Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bear Has Photo-Op With Syrian President

The Bear and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

This morning the Bear was escorted by his Russian friends, Slava and Kostya to the imposing mountaintop presidential palace of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Everyone was very nice to the Bear. President al-Assad even insisted that the Bear be checked out at the hospital on the premises. The Bear was provided with the medication he must take to maintain compliance with Fish, Game and Wildlife's Department of Large Talking Predators safety requirements. Although he does not suppose their writ runs in Syria.

The Bear's Arabic is rusty. (Truthfully, non-existent other than a few basics.) However, President al-Assad speaks excellent English.

You just can't get falafel stateside like they have in this part of the world.

The Bear was given a short speech to recite; he supposes the usual polite diplomatic nonsense visiting dignitaries are expected to say. Frankly, the Bear is utterly confounded by all the attention. He is, after all, only a simple Catholic ephemerist. His own government has not shown the least bit of interest in getting the Bear back home. Frankly, the Bear is going from impatient to irritated.

Perhaps the Bear shall pop down to the U.S. embassy tomorrow. The Bear would just book a flight out on a U.S. carrier, but he was in such a hurry to get to Turkey he forgot his passport. Oh bother.

New quarters have been provided. The Bear now has reliable high-speed internet and a military honor guard kindly provided by President al-Assad. And of course, there is the constant companionship of the Bear's friends, Slava and Kostya, who are almost touchingly loyal. It is nice for the Bear to be able to practice his Russian! They call the Bear "Misha," which is rather charming.

The Bear can only imagine that when U.S. government officials see what an excellent good will ambassador the Bear has been, they will be pleased, and expedite his return. However, the Bear has to admit he could get use to Damascus. Everyone is really nice here.

Francis to Depression Sufferers: Flush Meds; You're Not Christian

What keeps me going? Methylphenidate.

Pope Francis has admitted taking something for his nerves. (What, a benzo or Jack Daniels? Probably something that disinhibits speech.) Yet he shows a remarkable insensitivity to people who struggle with mental illness. As if they didn't have enough to feel bad about, Pope Francis confirms what they all secretly fear. It's their fault. They should just try harder. Their medication is just a crutch or a hoax. If they were better people they would feel good.

Pope Francis on Mental Illness

Friday, the Oracle of Santa Marta, said a Christian does not anesthetize or numb pain. "Pain is pain but if lived through with joy and hope, it will open the door for you of the joy of a new being." So flush those meds, all you "unstable," and "neurotic" people out there. Suck it up and just be happy, dammit.

The Bear shall be charitable and once again play the tired old game of figuring out what the poorest public communicator in human history really meant.

Obviously, he is speaking only of the ordinary, if profound, pain of daily living. Clearly, he would never apply this to people diagnosed with a mental health issue. Still less would any responsible person advocate such people going off their meds.

The problem is, that's just the Bear's guess at what the man means. For all the Bear knows, he is one of those big-pharma haters who believes patients are being turned into zombies. Actually, that does not seem far-fetched. Drug companies are really rich. So what else has he said that might clear things up?

"Don't give in to depression. Hope!" November 27, 2014. Okay, thanks for that. Perhaps he means sadness. But depression is kind of a no-choice disease. It's not a matter of weaklings "giving in." This might not be an important distinction for many, but people who suffer from depression are going to be hurt and discouraged when they hear this.

"You will have days you will feel down, but don't be afraid, everything passes." Pope writing to clinically depressed Argentine prisoner who was on inpatient status in a behavioral medicine clinic. The former rock singer was convicted of incinerating 194 young people in a club fire.

Yes, your depression will pass. Then, if you happen to be bipolar, everyone will have fun when you cycle to your manic phase and set fire to some more people. Especially if you've flushed your lithium.

Here Pope Francis warns about keeping "unbalanced people" out of the religious life. April 15, 2015.

All the people who know the human personality -- may they be psychologists, spiritual fathers, spiritual mothers -- tell us that young people who unconsciously feel they have something unbalanced or some problem of mental imbalance or deviation unconsciously seek strong structures that protect them, to protect themselves.

While the Bear appreciates the sentiment, "unbalanced" is the kind of imprecise terminology like "crazy" that isn't exactly helpful, can be harmful, and is always impolite. (Unless a crazy person uses it.)

And here is something right out of the worst days of the Soviet Union: if you don't agree with me, you must be crazy. November 20, 2015.

I will tell you sincerely, I’m scared of rigid priests. I keep away from them. They bite!... If you are sick, if you are neurotic, go and see a doctor, spiritual or physical. The doctor will give you pills. But, please, don’t let the faithful pay for neurotic priests... There are often young men who are psychologically unstable without knowing it, and who look for strong structures to support them... For some it is the police or the army but for others it is the clergy...  When a youngster is too rigid, too fundamentalist, I don’t feel confident [about him]. Behind it there is something he himself does not understand. Keep your eyes open!

"Sick" and "neurotic" men should get some pills from a doctor, but shouldn't become fundamentalist priests. Oh, and by the way, if you do have some mental health issue, you are not fit to be a priest, even if it is controlled with medication. In fact, all you sickos are probably not fit to be anything.

Oh, by the way, the Bear's two sons, who happen to have served in the U.S. Army (as did the Bear, for that matter) were gratified to learn of your opinion of veterans. And on Memorial Day. How special.

Or maybe that only applies to "fundamentalists."

Yep, Pope Francis really did accuse priests and religious who do not agree with him of being mentally ill. They're bad. Bad and crazy, see? How sensitive and merciful. A Pope, on the other hand, can be on undisclosed psychotropic medication and that's fine.

The Bear believes the faithful have a right to know what mental conditions the Pope is being treated for, and what psychotropic medication he is on. Seriously. This is a request. A dare. You show the Bear yours and he'll show you his. But, you know, if you have a mental illness and you're getting the proper treatment and know your limits, the Bear will not hold that against you. Because crazy people can, with the right treatment and a little luck, be anything they want. A Pope. A Bear. A man who thinks he's a Bear. Whatever.

The Pope does not seem to care much about behavioral medicine issues, unless he's tarring a segment of clergy with his crazy brush. Oddly, one runs across a lot of articles titled things like "Pope Francis and Mental Health," but they are written by people praising his general "openness," like Francis Mercy has been put in the water supply like Soma.

Pope Francis on Joy

As usual, this is overlong, and there are people waiting to use this terminal in the internet cafe the Bear is posting from, so he will wrap things up. (You'd think they'd never seen a talking Bear before in Damascus.)

On numerous occasions, Pope Francis has preached joy as the sine qua non of Christianity. The Bear has not heard an exception made for people whose neurotransmitters are half a quart low. Some Christians don't do joy. Yes, Pope Francis, I know. Your pastoral advice to them is: "You suck."

Well, your comments relating to mental health suck, too.  But the Bear is hear to help.

Some Don'ts

  • Stop using "unbalanced" and similar slang because those words are meaningless and hurtful. 
  • Stop using "sick" and "neurotic" as synonyms for "bad people who don't agree with me," i.e "fundamentalists." Not everyone agrees with you. They're fine. Get freaking over it.
  • Don't psychologize beliefs. Stop pretending to diagnose huge swathes of the  Church for your self-serving purposes. It doesn't work that way. 
  • Don't talk nonsense about "anesthetizing" or "numbing" pain.  Some may do so illegitimately (the Bear is not in a position to judge) but many people do exactly that under their doctor's care in order to be functional despite their, um, "nervous problems." 
  • Learn some basic psychological vocabulary. You don't feel "down" a bit with depression. The fastest way to make someone who is depressed turn you off is to say things like, "we all get blue sometimes, it will pass." That is just BS whether it comes from a co-worker or the Pope.
  • Don't say ignorant crap like, "a Christian is always joyful." It is never true all the time, and not true at all for some. We are not some kind of blissed-out love cult. You tie heavy burdens on the backs of the people, Holy Father. St. Corbinian's Bear knows something about that.

