|We're right behind you.|
And the Gospel is Luke 13:21-30. Jesus is asked if many will be saved, and he challenges them with the narrow gate. The Gospel is pretty serious today. That narrow gate is a perfect image of salvation. Of the Church. Many aren't going to make it through. These people go to Hell.
So naturally, the homily was about American immigration policy, and not voting for "billionaire politicians who want to keep immigrants out."
Now, call the Bear crazy, but he doubts anyone ever went to Hell because of their opinion on immigration, or global warming, or fracking, or any of the garbage you see in those inane, non-Catholic Pope Videos.
But in the Bear's church, the homily was about immigration and not voting for Trump. But the Bear has everything finally figured out. Nearly any time a Catholic priest or prelate opens his yap, the Bear hears the same old song and dance. (As a former dancing Bear, the Bear has a sharp ear for familiar tunes. He heard the Bolsheviks singing it, too, when he was touring the hinterlands of Russia on a propaganda train.)
The Bear's Dream
[Dream transition effects from TV]
The Bear padded up to the priest on all fours (so as not to be too intimidating). The conversation went like this:
Bear: "Father, you missed a great opportunity to impress upon people that their salvation is pretty dicey and Hell is real. Your homily sucked. And am going to vote for Trump just because his election will make you and all your ancient V2 generation buddies have a stroke. Good riddance."
Father: " Salvation? Hell? Nobody believes in that crap anymore. I'm talking about real problems, here, on our planet."
Two other Priests: "Look at that Bear, Kitten. Kind of cute, but doesn't have a clue." "Oh, you're so right, my Dove. He is quite the bear, though. I think I'm falling in love."
Pope Francis: "Fracking is the most important issue the Church must address. The Bear's been telling these Medieval fairy tales for years. Why do you think we had our Turkish brothers and sisters Bearnap him? And we would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those darned Russian spetznas commandos. Whoops, I shouldn't have said that. My mouth has a mind of its own, you know. Nobody believes in that crap anymore."
[Dream transition effects from TV again]
A Repurposed, Non-Supernatural Church
Look, humans. Nobody in your Church believes in that crap anymore. Understand that. Only an institution that had ceased to take seriously the smallest teaching involving the supernatural would be constantly talking about worldly problems instead of getting souls into Heaven.
Nobody believes in that crap anymore. Souls. Heaven. Last Things.
So, the question is, if you're running the Catholic Church, and you don't believe in that crap anymore, how do you remain relevant? They have to say something in the homily, after all. Hell? Medieval superstition. Heaven? "Pie in the Sky When you Die." Miracles? Puh-lease. We don't believe in that crap anymore. So the Church has been repurposed. Reinvented. "Rebranded," in the words of former Vatican spokeswolf Fr. Rosica. No more fairy tales. Fracking. Immigration. Global warming.
The Church has become a model UN for elderly gentlemen to play at fixing real or imaginary worldly problems because they don't believe in that crap anymore.
Of course priests and prelates don't want to believe in Hell. It's because they know they would be going there if it existed. They are wolves in sheep's clothing. Even after nailing his paw to the floor in front of his favorite pew, it sometimes still takes three tranq just darts to get through a homily.
Nobody believes in that crap anymore.
That will be the epitaph on the gravestone of the Church of Rome as we know it today.