Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can Francis Destroy the Church?

Bears have a saying: "A bee on the end of your nose is big." Meaning, when we're focused closely on something, it is easy for things to look bigger than they are.

The quick answer to Can Francis Destroy the Church is probably not. This moves us to the second question: Can Francis Destroy the Papacy. That's a closer question.

The tools the Bear has are practical ones developed over centuries to smoke out liars. One of the most important of these is simple the assessment of credibility. It's a seat-of-your-pants skill we all use. It may seem like bootstrapping, because, after all, determining credibility is supposed to be the result of inquiry in court. Yet most people can size up someone pretty quickly and surprisingly accurately. Credibility is the short-cut to knowing if a witness is telling the truth in particulars.

Once you decide someone is not worthy of your belief, his credibility is shot, and you don't need to worry about whether the streetlight was out at the time he said he clearly saw the nighttime murder across the street. Liars lie, buh-bye.

The Bear alludes to the greatest engine for determining the truth known to mankind - cross examination. Exposing bad testimony in particular answers is fine, and a good cross is darned near unbeatable (except by a truthful witness not playing games).

Ah, just the name is charged with drama and tinged with more than a little fear. Cross examination is seldom fun for the witness. Especially when he is being cross examined by a Bear.

You might catch a witness in an outright falsehood. That would certainly put a ding in his believability. You might learn that he is legally blind without his glasses, which were sitting broken on top of his TV as he peered out the window, or he was in Las Vegas when the crime was committed back in Peoria.

Or, you might just observe the witness and listen to the little fibs and accumulation of backtracks. Then, maybe you learn he's a convicted felon who is the best friend of the alternate suspect. A pattern builds up over time and one can can conclude this:

"This person is simply not the truth-telling sort of man I'm going to pay much attention to in this important matter." There is no recovering in the eyes of the jury from losing credibility.

The Pope of Rome is unique among all people in that his job is to speak the truth, and only the truth, but, moreover, he is preserved from error by a whole lot of complicated rules that we can forget about for our purposes. Unless someone cares to explain why it's okay for the Pope to avoid the truth on important matters such as communion for the divorced and remarried as long as he doesn't have his lucky rabbit's foot in his pocket, the Bear does not draw nice distinctions in the age of the magisterium of the sound byte.

So when a sentient Catholic must concede the obvious - Pope Francis is not telling the truth - it matters. Big time. After all, if the Pope can spend his entire papacy running around contradicting Jesus and shoveling untold millions of souls into Hell (maybe), what good is he? And if the signature office of the Catholic Church is worse than useless, what else did those devious medieval clerics dupe us about?

If Pope Francis had not already said Martin Luther was right, the Bear might suspect he was. As it is, the opposite of whatever our Pope says is a veritable rock of the faith.

So, is it time to stock up on Jack Chick tracts and hit the hallelujah highway? This is really another way of coming at a favorite theme of the Bear: cognitive dissonance. Catholics are being required to believe two opposite things at the same time. The Bear doesn't know about you, but that gives the Bear a headache. A headache and a craving for human flesh.

So what's the answer? Stay tuned, but feel free to try your hand.


  1. I don't think he can destroy the papacy any more than he can destroy the Church, but he can do so much damage to both in this age of instant world wide communications that it could take a long time to recover.
    At the same time, maybe it's not such a bad thing if that attitude known as "ultramontanism" takes a hit below the waterline. Francis is so bad that even a few of those "conservative" Catholics who kept trying to defend him way past the point of silliness are either shutting up or actually admitting the truth. The longer God permits this circus to go on, perhaps the more people will realize (a) that we have a bad pope, and (b) that this doesn't change the Truth one bit.

  2. Pope Francis will not destroy the Church or the Papacy. He will destroy himself and all who follow him.

  3. The pope will likely take down much of the upper level management of the Church with him. At the same time, we see the faithful remnant rebuilding the Church from within. Our leaders have failed us, the Church will survive.

  4. Everything Is in a state of collapse. May God intervene soon and strike down Pope Francis the Terrible!

  5. I'm not and never have been really concerned about the "destruction" of the Church by a bad Pope. We have had some REALLY bad Popes.

    My biggest concern right now is that I cannot name a single Catholic prelate I have strong trust and respect for.

    That bothers me much more than a bad Pope.

  6. In the interest of brevity, I may have been too blunt.

    There are a number of prelates whose writings and talks I appreciate and hold in high esteem. But when it comes to FIGHTING to defend the faith, I just don't see it. And I do believe we need men who are willing to go after any and all who are actively working against the teaching of our Blessed Lord.

    1. Amen, Valdemar. And I don't see such men either, but perhaps Bear is right (see his subsequent post) and the next Conclave will nevertheless shy away from bringing us another tragically flawed pontiff like Francis.

    2. I agree.

      I do not think the Africans for example will act as second class citizens.

      And I hope other actual Believers won't either.

    3. Because ecumenism has replaced evangelization.

  7. If the next Pope plays the usual Vatican game, quoting Bergoglio, broadly hinting that he was a saint, etc., then the damage done by Bergoglio could take decades or centuries to heal.

    If the next Pope begins his reign by formally answering the five dubia, by repudiating all of Bergoglio's documents and utterances, and sacking the notorious sodomites appointed by Bergoglio, the damage could be repaired in a week.

  8. Broken clocks are right twice a day. BUT how do you know when to trust a broken clock? Is one not liable to ignore the clock at all hours, including the two in which it is right?

    Pope Francis has proven himself to be a broken clock. For most of the day he is not telling you the orthodox Gospel message, but every now and then he tells it correctly. The tendency is to just ignore Pope Francis all of the time. The problem with being Catholic is that we have a Pope and ignoring the Pope all of the time is not a Catholic thing to do.

    Playing the game "Is the Pope saying something Catholic" is just as taxing as listing to your average homily. Why do we pew sitters have to sit there and judge everything, weighing every dot and tiddle to see if it is Catholic or not when we don't know everything nor are we the guardians of the Faith? How cruel of the one's tasked with preaching to make us do that.

    But I digress, so back to the topic at hand.

    Pope Francis is a problem, but on the larger scheme of things, he is a symptom rather than something unique. Thus, he is not a destroyer, but rather part of the destruction. In a way he is the hammer against the pot, but he is only a hammer because he is first and foremost a broken pot.

    There is systemic institutional rot, and it has been there for quite some time and isn't going away anytime soon. You would have to sack, what, 60% of the clergy in the West?

    1. I am afraid you are correct. You may even be conservative in your estimate of what percentage of the clergy in the West would have to go in order to effect the needed cleansing and renewal. More likely, the faithful will have to wait them out and meet the challenge of remaining faithful to the Truth in the meantime. I expect that will take longer than I have remaining in this life. At least, I sort of hope so. I'm not very anxious to have a front-row seat to the Final Tribulation. But God's will be done...


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