Thursday, May 4, 2017

Like Two She-Bears on 42 Little Kids... and the Pope

Pope Francis Reacts to Release of Bear's Novel

First, so has Judging Angels been officially released upon the world. The Bear feels oddly unconcerned, which seems, well, odd. Old habits of the legal profession are urging him to leave the phone number of the bar nearest the courthouse with the bailiff and retire to wait upon the verdict. (Another tradition destroyed by cell phones.)

Yes, that is the secret of why lawyers don't usually show much reaction at the verdict. They're barely conscious, retaining just enough sobriety to ask the court to "pool the jory."

Wait a second. Where has the Bear been the last 24 hours?

(There's another reason. An experienced trial lawyer knows the instant the jury comes out whether his man has been found guilty or innocent. Jurors will not look at someone they have just found guilty.)

Many thanks to the Bear's publisher, who, after spotting a Bear sipping Coca-Cola in Schwab's Drug Store, intuited he might be able to write something. They survived all of Mr. Perfectionist Bear's revisions, too, and are already busy getting news releases published.

More on your Pope

Now, about Pope Francis. The Bear is not finished with his thoughts on the uniqueness if one Jorge Bergoglio, or the unprecedented damage he is doing to the Church, or the many reactions Catholics may have to him.

Once again, the Bear respectfully differs with those who see Francis in terms of other popes throughout history. History ain't what it used to be. For all we know, we may have ushered in the era of "courtesy canonizations." We live in really, really strange times. Just look at our politics. There is a difference not only in quantity, but in quality of public discourse. There has always been yellow journalism. Now we all bleed yellow ink.

The Bear said "the many reactions Catholics may have to him," because there seems to be a continuum. One need look no further than the opinions on the internet.

  1. Pope Francis is the respected successor to St. Peter, and, as such, is due slightly more veneration than was Emperor Hirohito in his day.
  2. Pope Francis may have a wobble in his orbit, but his ordinary magisterium remains just as worthy of respect and assent as any pope's. That's the LAW.  (Query: if the answer is that we need pay attention only as far as he is right, i.e. in line with other popes, then do we have to memorize Denziger, and how do we know those popes were right? Seems a bit over-engineered for a bunch of Galilean fishermen, if you ask the Bear.)
  3. Pope Francis can do no damage to the Church short of infallibly declaring some abomination before the Lord an Article of Faith, which is not going to happen.
  4. Look, you don't have to pay attention to everything the old fellow says. Only the big stuff. (Like homosexuality and divorce?) The Church will be protected by God.
  5. Whatever you think about Pope Francis - and let's admit he's a few steps short of a tango - he remains THE POPE. Whom one must NEVER criticize. (Paging Michael Voris.)
  6. Entertain your private doubts, if you must, but you're in danger of heresy, and in any case must never, ever criticize him for fear of starting up the Know Nothings again.
  7. Rome, we have a problem. Prudence and good taste dictate, however, that we do not speak of il Papa's delicate condition.
  8. We have never quite seen anything like Jorge Bergoglio's disconnect with the deposit of the Faith nor his willingness to perform end runs around around the Church itself via incessant media exposure. The man is a menace.
  9. No REAL pope would spout half the nonsense he does. Pope Benedict is still at the wheel and Bergoglio is flat out an antipope.
  10. No REAL CHURCH would ever elect someone as evil as Jorge Bergoglio, so he is Exhibit A in the case for sedevacantism.
  11. Jorge Bergoglio is nothing less than Damien in his old age. He is evil. In fact, he is at the very least the FALSE PROPHET. In other words, a cosmic player in the end times.
  12. We had a good run, but the warranty has expired on the Church. Time to become one of those Protestants that get salmon and honey while the praise band is warming up. (Do not tempt Bear.)
The Bear submits that everyone reading this blog is somewhere along this continuum. 

Report your number, should you feel brave.

