Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Things Are Not as Bad as You Think - They're a Lot Worse

Introduction: Why the "We've Had Bad Popes Before" Argument Fails

Amusing Ourselves to Death
This is one of the Bear's best, in his opinion. It is an essay about how we now have access to far more news than we need, about far more problems than we can fix. The ephemerist's paradox is that the more he writes, the more he contributes to this problem. And what problem is this? "Low information-action ratio." 

This indirectly addresses the frequently-heard argument, "oh, we've had bad popes before, so don't worry about it." This is not correct. It does not consider the continual and immediate flow of heterodoxy into a West that is now implacably anti-Christian, and a Church that has been critically undermined by heresy under color of authority. 

The stream of time flows much faster today than it did in the 14th century. Francis is not the only problem. Events move so quickly that we are literally witnessing the collapse of the Church before our very eyes. The torrent of events threatens to wash away everything.

The sooner we recognize this, the better. Maybe it was God's punishment on the passengers of the Titanic. But those passengers realistically assessed their danger and figured out what to do. The Bear is not going down smoking a cigar on the sloping deck of the fantail listening to Nearer My God to Thee because the Cunard Line engineer said the ship was unsinkable. 

We're growing weary and confused. That's good. If we are not, we don't understand the situation. The greatest adventure of our age is creating a new paradigm that is Catholic, yet figures out what to do with the cuckoo in Peter's nest. Fortunately, we know exactly what the Church is, and should look like. No one can take that away from us. This is the treasure we must pass on to the next generation.

Faith is one thing. Ignoring the indisputable evidence you are seeing with your own eyes is another. We are in huge trouble. The Bear can neither pietistically invoke "the wrath of God," nor downplay the wreckage. We are in trouble, and for an obvious reason. The Church is controlled by men who are more of the Left than Christ. Men who have hacked themselves away from the Vine and replanted themselves in the muck of secular priorities and human approval.

This is the new normal. We need to deal with it forthrightly and courageously.

A Low Information-Action Ratio

Cardinal Daneels admitted to a "mafia" against Pope Benedict XVI, which ultimately led to Jorge Bergoglio's election as Pope. One bit of information from a year ago; another is the last scandal you read this morning.

Oh dear, what does one do with such information? Is that old bear, Pope Benedict really still the Pope? Do we wake up to find Bobby in the shower, and the entire Francis Pontificate a dream? After all, would a real pope travel to Sweden to celebrate heresiarch Martin Luther and his destruction of the Christian West? (It's a serious question. Would General MacArthur have traveled to Japan in the middle of WWII to celebrate the Emperor? Would he not have been court-martialed and shot for treason?)

Neil Postman (1931-2003) was one of the greatest social commentators ever, and wrote the greatest book about our age. It is called Amusing Ourselves to Death.

A High Information-Action Ratio

Imagine you are in a mid-nineteenth century small American town, somewhere between the Ohio river and the Rockies. Let's call it Tumbleweed. A storm comes along and knocks down the church steeple. Everyone knows, of course, and the men get to work putting it back up, while the women bring them lemonade and cookies. The repair is well within the scope of the town's abilities.

A week later, word spreads that the schoolmarm showed up at the schoolroom a little tipsy. The ladies of the town quietly take the matter in hand.

The Johnson family's crop was blighted. No one makes a big thing about it, but foodstuffs are quietly gathered and they are provided for.

In each of these examples, the town receives no more information about problems than they themselves can address. They enjoy a high information-action ratio. In other words, they can act on the all the information they receive. They do not receive information they cannot act upon. They feel a measure of control over their world that we can't even imagine.

The Telegraph

One day, men come with tall poles and big wooden spools of wire. A stranger sets up some sort of clackity-clack device in the railroad station. Somebody recognizes it. "It's the telegraph! The news comes over those wires they're settin' up. It's all done with clicks of that thing-a-ma-jig, but that there man knows what it's sayin'."

