He suddenly realized something. It won't take long to tell. It is the one thing that has been bothering the Bear for so long, just under the level of consciousness. It took a bit of shampoo in his eye to bring it to the surface.
If all Pope Francis wanted to do was to set a tone of mercy, he could certainly do that well within the context of sound doctrine. The Church, of all institutions, gets mercy. If he wanted to highlight our obligations to the poor, he could showcase many saints, and Our Lord besides. And without distractions like global warming and the corpual work of environmental mercy. Without all the horrifying airplane pressers.
And that's what we smell. It isn't a style (as was recently suggested on the Bear's official Facebook page). It isn't an emphasis. It is simple non-Christianity. We've been worrying that Pope Francis isn't Catholic. The Bear must wonder if he is even Christian.
It is certainly about conforming the Church to a leftist view of the world. One which has always and everywhere turned humans into something less, no less sure than unbridled capitalism does. (It is also about turning the spotlight on Pope Francis. Funny how everything seems to wind up being about him. Not that the Bear is any different. Then again, he's a Bear.)
You can claim to have - indeed have - a concern for the poor (of a sort) without a trace of Christianity. If Pope Francis were a character in The Brothers Karamazov (which is one book you should read if you read nothing else in your life) he would not be the staretz. He would not be sweet Alyosha. He would be The Grand Inquisitor in Ivan's fable.
Christ is brought before the Grand Inquisitor, centuries after His death and resurrection. Far from welcoming him, the Grand Inquisitor tells Our Lord that His religion is too hard for people. That He should have given them bread. In fact, he says Jesus was wrong to have rejected Satan's three offers. People are weak. Freedom is a burden. Responsibility is too much to bear. Before he tells Jesus to get out of town and never come back, he says this:
"We are not with Thee, but with him, and that is our secret! For centuries have we abandoned Thee to follow him."
Dostoyevski had it right. He was just a couple of hundred years too early.