There is another position to take, one that may be closest to that of the Bear. Life is short. There is not much excuse for getting any of the Really Big Questions wrong. We could do worse by whistling past the pontificate of the eccentric gentleman from Argentina and keeping our fingers crossed that someone with less ambition to change the Church than Martin Luther gets to be pope next time. (Outh-say Mera-kay is a no-no.)

In other words, we're pretty sure committing adultery is really wrong, and you must still be in a state of grace to receive Holy Communion, and Sodom did not get God's Lifestyle Seal of Approval for 3123 B.C. Some things are best left to God while we muddle along the best we can in our day-to-day lives even if it appears that the wheels are coming off the Barque of Peter. (Yeah, the Bear said that on purpose.)

In terms of logic, the sedevacantists would seem to have the best case, as their position neatly solves most apparent problems. (Factually may be another matter, but in any case, that's a plump horse of another color.)


  1. I'm with you Bear in a pre-Vatican II sort of way.

    1. A lot of us are with each other. I'm not even necessarily pre-Vatican II if they would handle it as it deserves. Stuck on a library shelf and mostly ignored unless they can work it seamlessly into the historical Church.

  2. Replies
    1. No! Bear is shocked! SHOCKED, Bear says! But of course, dearest Badger. Bear's life would be much more tranquil if he could join you. Maybe you guys should issue simple brochures outlining your case and slip them under the wipers of cards in church parking logs.

  3. Mostly #8 and a little of #11 (which I believe you've mis-located on the spectrum). He is a unique menace and if not a cosmic player, can at least be said to be cosmically played. He lacks the Catholic Faith, and his neglect of the essentials of his office has a whiff of abandonment that introduces troubling questions about the point at which one can be said to have constructively resigned one's office. See Cassius Dio's anecdote about the emperor Hadrian and the importunate woman.

    1. Mislocated? Maybe. Bear thinks the continuum is roughly accurate, although one might quibble with particulars.

      Benedict abandons his office, but Francis doesn't abandon his office, but does? Confusing times, indeed. The main thing is that if we want to remain Catholic, we cannot, must not, trust Jorge Bergoglio. Bear will say that to anyone's face - including Jorge Bergoglio's.

      But just as important, we must not become discouraged. Bear can recite Nicene Creed. It's like a reserve chute. Smaller, without all the features, but it works, and will bring you home safely.

  4. I'm somewhere between 8 & 11, though I will probably skip 10. That's my position. My actions are otherwise. I am whistling past the graveyard of this papacy, hoping that Our Lord's imminent intervention doesn't include wholesale persecution and martyrdom (soon...very soon). Regardless, I pray for his conversion daily.

    1. Good reminder about praying for the man. If there was ever someone who was toes-over the cliff with a millstone chained to his neck waiting for the icy plunge into the deeps, it is Jorge Bergoglio, Bear fears.

      It just occurs to Bear: the Spirit moved over the face of the deep; the prophet speaks of God's walking on the water; and Jesus did so in fact. It is the opposite of everything to succumb to the deep.

  5. I'm a fairly solid #8, with the caveat that "never" is a very strong word and I'm not so well versed in the history of the Church as to be confident with it's appearance. Certainly we've seen this kind of behavior in bishops, even from very ancient times (the pair of Arian bishops named Eusibius played a similar game, and while they didn't have the papacy, they did have imperial favor; consider also that the papacy wasn't as strong back then prior to the ultramontanism that arose at least in part as a side-effect of the reaction to the Eastern and Protestant schisms), and it's entirely possible we have had similar behavior in Popes.

    Though I suppose you did add "via incessant media exposure," which wasn't really possible until very recently, though some folks certainly tried.

    I'm theoretically open to #'s 9 and/or 11, but I've yet to see a case that doesn't rely on unknowable things (Barnhardt's case for #9, for instance, requires us at a minimum to assume: a) Ganswein meant what it sounded like, b) Ganswein was accurately reporting Ratzinger's views, c) Ratsinger had this alleged defective intention at the time of his resignation; now Ratzinger has his issues, but I trust anybody Francis would give him as a handler about as far as I could throw 'em, and that's before even considering the question of what the objective results of an incoherent mess of an intention to resign but sort of not would actually be).