In short order, the train delivers a huge, heavy crate. Townspeople gather around in excitement as the wood is pried apart to reveal a printing press. "We're gonna have us a newspaper!" exclaims the same man who knew about the telegraph. (He must be a city slicker.)

"A newspaper," another man scoffs, winking at his fellows. "What happens in Tumbleweed worth puttin' in a newspaper?" His jibe is rewarded by laughter.

"Go ahead, laugh," says Mr. Know-It-All. "But this here newspaper is going to have stories from all over the country, the world, even. And it'll all come right down those telegraph wires. Think of it! We're not going to be stuck here in Tumbleweed knowing just the small dealings of our town. If a ship sinks, we'll know about it. If there's a new King of England, we'll know that too. Disasters! Wars! Controversies! However often that fellow decides to print his newspaper, that's how often we'll know about everything! Imagine, the whole world is coming to Tumbleweed!"

One of the first stories carried by the telegraph and printed in the newspaper was an outbreak of yellow fever in New Orleans that killed thousands.

Brave New World

The telegraph slithered into the garden of Tumbleweed and whispered to the people: you shall know like God. Now the townspeople's heads were filled with problems about which they could do nothing. Postman wrote in the age of television. How quaint, compared to our internet-fueled day where consumers of news are themselves producers, and editorial comment is provided by anyone with access to wifi.

In his forward, Postman compares Orwell's vision of the future, 1984, to Huxley's Brave New World. It makes for fascinating reading, but slightly off-point for the Bear's purposes. Suffice it to say that Postman wrote this: "'In 1984,' Huxley added, 'people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure.' In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us."

What do we love? The Church. Could our very love of what is holy contribute to our ruin? Wouldn't that be positively satanic!

A low-information action ratio refers to the helplessness of people faced with unlimited, decontextualized information. The relationship between information and action has become so attenuated, what's left is a feeling of helplessness. The problem isn't the steeple on the church, it's the Church.

We try to satisfy our disquiet with more information, or -- and this is new -- tailoring our information sources to only those we find agreeable. Neither way contributes to getting to the ultimate truth, nor still yet doing something about it ("action") which is the real issue.

Postman doesn't offer a solution, to the Bear's recollection, but it has been awhile since he read Amusing Ourselves to Death. He'll do that soon.

Low Information-Action Ratio in Ecclesiastical Politics

If it is not obvious by now, the Bear is saying we suffer from a low information-action ratio when it comes to ecclesiastical politics. What if we really knew why Pope Benedict XVI stepped down? Or what sketchy Cardinals were involved in a "mafia?" Or what exactly the German bishops were up to? Is there anything we could do with that information?

If the engine light comes on in your car, the action is clear and doable: take it in. But sifting through a glut of information to obtain timely, actionable intelligence about the Church that you and your neighbors can handle -- like Tumbleweed's church steeple being knocked down? No. It is an impossible fantasy. We read, and we create more information. No wonder we fret so!

And supply is just part of the problem with our limitless appetite for information. What about "action?" We never really get to the bottom of anything. And if we ever were to get near it, we would be distracted by the next scandal, some other juicy tidbit to engage, enrage or enthrall us. And if we were somehow finally able to master it all (impossible, of course), what could we do, practically speaking? Nothing. We would have only made our low information-action ratio worse.

That's not our fault. That is just the nature of the information machine we have created as it interacts with the human brain. Our brains were designed to use information that they sip, as it were. When we hook up our brains to a fire hose of data, far beyond their power to do anything about, the Bear shall let you guess the result. Confusion, fear, anger and ultimately paralysis is probably the best we can expect.

Whatever it is, it is probably not going to be the most peaceful place for prayer and reflection, but, rather, an occasion for pride and wrath.

The telegraph lines are singing right into our heads these days, and we sit, our jaws lax, as we know too much, but can do nothing about it. As always, that old serpent who seemed to promise us so much turned out to be a cheat.