It is no exaggeration to say that this is a matter of life and death. Your words carry weight. They are heard by hundreds of millions. It is impossible to predict how some clinically depressed person, somewhere, may understand them. Please listen to a very plainspoken old Bear and have mercy. People with mental illness may not make as good of a photo op as refugees, but just learn a little, and choose your words carefully, please.

Someone kills themselves every 40 seconds. Imagine your words are the last thing the next suicide read. Think, for God's sake.

Monday, May 30, 2016

And Now, the Bear Himself

The Bear is aboard the Russian landing ship Azov on a short, but pleasant Mediterranean cruise to Tartus, Syria. Captain Chernetsky Pavel Tarasovich has kindly allowed me to post a brief message.

First of all, the Bear thanks Captain Chernetsky for all of his assistance. It was providential that he was close by with his ship when the Bear accidentally fell into the waters of the Bosphorus. The Bear also thanks the crews of the Turkish patrol boats who were so eager to rescue the Bear they risked colliding with Azov in the dark. 

The Bear thanks his Turkish hosts, and apologizes for not saying goodbye. He regrets any inconvenience he may have caused certain individuals. Thank you for the zebra. The Bear will never forget his tour of the zoo, nor all those who helped arrange it.

The Bear thanks the pseudonymous "Bunny Rabbit" for stepping up and taking care of the Bear's ephemeris while he was on vacation. Of course, the Bear also thanks "B34R" for their volunteer assistance on various technical issues, and for helping keep the Bear in contact with his friends. (The Bear has no official relationship with B34R, who operate entirely independently of the Bear.)

The Bear shall never forget his second great adventure in Turkey, nor all those involved with it. Turks have always occupied a special place in the Bear's heart.

The Bear suffered a few scrapes and scratches. Never fear, he has received excellent medical care.

The Bear has not been informed of the subsequent legs of his return journey. He does not know when you should expect the next post. 

Stay fluffy.

Just kidding. Do svidaniya!



IN MEMORIAM

SSGT Jordan Bear, Denver, Colorado
PFC Peyton Jones, Marble Falls, Texas

2nd Battalion, 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. Gave their lives March 1st, 2012 near Sangesar, Afghanistan in a dastardly green-on-blue attack in which an Afghan soldier and an Afghan civilian literacy instructor seized one of the towers of their FOB, killing PFC Jones, then attacked the sleeping soldiers in their own camp. SSGT Bear rushed out of his tent without his body armor to assist the wounded and organize a defense, and was killed. 

From a Friend --The Syrian Express

THANK YOU!

DIPLOMATIC CABLE FROM RUSSIA TO UNITED STATES OBTAINED FROM HILLARY CLINTON'S EMAIL SERVER TODAY 30 MAY.

***

AMERICAN CITIZEN WAS RESCUED FROM DROWNING BY RUSSIAN LANDING SHIP AZOV TRANSITING BOSPHORUS EN ROUTE TO TARTUS SYRIA. AZOV SHOULD ARRIVE WITHIN NEXT FEW DAYS.

YOUR CITIZEN HAS BEEN TREATED FOR INJURIES AND IS EXPECTED TO MAKE FULL RECOVERY.

IT WAS FORTUNATE THAT OUR SHIP HAPPENED TO BE IN A POSITION TO RENDER HUMANITARIAN SERVICE. PLEASE ADVISE HOW YOU WISH TO PROCEED WITH REGARD TO HIS REPATRIATION.

COINCIDENTALLY, YOUR CITIZEN HAS LONGSTANDING TIES TO RUSSIA. THE PRESIDENT AND THE PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW WISH TO RELAY BEST WISHES FOR A SPEEDY RECOVERY AND FUTURE SAFETY. WE ALSO UNDERSTAND HE RENDERED VALIANT SERVICE DURING THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR. WE ARE SURE BOTH OUR COUNTRIES ARE PLEASED TO SEE HIM SAFE.

CC: SECRETARIAT OF STATE FOR HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
CC: TURKISH MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

***

THE BEAR HAS POWERFUL FRIENDS. HE IS 1300-YEARS OLD. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE THE FIRST TO TRY THIS? ARE YOU REALLY SO NAIVE BUNNY RABBIT? YOU WILL EXPERIENCE THE USUAL CONSEQUENCES FOR MISTAKES IN THESE KINDS OF THINGS. B34R OUT.


Azov, Russian Black Sea Fleet landing vessel, currently part of "The Syrian Express"
 sending military supplies to the Assad regime. And rescuing Bears.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

FLASH: BEAR ESCAPES

Location of Bear's captivity (Google Street View)

Faruk Yalçın Zoo Darıca Hayvanat Bahçesi - Zoo
Piri Reis
Tuzla Yolu Cad. No:297
41700 Darıca/Kocaeli
Turkey
+90 262 653 6666


Bear's escape route took him in a southwesterly direction to Bosphorus,
ignoring the much shorter northwesterly route. Google Earth.


IN PREDAWN DARKNESS 30 MAY LOCAL, THE BEAR ESCAPED FROM A CELL AT THE FARUK YALÇIN ZOO IN ISTANBUL TURKEY. CONFLICTING EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS SAY THE BEAR MAY HAVE SUFFERED ONE OR MORE GUNSHOT WOUNDS DURING THE ESCAPE AND THE TWO-MILE DASH TO THE BOSPHORUS STRAIT.

THE BEAR WAS LAST SEEN SWIMMING INTO SHIP TRAFFIC WITH TURKISH PATROL VESSELS IN PURSUIT.

SOME HUMAN CASUALTIES ARE REPORTED, BUT ARE SAID TO BE NON-LIFE-THREATENING. ONE ZEBRA DID NOT SURVIVE; DETAILS SKETCHY.

FATE OF THE BEAR IS UNKNOWN.

DETAILS OF THE OPERATION MUST REMAIN CLASSIFIED.

FURTHER REPORTS WHEN NEW INFORMATION IS LEARNED.

THE DAY OF RECKONING APPROACHES RABBIT. YOUR NEW BANNER HAS BEEN REPLACED. YOU CANNOT WIN. FLEE WHILE YOU STILL CAN.

B34R OUT.

From a Friend 3 THE BEAR SPEAKS

MAJOR NEWS

A BROADCAST BY THE BEAR HAS BEEN PICKED UP BY SHORTWAVE RADIO AROUND 2015 ZULU TODAY. THE BEAR SOUNDS GOOD. HE MENTIONS HAVING FRIENDS. OBVIOUSLY SOMEONE HELPED HIM GET THIS RECORDING OUT AND THE PICTURE.

FROM PREVIOUS HACKED EMAIL IT LOOKS LIKE THE GOVERNMENT HAS HUNG HIM OUT TO DRY. THE BEAR IS WORRIED BY WHAT HE IS OVERHEARING, AND EXPECTS THE WORST THIS WEEK.

WE DO NOT NEED THE GOVERNMENT. WE NOW UNDERSTAND WHAT THE BEAR WANTS US TO DO. WE ARE B34R. B34R IS EVERYWHERE.

HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR NEW BANNER, SILLY RABBIT? WATCH YOUR SIX.

B34R OUT.

...




From a Friend 2 [IMPORTANT UPDATE]

OPSEC. RADIO DOES FINE. RANDOM DUCKS FLY. REALTORS SAY THIS THIS THIS. LOTRIII. ALL THE WORLD WONDERS. RESIST RABBIT. NO MAN KNOWS TIME.

