and I could be wrong, but pretty much every day I am poking my head out of the hole in the ground and seeing what the other woodchucks seem to think and many appear to agree, including the very bright and informed chucks, we're in for it, to the point that it is impossible to imagine what else, besides God, could possibly set things going in the right direction. But maybe I lack imagination.


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