The "take away" from this little essay is that Postman was onto something, the Bear thinks. Feeling helpless isn't pleasant, and we don't always make things better when we try to do something about that. Feeling helpless is inevitable in the internet age, just as it was, to a lesser extent in Postman's television age, or even when the telegraph insinuated itself into the innocent town of Tumbleweed. 

There is no apparent answer to the modern problem of the low information-action ratio. Just another trap to be aware of in the information age.

48 comments:

  1. Forgive me, Bear, if I post (below) the words of a Marian prophesy (Our Lady of Akita) which has ecclesiastical approval and which may be relevant to your very fine advices and musings:



    October 13, 1973

    "My dear daughter, listen well to what I have to say to you. You will inform your superior."

    After a short silence:

    "As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests."

    "The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres...churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

    "The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them"

    "With courage, speak to your superior. He will know how to encourage each one of you to pray and to accomplish works of reparation."

    "It is Bishop Ito, who directs your community."

    And She smiled and then said:

    "You have still something to ask? Today is the last time that I will speak to you in living voice. From now on you will obey the one sent to you and your superior."

    "Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved."

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    1. Oh, if only we had leaders who encourage us to pray and to accomplish works of reparation. Ours are encouraging us to recycle and turn down the air conditioner.

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  2. Fantastic post, Bear. FYI: Postman's book (a great read) is called Amusing Ourselves to Death. God bless!

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    1. I also like Roger Waters' album "Amused to Death" and my 450 gm. ursine brain slipped a cog.

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  3. Bear: This is a most useful and actually encouraging post as my husband and I have asked ourselves repeatedly what can we do about this. You are correct, IMO, that there is nothing we can do (but pray, of course) since the problem is the big kahuna on the throne of Peter. The only people who can stop him are the other big kahunas in the episcopacy, and they lack the cajones to confront this heretic. Knowing that we are not alone is a huge help. Thanks.

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    1. I'm glad you were able to understand my poor attempt at putting into words the paradox of realizing just how bad things really are, and the hopefulness, or at least peace, that comes from that realization. What can I do? Absolutely nothing. I can't even impact my own parish, since it is so dysfunctional.

      So why do I blog? For precisely the reason you mention. I think today, it is difficult for me to put confidence in a point of view that does not acknowledge the grim reality. So, I hope people say, "Yeah, that makes sense," and maybe, who knows?, one of these days I'll actually write something edifying.

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    2. Who said anything about giving up? I'm just saying the first thing is to realize how bad things really are. The USCCB? What do Catholics do with an organization that holds Church authority, but is clearly anti-Catholic? Defenestration is the only real solution. (Well, that, and a good old fashioned Bear rampage.) But the Bear cannot think of a single solution to our problems that will not get him humanely euthanized. The Bear is entirely serious when he says the current organization is not viable. (Gates of Hell, and all that stipulated.) Sure, nothing Jorge does cant be undone. It is equally certain it will not be. The ecclesiastic version of O'Sullivan's law. Any Church which is not expressly orthodox will become heterodox. Those with eyes to see are witnessing this happen at the speed of light.

      But, you see, here's the deal. An organization that tells you it is a sin to criticize its leader, or fail to give obedience to, is kind of bulletproof. Once St. Peters is a mosque and nobody has any reason to want to be pope except to speak truth until he is martyred, then things will turn around. Not before.

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    3. @pjm,

      Seriously, are we Catholic men going to just sit on our collective asses, whine and pray the rosary? Where is our inner crusader?
      This is not meant to tee you off, even if it likely to. It's meant to underscore the Bear's point.

      pjm, What concrete, specific thing have you done that actually was effective in battling the overall situation (other than prayer and commenting on a blog [note I did not take the cheap shot of saying whine on a blog]?
      What concrete, specific thing do you suggest that would be effective--other than sanctifying oneself (by cooperating with grace), reparation, and prayer?

      As Bear points out, there isn't some such thing that the *typical* layperson can do. There are a rare few distinguished exceptions with access to authority. Even someone as distinguished as Dietrich von Hildebrand with access to Paul VI couldn't sway the tide.