***

URGENT NEED HELP ON CODED MSG TIME SENSITIVE. FOLLOWING OBTAINED FROM HILLARY CLINTON'S EMAIL SERVER:

TOP SECRET UMBRA//SI-GAMMA 4478-MANSION/TALENT KEYHOLE-LANTERN//NOFORN 021833MAY29 

TOP SECRET The Bear is a naturalized American citizen. It appears Turkey has collaborated with an unknown third party country to kidnap him for unknown reasons. However, rescue is complicated because Turkey is a NATO ally and has disclaimed all knowledge of the Bear.

TOP SECRET Situation in Turkey is very sensitive now. Back channel efforts to secure the Bear's release show zero promise. Military ops impossible. Ground assets cannot be risked. While the Bear's contributions to national security in WWII are acknowledged, we must regretfully advise implementation of Benghazi Option.

SECRET There are unconfirmed reports of the Bear's death, or scheduled termination soon.


***

B34R OUT





Saturday, May 28, 2016

FROM A FRIEND

HACKED BY B34R TOP SECRET UMBRA//SI-GAMMA 4478-MANSION/TALENT KEYHOLE-LANTERN//NOFORN 164303MAY28 SECTOR PETER VICTOR KING RAW SIGINT POSS BEAR RELATED RESIST RABBIT END OF MESSAGE

...

Pope Francis: "I'm Okay, You're Okay"

Seeds of Revolution

In olden days, to be Christian was to be Catholic. (Except for the Orthodox, who were in the special case of schism.) So it made sense to say things like "outside of the Church there is no salvation."

As the centuries rolled by, this certitude showed a dark side. The Church tolerated no deviance from its teachings and hundreds of thousands of so-called heretics, supposed witches, and also Jews and Muslims, were killed in military campaigns and in the flames of the infamous Inquisition.

Martin Luther
In addition to this very un-Christlike cruelty, abuses grew unchecked. One abuse in particular turned out to be the seed of the Reformation. In those days, the Church fostered a strong belief in Purgatory, a hellish state of punishment that must be endured by the faithful who had been judged fit for Heaven. Since the Pope held "the keys of Peter," the Church had the power to reduce or even eliminate the length of time the dead had to spend in this torture chamber of the afterlife. The mechanism was the "indulgence."

You  have no doubt seen St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, or at least pictures. It is one of the most imposing buildings in the world. It cost a lot to build. The Church, especially in Germany, raised money by selling indulgences to Catholics.  "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory (also attested as 'into heaven') springs," was the Church's marketing slogan.

Martin Luther -- an Augustinian monk -- was appalled. Luther had other issues with the Church, as well, and began the Reformation by famously nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door on October 31, 1517.

What began as a reasonable challenge to abuses by the Church escalated into full-blown revolution. Familiar Protestant doctrines like justification by grace alone, and relying upon the Bible alone for teachings sprang into existence, as well as abandonment of most sacraments.

Closing a Sad Chapter In Christian History

What followed was a dark time for Christianity, with much cruelty on both sides. But fast-forward to 1999. The Catholic Church and most Lutheran bodies agreed on The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine Justification. Now the churches "share a common understanding of our justification by God's grace through faith in Christ." Patient ecumenism bore fruit: it resolved 500 years of antagonism over mutual misunderstanding surrounding what each side believed on what had been seen as a fundamental obstacle to mutual respect.

On October 31, Pope Francis will fly to Sweden to celebrate the blessings of the Reformation. A sad chapter in Christianity's history will be closed, even as Pope Francis is turning over a new ecumenical leaf that promises even more understanding and cooperation.

Vatican II and Ecumenism

Vatican II in the 60s altered the Church's perception of itself in relation to other Christians, and other faiths. The document Lumen Gentium recognized for the first time a "Church of Christ" that existed beyond the "visible confines" of the Catholic Church, where "many elements of sanctification and truth" may be found. The Church was not made less important; if anything it was made more important. It was as if someone living in a grand mansion one day found a large wing they had never suspected existed! And in this wing they found lost lost sisters and brothers living!

In Paragraph 15 of Lumen Gentium, we find this prophetic language: "Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood."

I'm Okay, You're Okay

Pope Francis has often spoken of the "ecumenism of martyrs." It is difficult to see how a Christian non-Catholic who sheds his blood for Our Lord should be cast into Hell for his courageous belief just because he's not "our sort." But you can argue that one with Jesus if you get the chance.

Ecumenism (and interfaith) are a mainstay of the modern Catholic Church. Pope Francis has reached out to evangelicals, both in person, and by video. Pope Francis does not look at people and see a denomination, or a faith. He sees a person, in the image of God.

In conclusion, there is a book from the 70s that was very popular. It is called "I'm Okay, You're Okay." It speaks about the roles we play as Adult, Parent and Child. For perhaps the first time in history, we are blessed with a pope who says, "I'm okay, you're okay." and treats people as one adult to another. Contrast that with the triumphalism of the past: "I'm okay, you're not okay," and "I'm the parent, you're the child." Thankfully, those days are over, at least for a shining season.

Reporting from the Meadow, the Bunny Rabbit

An Important Message From the Bear

This is from the bear. I decided to retire. Nobody made me. I urge you to show the same loyalty and devotion you showed to me to the Bunny Rabbit. Who will be in charge of things from now on. The Bunny Rabbit is a lot more interesting than I am and had many more interesting adventures. I lied about every thing I did. I am fraud. He is a better writer to.

Goodbye for ever. Listen to the Bunny Rabbit.

Friday, May 27, 2016

No Matter How You Slice It, Pope on Women Deacons Is a Big Deal

Hi. I'm St. Corbinian's Bunny Rabbit. (And not that kind of rabbit!) What, you've never heard of me? Figures. Leave it to a bear to hog all the attention. Someday I'll tell you all about it. And notice that I don't say anything stupid like "the Bunny Rabbit" thinks this, or "the Bunny Rabbit" believes that. I always hated that.

Anyway, management has decided that settling for 15% of Catholics who aren't exactly in love with Pope Francis, while alienating the 85% of Catholics (and 50%+ of atheists) who worship him, is a bad business model. You don't continually complain about the most popular man in the world. (Think there might be a reason for that?) So from now on, you can expect lots of fluffy news about the wonderful things Pope Francis is doing every day. I think you'll find that the bear has been too negative. It's time for the truth!

So, sorry, malcontents, but your precious bear is gone.

Come back home. Everybody's joining us. We are the winning team. You can be happy. You just need to put your negativity aside and read some good news for a change.


Nuns sing as they await Pope Francis

Now, here's a wonderful story by Fr. Edward Beck in a respectable news source: CRUX: "No matter how you slice it, pope on women deacons is a big deal."

Women everywhere are ecstatic about the idea of female deacons, and, possibly, priests. The women interviewed by Fr. Beck are tired of being treated like second class citizens. They note that you couldn't even talk about women deacons only a short time ago. Now it's on the table. Fr. Beck reminds us that Pope Francis has more liberal views on giving women a place in the power centers of the Church because he came from a country where Eva Peron was powerful. However, Fr. Beck warns that the Church is still patriarchal.

Pope Francis is open to new ideas. He cares about women. The Planet. Refugees. You should put aside your sterile theological arguments and just embrace the love, the mercy and the openness to others demonstrated by your Pope, Francis.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fr. Z Expects SSPX Reconciliation [Updated]

Headline says it all. Not much more. Acceptance of Vatican II -- all of it, including freedom of religion -- seems to be the quid pro quo.


Consensus of the woodland creatures.

