Friday, October 21, 2016

I Cried When Pope Paul VI Died

Blessed Pope Paul VI
When Pope Paul VI died, the Bear and his bride Red Death were virtually walking out the door to head cross-country for a second assignment to Defense Language Institute for the Arabic Egyptian dialect course. Watching the coverage on the Bear's adoptive parents' television, we both teared up.

We knew next to nothing about the man. It never occurred to us to wonder whether he was a good pope or a bad pope. All we knew was that he was the Pope. He was a reserved father figure; a symbol of our identity as Roman Catholics. To be Catholic was to hang a picture of the pope on your wall, probably next to a picture of JFK, as in Red Death's childhood home.

Perhaps if we had been paying more attention, we might have picked up on the controversy over Humanae Vitae. But neither of us had so much of a whiff of anything like that, let alone the intricacies of the second Vatican council.

The Bear cannot help but look upon those days of blessed ignorance with nostalgia. Now, as passengers in the Barque of Peter, the Captain is on the bridge barking commands to rock and knock us between bulkheads, pursuing a punishing zig-zag course as if to dodge torpedoes of orthodoxy.

One can hardly help forming opinions about Francis and what he says. He possesses an overexposure Kim Kardashian can only dream of. No remote father figure he. Francis is more like a carping mother: constantly, constantly criticizing and exhorting. He will not let us alone. He lacks the wisdom to understand why this is bad. That doesn't matter, though, because he lacks the discipline to step out of the spotlight and let the Church proceed upon her stately course. Somehow, Francis has convinced himself it needs every single idea that enters his head to correct course and ensure safe passage.

The Bear has said it before: Francis sees himself not so much as Pope than as Prophet. He is the third source of revelation, along with Holy Scripture and Tradition. Unlike the prophets of old, however, his message is not one of sin and repentance, but worldly opinions and accommodation in the name of mercy.

One day, the world will learn, if there was ever any doubt in anyone's mind but Francis', that the Church can get along without Pope Francis. On the Vatican website, instead of his latest confounding homily, will be the umbraculum of the sede vacante Holy See without a pope.

The Bear doubts anyone in his family will cry for him.


  1. awww, that's pretty harsh

    and was that a veiled Evita reference?

  2. Very even tempered meditation considering the Church's dire situation, Bear. Pope Paul VI came to regret Vatican II. I'm sure he is praying for the present Pope whose name must not be spoken.

  3. Good line, Bear: "Francis is more like a carping mother: constantly, constantly criticizing and exhorting. He will not let us alone." Yeah, shut up, already! Even if he were right and we were wrong, we would grow so tired of being scolded and nagged.

  4. I can barely remember when Paul VI died but I do recall that none of the adults were sad. They all seemed excited about who the new pope would be but nobody said anything about Paul. There was no black crepe at church and he wasn't mentioned in the school Mass homily. There was much more reaction when John Paul I died.

  5. I believe Catholics will look back on the Bergoglio regime not only for the content of his startling heterodoxical utterings and stunts, but for their sheer quantity...Aside from his "exotic" actions, he has rendered his Papacy as utterly banal...His noise simply never stops.


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