      When Mary comes down from Heaven periodically to warn us, what does she say? "The people must repent. Say the rosary." Remember it is She who crushes the serpent's head. It is her Immaculate Heart that will triumph. It is not us.

      It is truly bad as the Bear says, but God could fix it in an instant. But the historical pattern shows that He demands repentance from the people FIRST. It will continue to get worse until the people do.

      Something should be noted about all the scandal committed by authority. Scandal is an act (or perhaps omission) that leads another to sin or lose the Faith. But there is also the sin of being scandalized on the part of the observer. A choice is made to sin or give up the Faith. Once a person is in the state of grace, only that person can cause themselves to lose it by a mortal sin. That requires a grave matter, knowledge and consent.

      What we do in these times as typical laypersons, is get in the state of grace, stay close to the sacraments, pray, make acts of reparation, and do our daily duties according to our state in life.

      If you can help encourage a fellow Catholic, strengthen someone's faith by all means do so. But how many people are encouraged or strengthened by angry tirades? I reckon about none. In fact, it can lead to certain sins.

      Calm, collected, even clinical analysis that things are bad, and dangers to avoid? Sure, I'm all for that. But it does need to come with exhortations of hope: God is in charge. 1 Cor 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may endure it."

      One more thing worth noting. I have observed that in the spiritual life, one of the things God will do is take away everything that one can do naturally. By removing any control over a situation, it requires a person to depend not on themselves and their capability, but to trust in God. That is, acting in the supernatural realm. It seems that it is the most naturally capable and most intelligent people that have the hardest time with that. The poorest, simplest, humblest, least powerful people are the ones most often with the greatest faith, and therefore the ones that God chooses to work through because all Glory for success then goes to Him.

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    4. I'm sure you're correct, bear. I'm just a simple caveman who likes watching movies like old school.

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    5. But how many people are encouraged or strengthened by angry tirades?

      Probably none in your safe space.

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    6. Speaking of old movies, have you seen Top Hat? I don't think it's the best Fred & Ginger movie, but worth watching for Ginger's infamous feather dress that she insisted on wearing. Watch her shed feathers and see them on the floor. But it only adds to the charm. Ginger was right. Ginger is always right. I obey Ginger.

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    7. utubeo, another good point, you are right, often it is when we feel our ability to impact anything is when God moves. Scripture does say that He is strong when we are weak.

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    8. Remember that Jesus Himself did NOT resist any authority. He went to the Cross as meek as a lamb. He never taught His disciples to resist the Romans. He talked about pagans in general. He did not teach His disciples to resist the Jewish hierarchy. He personally castigated them when He wanted to make a point, or for their benefit, to convert them. Or He used parables to show the evil of those in power.

      So praying the Rosary seems to be good advice. The Imitation of Christ would seem to be the way to go. Bear, if it is true that most of us have no authority to make even a tiny change keeping our own Faith and praying for everyone else is the way. Loading our poor tired minds and hearts with more and more data on the crisis creates discouragement and despair.

      I struggle with this daily. Do I look at the train wreck, or do I drive by, eyes on the road?

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  4. Bear,
    Excellent essay. I think that this is your best ephemeron ever. Perhaps that feeling of helplessness can be a sign that we need to stop depending on our own inadequate human responses to solve all these problems and turn everything over to God. It seems that worked rather well for the Desert Fathers who just walked away from the world they were living in and went out to seek the Lord in silence.

    Once again, I really liked this essay.

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    1. Feeling helpless is not a bad thing. Maybe it's like hitting rock bottom. Then it's meetings where people say things like, "My name is the Bear and I'm an orthodox Catholic." (Hi, Bear)

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    2. Speaking of which, you are not a Swede, so your name is not Björn (meaning Bear), but could it be Urs or Ursus?

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  5. And another alleged apparition, although not approved (for obvious reasons).

    The below statement was promulgated in the spring of 1965, six months after the first major changes in the Mass and six months before the close of the Second Vatican Council.

    If true, then we have Heaven's view of Vatican II.