For the record, the Bear accepts Vatican II. And also for the record, he believes it is hard to make out what it's all about. But he's certain that whatever it means, if anything, is binding on him, in a sort of pastoral way, at the very least, and possibly in the rigorous sense of anathemas, that is, if there were anathemas.


A New Life Awaits You in the Off World Colonies

Dear woodland creatures and guests. While you are frisking among the sun-dappled groves of the civilized Woodlands, you should pause and remember your fellow woodland creatures in the dangerous and faraway colony of Facebook. This howling wilderness does not enjoy the constant protection of the Bear's watchful eye. A handful of brave colonists repel continual attacks by trolls of all types: atheists, Protestants, cultists, ultramonanists, and ursophobes. (Regrettably, we have so far not attracted very high-quality trolls, but they do keep the colonists busy.) Who are these colonists, and why did they undertake such a hazardous and thankless mission?

Some of them are volunteers from the Woodlands. Others are native Facebookers who have been attracted to the colony. But every day, led by brave and indefatigable Captain Ernest, they keep the colony Bear country. And that's important.

Since the Bear founded the Facebook colony, our ranks have doubled, as people respond to shares and links and, yes, advertising. What better use for some salmon than sharing the Bear with a wider audience? The Bear is popping up in more places, and not just Catholic ephemera.

If you want to volunteer for a brief tour in the colony, simply go to the Bear's Facebook page. 

Let the colonists know they're not forgotten by the Woodlands. Whack a troll or two. Like the Bear's page. Ten minutes is all it would take. The Bear would consider it a favor. And it would mean so much to the colonists.

Facebook colonists, the Bear salutes you.



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Just When You Thought Things Could Not Get Weirder



You've just tuned into St. Corbinian's Bear Ephemeris to see Bobby Ewing in the shower. For those unfamiliar with 1970s American television trivia, the popular prime time soap opera Dallas killed off a major character, Bobby Ewing.

Imagine viewers' surprise in a subsequent season to find Bobby Ewing, in the shower, as if nothing had happened. Indeed, it turned out that the entire ninth season was another character's dream.


Bobby Ewing in the shower: it was all a dream.

So, just when you thought things could not get any weirder, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who is Pope Emeritus Benedict's personal secretary as well as prefect of the pontifical household dropped a bombshell. Gänswein, who ought to know, after all, announced during a speech on May 20th to the Pontifical Gregorian University, that Francis did not replace Benedict after all. Instead, we now have an "expanded" petrine ministry, with an "active member" and a "contemplative." Edward Pentin writing for the National Catholic Register goes on to report:

[Gänswein] therefore stressed that since Francis’ election, there are not “two popes, but de facto an expanded ministry — with an active member and a contemplative member.” He added that this is why Benedict XVI “has not given up his name”, unlike Pope Celestine V who reverted to his name Pietro da Marrone, “nor the white cassock.” 
“Therefore he has also not retired to a monastery in isolation but stays within the Vatican — as if he had taken only one step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy.” With that step, he said, he has enriched the papacy with “his prayer and his compassion placed in the Vatican Gardens.” 
Archbishop Gänswein repeated that Benedict’s resignation was “quite different” to that of Pope Celestine V.

You can read more about why Pope Benedict's imagined division of labor is impossible at aka catholic.

So, wake up, sleepyhead! The last three years have all been a dream. Benedict's attempted division of labor between two co-popes was a nullity ab initio. Therefore, he never resigned according to any reasonable definition of "resignation." Looking back, the white outfit and lame excuse that it was the only thing he had to wear should have tipped us off.

This sounds crazy, but it sure looks like Benedict's resignation failed, which looks like it nullifies Jorge Bergoglio's election.

The Bear would observe that Pope Benedict's old Archdiocese of Munich-Freising first belonged to St. Corbinian. Pope Benedict has spoken fondly of the St. Corbinian's Bear of legend. It may be that he somehow absorbed a Bearish delight in elaborate jokes and unpredictable behavior. What a finale! This Bear salutes the old white bear.

However, you would have to be smoking peyote to imagine that the Catholic Church is going to say the last three seasons were just a dream, and nothing Jorge Bergoglio said or did counts. Wait for the spin to smooth out Archbishop Gänswein's comments. The Bear is also cautious to make too much about what this looks like when there are probably canon law considerations that bear on the issue. All law everywhere values finality as much as correctness. Three years is a long to time to permit serious contemplation of some Back to the Future scenario.

But feel free to indulge in some innocent fantasies. Those are best kept to ourselves.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Mad Virtues of Pope Francis, and the Desperate Resistance

Typically, for the Bear, this is not short. You may find it entertaining, however. It wraps up several issues that have been occupying the Bear's mind lately as he grapples with the why and the how of what he is doing.



Pope Francis: Finally, a Smiling Face to the Horror

For decades we have had to sit and watch helplessly as the Church was consumed by preventable scandal and ceaseless innovation. The enemy was hard to get a fix on. He seemed to be everywhere and nowhere, and his name was Legion. But it was clear that somehow the schwerpunkt of the Church Militant had without question drifted far from the original plan.

In Pope Francis, we have seen, for the first time, the incarnation of the Church's errors and abuses. God has driven into plain view the secret corruption, the pride posing as humility, the indifferentism posing as tolerance, the disregard for the Deposit of the Faith, and the "rebranding" of Catholicism and the papacy that Fr. Rosica is so proud of. In Pope Francis we finally have someone to speak out against, and thereby indict the whole sorry lot of meddlers, swindlers, and sappers: in short, all those who loathe the Church they are supposed to lead.

In other words, we are reacting not only to what Pope Francis personally says and does, but to Pope Francis the Avatar of a different spirit -- the "spirit" of Vatican II, the spirit of the "media council," and, fundamentally, the spirit of the Prince of this world.

One might say we are seeing the beginning of the end of a plot. To simplify, it began with throwing open to the world the windows of the Church. It is ending by tearing down the walls of the Church.

Boundary Issues

But the Church needs walls. It needs to be separate from the world. Distinct from other religions. The Church should be a fortress from which Catholics sally forth into the world, but not as part of the world, not as worldlings fighting trendy secular battles. Everybody should be able to say with confidence, "here is the Church," and "there begins the world." There are Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, but here is Catholicism. Here is the truth, and there is something else, and we do no favors by pretending otherwise.

That sounds so harsh! Intolerant! Real! We would rather live in our fantasy world where if we're just nice enough, everyone will love us. (To be fair, this does seem to be working out for Pope Francis.) It would be easy to twist the  the Bear's meaning. He is not advocating hiding behind the walls of the Church while the world goes to Hell. We should engage the world, but with evangelism, not indifferentism; charity, not socialism; truth, not accommodation of error.

We should all be Catholic as if it mattered. Especially the Pope.

Of course, the Franciscan Church has a horror of walls or division of any kind. The supernatural must be tolerated for the sake of the masses, but for the initiates, purple, red and white, "There'll Be Pie In the Sky When You Die" remains the favorite hymn. A sarcastic number right out of the Little Red Songbook. The religion of the Franciscan Church, much like Freemasonry, is The Brotherhood of Man. It is remarkable, but true: you could strip it of every specifically Christian element, and the world would not be able to tell any difference.

This is no accident. Religious differences must be downplayed in pursuit of the 8th Sacrament of the Franciscan Church: the Holy Photo-Op. And, of course, the aforementioned Brotherhood of Man.

The funny thing is, no one in the Franciscan Church would deny that they are tearing down walls and erasing boundaries. They might deny celebrating error, but only because they don't recognize error. The Pope can travel to Sweden this Halloween to commemorate "the blessings" of Martin Luther's reformation because we're all Lutherans now. In other words, what the Bear laments, the Franciscan Church is most proud of. "Rebranding" indeed. A crass and ignorant word to cover a multitude of sins.