    I'm more or less with you on the proper course of action to take, though: ignore him as much as possible. Whether Pope Francis is crazy or malicious or not really the Pope or even a sign of the end of the world doesn't have much bearing on what you've got to do day to day.

    'How shall a man judge what to do in such times?'
    'As he ever has judged,' said Aragorn. 'Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.'

    1. IN the Golden Woods - or the Bear's Woodlands. Bear understands what you mean about the assumptions required by sedes. Also, it just seems odd to me that God would hide the Church from all but a handful of people who are able to break the code. Nonetheless, I have affection and respect for sedes and they will always find an ally in the Bear.

      Until "The Vine" starts bringing salmon and honey along with the latten they bring out to your car in the lot. (True. Pretty sure.)

  6. Replies
    1. Even given selection bias due to the site, Bear must say he is surprised at the consensus. And that is why the Bear keeps at it. It is important that we band together and in trying to make sense of this tragedy we... well, band together. Bear does not know if he will ever figure it out, but at least he knows who his friend and comrades are, which isn't bad.

  7. Owl honestly doesn't fit on Great Bear's Continuum -- it is all a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

    Owl knows the following things to be true.

    Pope Francis is Pope.
    Pope Francis is demonstrably a material heretic.
    Pope Francis is not sui generis nor truly radical.

    Pope Francis, the man, doesn't concern Owl that much and Owl finds over concern or adulation about the man to be just another symptom of the transformation of the Church from Christ-centric to man-centric. However, the abuse of the Petrine Office and the nonsense "theology", that concerns me greatly -- some of which comes not from Pope Francis but from those that want to see him gone (Great Bear is not included amongst this group of problem children).

    Owl's closest group of friends are in the "stick fingers in ears and hum real loudly" side of the spectrum, for what it is worth.

  8. 9. There can only be one Pope. If B16 is "a" Pope, then he's never stopped being THE Pope. He's called Pope. He dresses as the Pope. He lives in Rome at the Vatican. That other "guy" only dressings like him and many people thinks he IS him. I have a white suite like Col. Sanders and can, with make-up, look like him, but that doesn't make me him. (I did scare the local KFC crew while wearing it).

    My fear is he is the "Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'" in Sr. Lucia's vision. He passes thru a large city half in ruins. I fear it is the Church on Earth and he is the cause of the ruin.

  9. 11. And that should be the 12. And why do sedevacantists have the best argument? The false prophet clearly explains that we do have and have had popes since V2, the clever heresies in homilies and Amoris Laetitia, even the elect being deceived, the focus on NGO activities (global warming, UN focus, cow towing to Islam), squashing efforts to evangelize, the praise of Freemasons (1P5 articles), the praise of the world since turning away from sin isn't required, the installation of modernists galore in high places, like the C9, the pope videos, indifferentism, and a program that any secular humanist can support. That's just a bit off the top of my head.

  10. Clearly a 12. Look, I live within 8 miles of the Joel Osteen Palace of Motivational Speaking (former home of Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon and ZZ Top), so how can you blame me? And the lattes are so delish there. I usually go right after 8am Catholic Mass that I still attend for the occasional KoC pancake breakfasts. But it's at the former Houston Summit where the spirit really fills me and I feel I've gone to the mountaintop. No not that Spirit, but the spirit of the back to back Rocket Championships that still haunts the place.

  11. "Whatever you think about Pope Francis - and let's admit he's a few steps short of a tango..."

    Haha! I always found it odd that we have a pope that professes an affinity for the tango. This dance was invented in the bordellos of the port area of Buenos Aries. If you've ever tried to learn the Argentine tango (or have ever watched professional tango dancers), the first thing you notice is that this is an extremely erotic dance. And we now have a pope promoting it? Bizzare, but then again to be expected from Llama Me Jorge.

  12. Orthodox option not on the list?


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