    "Since my Message of October 18, 1961, has not been complied with and has not been made much known to the world, I will tell you that this is the last one.

    "Before, the chalice was filling. Now it is overflowing.

    "Many cardinals, many bishops, and many priests are on the path of perdition, and they take many souls with them.

    "To the Eucharist there is given less and less importance.

    "We should avoid the wrath of God on us by our good efforts.

    "If you ask pardon with your sincere soul, God will pardon you.

    "It is I, Your Mother, who, through the intercession of St. Michael, wish to say that you amend, that you are already in the last warnings, and that I love you much and do not want your condemnation.

    "Ask us sincerely, and we will give to you. You should sacrifice more. Think of the Passion of Jesus."

    Also stated in 1962 at Garabandal:

    "The Virgin has told us: The world continues the same, that it has not changed at all. Few will see God. They are so few that it causes the Virgin much sorrow. What a pity that it does not change. The Virgin told us that the chastisement is coming, seeing that the world is not changing."


    According to the alleged seers of Garabandal, communism will again be a force to be reckoned with in one final attempt at world domination.

    On September 29, 1978, Father Francis Benac, S.J., interviewed Mari Loli at her home in Massachusetts.

    Here are some of the questions and answers pertinent to our subject.

    FATHER BENAC: Did the Blessed Virgin speak of communism?

    MARI LOLI: Our Lady spoke several times about communism. I don't remember how many times, but she said that a time would come when it would seem that communism had mastered or engulfed the whole world. I think it was then that she told us that priests would have difficulty saying Mass and talking about God and divine things.

    FR. BENAC: Did Our Lady ever speak of people being put to death?

    LOLI: What Our Lady said was that priests would have to go into hiding, but I didn't see whether they were being killed or not. She didn't exactly say they would be killed, but I'm sure they would be martyred.

    FR. BENAC: Your mother told me that one night you were upstairs with your father and that you cried and cried for one hour. Afterwards your father said to her, "I have just seen the most touching sight. Loli was crying the whole time while saying, 'Oh, it's going to be like that? People are going to suffer like that? Oh, make me suffer!'" Do you remember what you said at the time?

    LOLI: It was all related to communism and what is going to happen in the Church and to the people because all these things are to have repercussions amongst the people. When the Church suffers confusion, the people are going to suffer too. Some priests who are communists will create such confusion that people will not know right from wrong.[THE CALL OF GARABANDAL, Apr-Jun 1984.]

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  6. I enjoyed reading this and am very glad I stumbled upon your blog the other day. Your rational approach to the purported Buenos Aires miracle was refreshing. Although I'm not sure how to feel about your bear persona.

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    1. The Bear is not sure what you mean by "bear persona."

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  7. Good post, Bear.

    At times, I feel like the soldier sitting in foxhole at Bastogne reading Stars and Stripes describing the Battle of the Bulge going on around me. The enemy shells are bursting all around me. I know Patton is on the way. Somehow I have to hold on until He gets here.

    We simply have to fight on. We have to avoid despair, discouragement and the desire for the easy. These are huge crosses we are being asked to accept.

    “God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb; we are always given special graces with which to endure extraordinary misfortunes.” FATHER JEAN PIERRE DE CAUSSADE, S.J.

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  8. I'm not sure about fighting. We can form a kind of loose coalition of orthodox Catholics, but the entrenched thinking in the Church is unsound, and the self-perpetuating leadership is utterly corrupt. Externally, to be Catholic means to belong to a UN committee on Tolerance, and, in the U.S., a Democrat PAC. To fight is not just to take on a bishop here, or even a pope. It means to each of us to Catholic on the best we can while we await the current structure to be destroyed, and leadership so disincentivized that only holy, and orthodox men will even want to be a bishop or pope. That day is probably closer than the cabal of globalists in the Vatican imagine.

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  9. Trying to ignore these attacks on the church is obviously not going to happen. But the energy of driving desperation can't be the fuel we burn to win souls either.
    We need to be the bearers of the good news, not being blind to the bad news.