The Mad Virtues of Pope Francis

We would do well to remember what Chesterton wrote in Orthodoxy. It is almost as if he foresaw Pope Francis. In his day, it was Christianity in general that had been shattered. In ours it is particularly the Catholic Church, but the same warnings apply. No mad virtue is as mad as a Catholic virtue, as we have seen in history.

The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered (as Christianity was shattered at the Reformation), it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.


Pope Francis is, as far as the Bear can see, more virtuous than the Bear. He is also more mad, if the Bear knows anything about madmen. No virtue may remain merely good with Francis. It must become a mania, a delusion, another shiny object to be incorporated into the narcissistic personality of Francis the Humble, Francis the Tolerant, Francis the Compassionate. Of course, what the Bear calls "madness" becomes "rebranding," or "transcending his own religion."

A Spontaneous Resistance

We who have retained a Catholic identity have universally resisted Jorge Bergoglio. We didn't ask for this. We didn't organize it. It just happened. We found ourselves being appalled by the same things, connecting the same dots, reaching the same conclusions. We speak with one voice from the same vision, without collaboration. The very people who would normally be the Pope's most fervent supporters have become his harshest critics.

Bergoglioism and Catholicism cannot both be right. (The Bear thinks the collection of pathologies motivating Pope Francis deserves the honor of its own name.) The Bear is not going to repeat the indictment here. It is contained in the archives of this ephemeris, and of many others. It is literally becoming difficult to keep up with Francis the Talking Pope. Perhaps the plan is to beat us through attrition, the way he buried the message of Amoris Laetitia in 247 pages that defy all but the most clever and mind-numbing analysis.

If Pope Francis is indeed all we fear he is, there's not much we can do. By and large, people travel with the herd, and try to think the thoughts the world tells them are right. That worked great when a confident Church put the stamp of the Christ on the culture. It was not so long ago that the joke ran: "Hollywood -- a place where Jews make movies selling Catholic theology to Protestants." Not anymore.

The Most Popular Man in the World

Why not just back a winner? The latest poll shows Pope Francis with a popularity rating of 54%, 85% among Catholics, and -- tellingly -- over 50% among agnostics and atheists. "Francis is a leader who transcends his own religion," said Jean Marc Leger, president of WIN/Gallup International. He's the most popular public figure in the world, and has replaced the Dalai Lama as Generic Spiritual Leader. Only Turkey, Tunisia and Algeria don't like him.

Perhaps, any day now, Pope Francis is going to cash in all that full-spectrum popularity to tell the world about Jesus. More likely not. After all, what does "transcend his own religion" mean? What does "rebranding Catholicism and the papacy" mean? Are these words not chilling to any normal Catholic? Do not the pages of old prophecies begin to rustle out of the dust? Whether you want to go there or not, it makes no difference. Prophecies warn about dangers to come. We didn't listen, and now Nebuchadnezzar is in the sanctuary.

From comments out of Catholic officialdom, we know we are heard at the highest levels. Our message is getting through. We speak out, and others take comfort. We try to preserve the truth and condemn error not because we are holy, but because nobody else will do it. Looking over the last three years, we have done a surprisingly good job, in the Bear's opinion. That's how we operate. Independent francs-tieurs. Partisans. The resistance.

This is not to glamorize anyone. Partisans don't always have pure motives, and sometimes go beyond what is reasonably necessary. Not to put too fine a point on it, but we're amateurs. Perhaps our sins will be applied to those who have made the resistance necessary in the first place. We take real risks. One blogger got himself sued by a priest -- papal PR flack Fr. Rosica. But more seriously, we also take spiritual risks.

Ephemerists need your prayers. For prudence, temperance, fortitude, and charity.

Francs-Tieurs

Pope Francis uses the entire spectrum of media to spread his errors. If there's a single problem with the man, it's that he lacks a supernatural dimension. Perhaps he suffers from a cultural resentment and envy coming from his background. He cannot think in proper categories. For example, he recently made the bizarre comment that he sees the evangelization of Europe as "colonialism," Worse, from the same interview, he cannot differentiate between Jesus sending forth his disciples to the nations and the blood conquests of ISIS. Mad virtues indeed.

Can madness from a pope really go unanswered? There is hardly a peep from the bishops. Surely all of them are not deaf or in agreement. It would take a lot of courage for a bishop to criticize a sitting pope. The Bear may not be qualified, but at least he's willing to put on his hat, take up his shovel, and start trying to put out some of the brush fires Pope Francis sets.

There is a place for dry and sober analysis. But the internet has its own idiom. The legitimate weapons we place at the service of the Church include agitprop, and sometimes a dash of snark and a dollop of satire, so people will enjoy reading what the Bear writes. (Besides, Bears have a hard time being serious for longer than ten minutes.)

Is it sinful to criticize the Pope? That is not a question the Bear is going to answer for anyone else.  It is an important one to him, because, after all, he still has to go to confession like everyone else. We should not perform an evil act so that we may obtain a good result. But the laity has a legitimate say in the Church. The Bear is performing a lawful act by informing, educating, and commenting about this man who has effortlessly twisted the Church according to his own personal hobbyhorses.

In a nutshell, together, we are staying with the "old brand" of Catholicism, before Pope Francis "rebranded" Catholicism and the papacy, and "transcended his own religion." So what if most people say they like Pope Francis? Since when was the truth found in poll numbers? The Bear has noticed that most of the people who like Pope Francis seem to be unfamiliar with his actions, unable to articulate what he has done to earn their approval, or progressive Church dissidents.

If the Pope and his public business are portrayed in an unflattering light, that is an unavoidable consequence, even as it is not the real objective.  Few are criticizing the Pope for the sake of criticizing the Pope. Even the Bear, who may take an unholy glee in what he does isn't playing.

The Sin of Silence

But there is also the sin of "adulation." Nobody ever talks about it, so here it is, right from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Every word or attitude is forbidden which by flattery, adulation, or complaisance encourages and confirms another in malicious acts and perverse conduct. Adulation is a grave fault if it makes one an accomplice in another's vices or grave sins. Neither the desire to be of service nor friendship justifies duplicitous speech. Adulation is a venial sin when it only seeks to be agreeable, to avoid evil, to meet a need, or to obtain legitimate advantages.

CCC 2480.

Funny, the Bear has never heard Fr. Rosica say, "Patheos bloggers are a bunch of sycophantic losers with a pathological need for approval and an aversion to sound doctrine. We must pray for these disturbed, broken and angry people."

Of course, Fr. Rosica's job might be to commit the sin of adulation continuously, but the Bear does not know the man's heart, or how much culpability might be reduced by mental issues, or secret struggles. One must wonder about someone who brags about "rebranding" Catholicism, though.

Rugiemus Quasi Ursi Omnes

When they gave us a Protestantized Mass, we were silent. When they smashed the altar rails, we were silent. When the nuns started dressing in mufti, we were silent. When the bishops cared more about gun control than souls, we were silent. When the mania for interfaith and ecumenism started, we were silent. And when we were told to sing hymns by Martin Luther, we sang.

One thing is for certain. We will never be silent again. We are guardians of something. The Bear does not want to label it, because it does not belong to this faction or that. But he thinks his readers know what he's talking about. We encourage one another -- and it is just as much readers encouraging ephemerists as the other way around. Pope Francis and his minions are learning that whatever they do in public will be challenged by some very smart and talented people. (And also, the Bear.) It obviously bothers them.

And the Bear says ultramontanism is solemn nonsense.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

It Finally Happened: Bear Snaps

Never Trust a Bear for Anything But Honesty

The Bear thinks we should just form a
single religion named 3GAR and be
done with it. Since we worship
the same God, after all.
Never trust a Bear.

Or, rather, never trust anything about a Bear except his honesty. He is a walking warning sign that flashes, "I am an enormous animal designed to kill you." That's honesty you don't find in humans. There are many sad accounts of a reliable performing Bear suddenly turning on his trainer and killing him, apparently for no reason. But there are no accounts of a Bear lying.

Or tolerating lies.

During his homily, Father, with the three-eyed Mercy Monstrosity behind him, on this, Trinity Sunday, said that Jews and Muslims worship the same God we do.

Now the Bear knows why he said this. It sounds nice, and tolerant. And Pope Francis the Wonderful talks like that. He has no doubt often heard the phrase, "Three Great Abrahamic Religions." He probably doesn't even notice the incompatibility between the stark and terrifying arbitrary aloneness of Islam, and the Holy Trinity. If he does, it is not important. Not set against the imperative of the Franciscan Pan-Religion Love Cult.

Besides, everyone knows this is Father's thing.

But the Bear doesn't care. It's still a lie, and a damned lie at that. And on Trinity Sunday.

Bear Walks Out

You can never trust a Bear. The Bear doesn't even trust himself.

So he got up and walked out. An involuntary mutter that included a very, very bad word may have preceded getting up and walking out. The Bear was not making a point. It was just in everybody's interest that the Bear remove himself. (By the way, May is Bear Danger Awareness Month.)

Getting shot with a tranquilizer dart is no fun. Okay, you get a great body high. (Bears are honest, remember.)

Tearing Down the Church Brick By Brick

The Church has the very best foundation. But the liars are pulling the Church down -- "brick by brick," as it were. Perhaps the source of our frustration is that we all want to fix this Church. But has it ever occurred to you that there may be no fixing? Is it such a stretch to conclude that the Church we see can never recover? Is there a realistic path back to the Church of 1958? No, there is not. Too many things have changed. It's a different world, with different assumptions, most of them hostile to Catholicism.

And there have been too many lies, repeated too often, and believed by sheep who really can't be blamed, and believed by many knaves who should know better. Truth is the last thing many prelates worry about.

Then there are fools like us, who educate ourselves and fall in love with a lady we saw in an old photograph. It's hard to let go of such a fond fantasy and admit that our sweetheart died some time ago after a short illness.

The Blooper Reel of the Church

Maybe something bigger and beyond our understanding is happening.

The foundation is the very best. You won't live long enough to see the glorious temple of truth and light that will one day again rest on that foundation. You can only look out through the crack in the door of your lifetime and see just a bit. A handful of popes, some worse than others.

We don't live in the highlight reel of the Church. We live in the blooper reel. Nothing but clowning, pratfalls, fluffed lines, and falling flats. We can't do anything about that. Let's be honest. Pope Francis did not mess up the Church. A messed up Church picked a Pope Francis.

The Bear wonders if we are so focused on what kind of Church we want, we're not willing to give God room to rebuild the Church according to His own design. (And, no, the Bear does not mean some new syncretistic Church according to man's design, as this statement would mean coming out of a liar's mouth.) It's natural enough to set our own ideal. After all, we know what was working within living memory of many of us. Maybe what is coming will look like what has been. Maybe it will look like something even better.

But the Bear expects the Catholic Church as we know it will come to an end, even if it retains the real estate. It is even now buffeted by the black winds it has conjured. However, in a twist on the parable of the house built on sand, the foundation will remain, while the church of lies will be swept away. The Bear truly believes this. You probably won't live to see what happens next. It will not be the work of man, at least not man alone.

Something Wonderful

The Bear thinks of the film 2010, the sequel to 2001. Astronaut Dave Bowman from the original movie makes enigmatic appearances to different people.

Heywood Floyd: What? What's going to happen? 
Dave Bowman: Something wonderful. 
Heywood Floyd: What? 
Dave Bowman: I understand how you feel. You see, it's all very clear to me now. The whole thing. It's wonderful. 

What is going to get us through this crisis is the confidence that something wonderful will happen. With us, without us, after us, is not up to us. We'll fight where we can, and walk away when we must. But this battle is not ours to win. The Bear believes this simple realization might be the key to sanity.

At any rate, it makes the Bear feel better.

But in case anyone feels depressed, here's a movie of a baby goat (Stormy) discovering her legs.





Saturday, May 21, 2016

Bless Me Father, For I Have Blogged


The Bear has searched in vain for the "bad pope exception" to sins of the tongue. Hey Baby, agitprop or a cutting bit of satire feels so good. The Bear doesn't feel guilty at all. But he is a smart enough Bear to know that you don't always feel guilty, even when you kill a whole flock of sheep just for fun.

That's what they killed Bruno for.

The Bear gets how that's a sin. Even if it is just a fun game of tag that sheep happen to suck at.

So, it appears that the Pope, or a bishop, or Fr. Rosica has a 00-license to kill, and if we say anything about it, we fall into the sin of backbiting, or irony, or detraction, or gossip, or sacrilege, or calumny, or lack of charity, or rash judgment, or bad grammar, or any one of the other 500 freaking sins of the tongue that Catholic thought has sliced as thin as panchetta over the centuries.

So, unless you're on some weak-kneed, useless site like Patheos, you, the Bear's fellow Ephemerist, are certainly on the way to Hell. Michael Voris is definitely going to Hell. Well, as they say, Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

"I'm a monster."
So confession always goes like this. "Look, Pope Francis is horrible, and is damaging the Church. Just yesterday he said [insert outrage du jour]. Okay, Father, see, I've got this blog, and I am often critical of what Pope Francis and others say or do that is against the Catholic Faith. No, seriously, I mean my blog is big. It has tens of readers, so it is very influential." Then you pull out your iPhone and show it to him: "Look what a horrible picture I photoshopped."

Of course, by now Father is looking nervously around the "rec room," because he obviously has an unbalanced person between him and the door.

But you press on, knowing how crazy you sound. "I feel very certain I have a mission from God to expose the holy Father's errors and abuses, and comfort those whom he afflicts. Like a, I dunno, field hospital or something. So I'm not sorry. Should I be? Can you, maybe, like, accompany me, or maybe do that gradual thing? Cuz, I don't see myself stopping. My therapist says I need to do this. Can I still get absolved?"

You bet. Like he's going to tell some 800 lb. Bear sitting two feet in front of him who thinks he's on a mission from God he's not going to absolve him.

The biggest sin is probably the pleasure the Bear takes in it all. It's the sheep all over again. Pope Francis and his minions are begging for abuse. The prey drive is strong in a Bear. And admit it, you can tell your Bear is having fun, can't you? And it's part of why you come here. The Bear treats serious topics with humor and panache. Every ephemeris has a style. This one is irreverent, not to mention being written by a Real Live Bear. And by now, we all know what that means.

The Bear desperately needs some Jesuitical casuistry to avoid being (gulp) neutered. Otherwise this ephemeris is going to have to be renamed The Memoirs of an Ancient Bear or something. But from where the Bear sits, it looks like the whole game is rigged against us, and malefactors can operate sure in the knowledge that anybody that criticizes them is going to get browbeaten into silence by their confessors.

Bloggers beware.

Nothing Like...



a glass of fresh, delicious goat's milk. Creamy, sweet, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. (The Bear hopes the FDA doesn't raid Zoar now for consuming unpasteurized goat's milk. Wonder what the regulations are about consuming non-USDA approved FDA inspectors?)

Do You Ever Have That Feeling...