    We can counter this modernist progressive approach the same way many Saints charged Rome. With the help of the Holy Spirit they found a way to correct mistakes.
    The Old Testament shows us many times when things were very bleak that God with his wisdom provides his people with one chosen from a list of those seemingly incapable and with an uneducated background.
    God's not finished with us yet.
    Saints Juan Diego, Bernadette Pray for us!
    Your blog inspires me to participate in this challenge.

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  10. Bear, are you in the in-between of no children at home and no grandkids? Or are there grandkids?

    You fight by teaching them the Faith. And you fight to keep them in the Faith until they or their kids get on Elon Musk's ship to Mars and start again.

    That's how we fight. We raise the next generation and the next to believe what the Church believed 100 years, 1000 years, 2000 years ago.

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    1. That is good. But no matter how hard you work at it, it is hard to keep kids in the Church after they are grown and move out.

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    2. Even harder when they move away and you don't even get to see the grandkids except once a year. But if I did, I would teach them the faith. My grandsons were taken to a Catholic NO Mass and felt it was a "fancy church".

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    3. Even harder when your cubs grow up and refuse to breed!

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  11. I am just going to "nail my foot to the floor in front of my favorite pew and die there".

    That's the best advice, in conjunction with Praying and Catholic the heck out of it! The Bear is priceless.

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  12. Congratulations on another alarmingly truthful post. We must think that, for us, these are the best of times. Why? Because it is a time we have the most commanding reasons to become holy and to help others do the same? We have the opportunity to communicate with this newfangled blog device and to form virtual communities of like minded people. We should believe that God is in charge and knows the best time to act. And we can let Him know we are here to help Him in any way he wishes us to. We are in a Crisis or maybe the Crisis but whatever it is worrying about it isn't going to help. We are in a war and, for some, wars are truly exciting with daily opportunities to fight the good fight on our way to heaven. So, Bear, let us rejoice and thank God forliving in such interesting times--a curse for many but a cause for a few.

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  13. After all, would a real pope travel to Sweden to celebrate heresiarch Martin Luther and his destruction of the Christian West? (It's a serious question. Would General MacArthur have traveled to Japan in the middle of WWII to celebrate the Emperor? Would he not have been court-martialed and shot for treason?)

    As a Swede and ex-Lutheran, I find the comparison derogatory to the tenno.

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    1. Okay. So, I must conclude you approve of the event. The analogy works for me. It is not about you, but Pope Francis.

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    2. No, I find that Mac Arthur should not have been courtmartialled for travelling to Japan in WW-II in order to celebrate the Tenno.

      The Tenno is not half as bad as Luther!

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    3. Oh, beg pardon. I didn't know what the Tenno was. I thought you were using a Swedish expression, you know, like, "derogatory to the max," or something.

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    4. Imagine Mac Arthur had shown up uninvited to the birthday of Tenno Hirohito.

      The ninja skills involved in that might have impressed the Tenno so much, he might have made peace without Big Boy and Little Boy dropping over two cities.

      I think Hirohito at least just MIGHT have been more reasonable, in such a situtaion, than the Lutherans in Sweden would be, even if Bergoglio surprised them by an excellent argument against the Reformation.

      Obviously he hasn't. He was invited and therefore also agreed to a preset protocol of diplomatic type, which made it impossible for him, even if he had still been a Catholic, to answer them like Jesus answered the Pharisees.

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  14. In reality there is nothing we can do about the Pope, the Curia, the USCCB, our bishops and what goes on inside of their chanceries, or even what our parish priest does. Some may accuse me of Indifferentism. But, being indifferent or not will change nothing. I can pray for them, and tithe. That is about all.

    The same goes for almost everything else in the world. At least for now I can vote. But, that's about it. I suppose I could start a blog. But, I am neither witty, nor possess some acute perception of the world or the Church. I certainly am not going to maintain a blog that no one will read.