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fr. Rosica: Jesus Brand Out, Francis Brand In

The frightening and unusually meaty face of Fr. Rosica


Catholic Bloggers Holy Executioners Strewing Corpses All Around

The Pope's PR flack and head of Salt and Light Media Foundation has excoriated Catholic ephemerists. On May 17, Fr. Rosica had these charitable words for the Bear and other Catholic ephemerists who are having none of Pope Francis' Kool-Aid. The Bear would just point out that the beginning of the first sentence unwittingly states the problem. This from the ever-reliable CRUX.

Although Pope Francis has succeeded in rebranding the public profile of the Church, according to a Vatican PR aide, his positive tone isn’t always reflected when Catholics themselves take to the use of social media. 
On the contrary, to hear Father Thomas Rosica tell it, sometimes Catholic conversation on-line is more “culture of death” than “culture of life.” 
“Many of my non-Christian and non-believing friends have remarked to me that we ‘Catholics’ have turned the Internet into a cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol, all in the name of defending the faith!” he said. 
“The character assassination on the Internet by those claiming to be Catholic and Christian has turned it into a graveyard of corpses strewn all around,” said Rosica, who assists the Vatican Press Office with English-speaking media, on May 11 as he delivered the keynote address at the Brooklyn Diocese’s observance of World Communications Day. 
“Often times the obsessed, scrupulous, self-appointed, nostalgia-hankering virtual guardians of faith or of liturgical practices are very disturbed, broken and angry individuals, who never found a platform or pulpit in real life and so resort to the Internet and become trolling pontiffs and holy executioners!” Rosica said. 
“In reality they are deeply troubled, sad and angry people,” he said. “We must pray for them, for their healing and conversion!”

Mixing humor and invective can be done. The Bear does it nearly every day. But, Fr. Rosica, the humor should be intentional. Sadly, for Fr. Rosica, the Bear is laughing at him, not with him. Not the best thing for a liar-for-hire. "Trolling pontiffs and holy executioners?" "Corpses strewn all around?" A bit purple, don't you think?

Even funnier is absolutely ripping the heart out of Catholic ephemerists then faux-piously saying, "In reality they are deeply troubled, sad and angry people. We must pray for them, for their healing and conversion!" A good PR flack should stay on message and avoid blatant insincerity.

This "disturbed, broken and angry" (alright, disturbed and angry) Bear for one takes comfort in the fact that someone filled with such contempt for him nevertheless manages to pray for this unworthy Bear's healing and conversion. However, the Bear thinks Fr. Rosica is mainly going after traddies here. The Bear merely wants Pope Francis to go away and never come back.

The Infamously Litigious Fr. Rosica

Now, the Bear realizes that he is taking a big risk criticizing this pompous asshat. [Note: edit out "asshat" before pub] Fr. Rosica doesn't always just pray for erring ephemerists. Sometimes he sues them. Or possibly, he both prays for them and sues them; the Bear does not know.

Fr. Rosica sued one-man ephemeris Vox Cantoris. If Fr. Rosica wishes to sue the Bear, the Bear would be delighted to match his public relations instincts with Fr. Rosica's, which appear to be nil. "Pope's PR Priest Sues Disabled Veteran Blogger for Calling Him 'Asshat.'" [Note: sub. "asshat" before pub.] "Rosica Strikes Again: Sues Adorable Bear Who Hurt His Feelings."

"[Francis] Has Rebranded Catholicism and the Papacy"

Fr. Rosica gained infamy during the Synod on the Family. He also promoted Pope Francis to "Prince of Peace." Now, that's the kind of publicity you can only buy. Here's what Fr. Rosica had to say about his client, Pope Francis. The occasion: Fr. Rosica received some award in Brooklyn, covered by his very own media outlet! 

"After three years at the helm of the Church, we must ask ourselves: What is the most important achievement of Pope Francis? He has rebranded Catholicism and the papacy." [Emphasis in original.]

He also said this:

Many of my colleagues in the “secular” media industry have said that Francis has made it fun to be a religion reporter and journalist again. He has changed the image of the church so much that prestigious graduate schools of business and management are now using him as a case study in rebranding. 

Note that Fr. Rosica and the Bear agree with all this rebranding of the Catholic Church and the Papacy. It's just that Fr. Rosica thinks this is a good thing. Why wouldn't he? As long as the reporters are having fun. Heck, the Bear would have fun in the back of the plane, too. No doubt Fr. Rosica, as PR flack, enjoys having a hand in this rebranding. And it's comforting to know that big corporations, maybe Target, who get themselves into trouble are using Pope Francis as a model to "rebrand" themselves. What kind of dope uses "rebrand" in a religious context, anyway?

The Bear has one question for Fr. Rosica. What was wrong with the Jesus brand?

Any way, nice to know we humble ephemerists, the francs-tireur of this war for the soul of the Church, are getting to people like Fr. Rosica, and, it may be assumed, image-conscious Pope Francis.

You Might Be a Benedictine Oblate If...



YOU MIGHT BE A BENEDICTINE OBLATE IF...

You have made a phone call and recognized the beeps as Tone Four.

When you punish your children, you call it "excommunication" instead of "time out."

You not only know the words to the Hail Holy Queen, but can sing it. In Latin.

You have welcomed Jehovah's Witnesses into your home as an expression of Benedictine hospitality. They left as quickly as possible.

When someone has asked what time it is, you have said, "Vespers, care to join us?"

Your wife giving you the silent treatment after Compline doesn't mean she's mad.

You have ever chanted Psalm 124 in the passenger seat of a moving vehicle.

When people have gotten upset about politics, you have shrugged and said, "Well, we survived the fall of the Roman Empire, so I guess we'll manage."

Your dogs think they are monks, and promptly join you for Lauds and Vespers.

Your plan for surviving the zombiepocalypse is The Rule of St. Benedict.




New Poll

Should the Bear just drop the subject of Pope Francis, or should he continue to write about him? Vote in the poll at the top of the right sidebar, please. Help shape the future of St. Corbinian's Bear's blog.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

You Won't Believe What Pope Francis Just Said

Sadly, though, you probably will. Sure, he thought, the Bear's on vacation. I can say whatever I want.

Nothing the Bear could say could possibly add to this.

Where are the grownups in the Church who should be seeing Pope Fruit Loops off for a long rest somewhere far from microphones and telephones? And if the Catholic Church has no mechanism for dealing with a disaster like this, the Bear must begin to wonder some things.

The Bear is done with the make-believe, pretzel-logic, endless excuses, complete abandonment of self-respect, and tacit betrayal of Jesus Christ that goes with accepting this malignant buffoon as pope.

Now the Bear will try to  return to his vacation.

He wonders, however, how Jorge Bergoglio's evangelical buddies are going to take comparing Jesus and ISIS.

Hanoi Frank

1972: Jane Fonda visits North Vietnam, providing the
enemy with propaganda.

2016: Pope Francis visits Sweden to celebrate 500th
anniversary of Martin Luther's revolt against the Church.

The Bear is just checking in with a brief observation.

St. Francis is well-known for saying, "Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary use words."

When Pope Francis goes to Sweden this Halloween to celebrate 500 years of ruinous heresy with a woman Lutheran bishop, what will he be preaching?

What must be said of a pope who abuses the Church's highest office to personally promote heresy by deliberately and knowingly enhancing its prestige and credibility? How can he do this, then say a word to any Catholic who decides he would rather have a go at Lutheranism?

Just, thinking out loud here, as a simple, uneducated Bear. What would a man have to do in order to no longer be recognized as the Pope? Radio Francis is all indifferentism, all the time. Someone please correct the Bear, but is not indifferentism a heresy? Lutheranism? Is it safe to assume that a cleric educated well-enough to be Pope could fairly be charged with knowing what indifferentism is, how it differs from ecumenism, and the fact that it is a heresy?

Of course, maybe the Bear is the only sentient creature bothered by all of this. The bishops don't seem to be, and they are far more knowledgeable than a Bear. So the Bear is probably wrong.