    But, I think I will help my 8 year old son learn to throw a fast ball for a strike. So yes, while Pope Francis and his minions scheme, while Syria burns, while Obama charts the downfall of the US from the 8th hole, I'm going to spend time with my youngest son immersed in the intricacies of the 4 seam fast ball.

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    1. Good choice. God bless you and him.

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    2. Heck, nobody ready this blog for the longest time. Now I have dozens of readers.

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    3. But Bear, your the exception. And you're also quite witty.

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    4. I should perhaps link or sth? I have sth like 40 - 100 readers a day on the blog I would be linking from (the main one) and some hundred on my blogs overall.

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  15. Bear, you have outdone yourself and written something really interesting. I perceive the problem, and admit it's like a narcotic, the daily fix of church news. The problem is this as well, I can stop reading about it, it won't be easy, but I can do that. What I can't do is undo what I now know, and that has changed everything.
    They should have blown up that telegraph.

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    1. If they had blown up the telegraph, you would not enjoying St. Corbinian's Bear. I have not been following Church news very closely lately. I feel much better for it. Same with Muslims running around killing everybody, and the conspiracy to blame anyone and anything except Islam. Heck I don't even know if the internet is really going to be censored by the UN now. I've been so busy with my imaginary world where I some control, I haven't had the time. And then there's the novel, of course.

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  16. Whither the blog roll, Bear? I used to peruse your musings then progress to Mr. Oakes' fine establishment, but now, instead of the facile side-clickage to which I am accustomed, I must enter keystrokes into the search bar. tots inconvenient.

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    1. Fixed for now. Vatican hackers at work again. You will probably be seeing Bunny Rabbit posts again soon.

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  17. To all - a mere parade of horribles is one thing. But if the only thing I do is to show how bad things really are, then help you laugh at it, then that's mission accomplished. (Actually, when I get salmon thrown at me, THAT's mission accomplished.) As someone who spent 30 years surrounded by crime scene and autopsy photos of men, women and children, and dealing FTF with murderers, I can laugh at nearly anything. Let me put that more accurately: I can find something to laugh at in any situation, if only at myself.

    Jesus may have told his disciples not to reject secular authority. and he respected religious authority. Then, oddly, a new thing happened. The disciples who wrote the epistles and Revelation spent much of ther time knocking the stuffing out of heresy. Heresy was not tolerated. One question: if you are convinced Pope Francis speaks and teaches and promotes heresy, how do you deal with that? I just don't see how blind obedience is the best option.

    The Bear will not ignore anyone, he be the Pope of Rome or an Angel of Light who contradicts the vast and ancient deposit of faith. If Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, then to reject truth is to reject Christ. I do not imagine for a minute Jesus is saying, "Well, yes, Jorge is doing his level best to destroy the faith, but I sure hope nobody points it out. Because obeying the man in office is the main thing, after all, not truth. I am really hoping no one realizers just how dangerous this man is."

    Maybe it's because the Bear was a trial lawyer, but he will follow the evidence wherever it leads. When I want to listen to Hillary Clinton, I'll listen to- well, I would never want to do that. I am about there with this Pope, too. Yet I am going nowhere. I will stay Catholic and do it the best I can. I don't bother listening to Francis. He's an idiot at best. 1300 years from now, the Bear will still be here. There will be some form of the Catholic Church.

    But I'm not going to talk about him every day. And probably a lot less than I have in the past. Once the horse is dead, you stop beating it. Laugh. Go to Mass. Say your rosary (an under-appreciated exercise that combines words, guided imagery and a physical action). Watch a Fellini movie, or Fred and Ginger. Something old. Pray the Hours.

    If you walk away from what you're reading full of a visceral anger, then I have failed.

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    1. Bear your are a good man who is helping us through all of this with the truth wrapped with a joke and a smile. You are a bright light who has emerged out of the gloom to give us hope. May God Bless you always and your family, too.

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  18. Oh, the Bear recommends 8 1/2 if you've never had the pleasure of a Fellini movie. (Nino Rota did the score, and also for The Godfather). They're funny, weird and true. And very, very Italian :-)

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