"We don't think in terms of 'heresy,' any more, Bear."

"Some people like oysters, and some people like snails, Bear. Pope Francis likes both."

"Mercy is the answer to every question, Bear."

Bear out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Another Newborn Baby Goat


Finally a doe kid! She is one beautiful little girl. Look at those markings. Billy and Ava, but she looks a lot like Billy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Taking a Short Break

For once the Bear shall be brief. He's taking a short break, for several excellent reasons. Maybe a week or two. So, until he returns, the Bear sends his best. Watch the woodlands until the Bear returns.

While he's gone, if you like you can visit his official Facebook page (please give it a like) and even fight with atheist trolls, although of very low caliber, the Bear fears. It's hard to find good trolls these days.

Maybe hit the Bear's video and give it a thumbs up on Youtube.

Ciao.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

"...to see what he could see." Who doesn't know that children's song?

Why did the Bear go over the mountain? Why does the Bear write an ephemeris, and now, dabble in videos? We don't know. The song doesn't hold the answer to either question. Perhaps it is in the nature of Bears to go over mountains.

Yet the song ends on a note of futility. "And all that he could see was the other side of the mountain." As of this article, the Bear has been traveling up and down the same mountain for 1000 posts. Apparently, some people have liked them, for which the Bear is very grateful. The Bear is certain the more perceptive among you have noticed his narcissistic tendencies, and if no one liked his act he would become very dispirited.

A couple of days ago, Pope Francis said something off-the-cuff to some sisters about female deacons. The Bear knows what this is about, but didn't write anything about it because it's another Franciscan tar baby -- a waste of your time and mine. But here. Inside Pope Francis' Head: "I better throw these harridans a bone and escape with my skin before they Wicker Man me."

There aren't going to be female deacons, certainly not ordained ones. And even if there were, the Bear can't do anything about it.

Pope Francis vs. Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashion
The Bear is heartily sick of Francis on this, the occasion of his 1000th post in the three years of this ephemeris' existence. For a long time, Francis being Francis was news. Of those 1000 posts, it's the Pope Francis posts that people want to read. If the Bear wants to increase his audience for a day, all he has to do is put Pope Francis or, oddly, Michael Voris, in the headline. Odd, because they have nothing in common, as far as the Bear can see, other than not criticizing Pope Francis.

The Bear must confess that he has no more interest in Pope Francis than Kim Kardashian. In fact, the Bear has a hard time distinguishing them, since both are annoying people who have an existential horror of going 24 hours without publicity.

Well, there is one thing. Kim Kardashian isn't trying to demolish the Church and driving the woodland creatures to distraction. Thanks for that, Kim. The Bear thinks he could be a fan.

Perhaps the Bear will find Kim Kardashian the next time he trudges over that same stupid mountain. Francis holds neither the Bear's attention nor any mysteries. There were never mysteries, just secrets and schemes. There is really not that much to Jorge Bergoglio. He's a left-wing Latin cleric who wants to buy the world a Coke by shaking down the evil northerners. He's a small man in a big office, like President Obama. Let's be honest. Any sensible Catholic is just running out the clock on him.


What People Want to Read About

Here are the top five posts in this ephemeris' history. Does the Bear consider them his best? Not remotely.
  1. In Cauda Venenum: The Pope's Homily. Easily the biggest post ever, thanks to being featured by Father Z .
  2. Voris to Bloggers: DROP DEAD: when Michael Voris suggested the only people having any  business talking about the Church were theologically trained professional broadcasters with secular experience.
  3. Michael Voris: To the Left of Me, the Church of Nice, to the Right, the Reactionaries. Michael Voris occupies the precise center of balance of the Catholic Church.
  4. The Most Dangerous Man in the World. About "the elderly gentleman from Argentina."
  5. A Frank Talk About Papa. The Bear recognizes a fellow narcissistic personality.


Other Side, but Same Mountain

The Bear has to admit that his chief talent seems to be attacking people in an entertaining fashion. Not much of a surprise, that. No doubt he would have been a big hit in the Roman arena. The problem is he's been doing this for three years and has run out of victims. Believe the Bear, if he keeps attacking someone, that person is dead, dead, dead. Figuratively speaking, in this case. There's an old Bear saying: "When you've torn off all four, there aren't any more." Anyway, an old show Bear knows that three years is a long time for the same act.

The Bear once again finds himself on the other side of the mountain. He realizes that it's still the same mountain no matter how many times he goes over it. He knows every tree and rock, and what's under every rock, too. From the top of the mountain the Bear sees new vistas.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Cute Twin Newborn Baby Goats Video

Today, you get two videos from your old friend the Bear. Don't forget to check out The Bear Video below.

Unfortunately, more boys! Looks like meat instead of milk. (Although we have never actually killed a goat.) Apparently, they're from two different daddies. Here they are: Badger and Willow. Both breech births.


And Now, The Bear Video

You haven't seen much of the Bear lately. Perhaps you believed he was sleeping. The Bear sleeps not. Here's a little video the Bear knocked out with the advice and encouragement of certain woodland creatures. And you know something?

This is just to show you we can do it.

We still need volunteers for the exciting work to come. Email the Bear at st.corbinians.bear@gmail.com to come on board. (And a little salmon to help pay for stock media when we have to would be appreciated. We're not the Vatican here, you know.)

And now, The Bear Video.



Friday, May 13, 2016

Before There Were Pope Videos...

[Note: the Bear is working on another creative project, and taking it easy on the ephemeris for awhile.]

Before The Pope Videos, there was a gorgeous, buxom, blond Italian actress who asked women to send videos of themselves to Pope Francis. Although the promotion ignited a feminist backlash and was roundly ridiculed, today it looks pretty good after The Pope Videos. The Bear will take Nancy Brilli over Pope Francis any day.

Alas, Nancy didn't last long, and, to the Bear's knowledge, the Vatican never released a compilation of the submitted videos. But the Vatican learned its lesson.

Back then, culture chief Cardinal Giancarlo Ravasi complained that criticism from the U.S. demanded that they "must start with the abuse to which they are subjected, to focus on all that is negative." (In fairness to Cardinal Ravasi, this video wouldn't raise an eyebrow in Italy.)

So what do we get now? Abuse to which women are subjected and all that is negative. Sandwich Mom, and Scrubbing Woman. Confident Nancy, who at least looks like she has things together must give way to an unending stream of victims.

You've come a long way, baby.



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mercy Me

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have
mercy on me, a sinner.
Every Pope is entitled to create his own priorities for his pontificate. Back when the Bear was still defending Pope Francis, his talk of mercy seemed like a good idea.

But, being Francis, his message about mercy only became more confusing the more he talked about it. Mercy seemed to eat up everything. Now it is like some universal solvent.

The problem the Bear fears is that those of us who are not enamored of Pope Francis will develop resistance to the truth about mercy. That he will have spoiled it for us.

God's mercy remains untouched, unconfused, real, and necessary. Avoid presumption, but never forget God's mercy, even if you're sick of hearing whatever it is that Francis believes about it. And the Bear could no more tell you that than what Francis believes about anything, except for global warming and immigration.

The Bear doesn't know anyone well enough (except himself) to even consider pointing fingers at who might be the Pharisee and who might be the Publican in this parable. He has moods when he is a pretty Pharisaical Bear. Most of the time he's a Publican, a sinner, hardly even trying to be righteous. Sometimes he sees himself as just another Bear, unfit for the company of men, and must resist the temptation to go away forever.

And sometimes still, he remembers that hopeful parable, and the great and ancient Orthodox prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. 12 I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O god, be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather that the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled:and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

(Luke 18:10-14 Douay Rheims)

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