Equal Time for Response of Top Jesuit Fr. Abascal
Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal begins, in the best Jesuit tradition, by smiling indulgently at the Bear's simple reading of the text of the First Epistle of John, Chapter 2, verses 18 - 26 in the previous article.
"Ah, si, Oso, the Johannine Epistles. Of course the best scholarship recognizes they were written much later than claimed, by a school that associated itself with the apostle. Their author was not really the apostle, as you would know if you were a genuine scholar. Even the early Church did not know quite what to make of the epistles and Revelation attributed to him. It is doubtful that he was an historical person in the first place.
"Even so, Oso, the words are relative and one must understand the audience and purpose of any passage left to us by ancient editors. Then, if you insist on applying it to real-world situations - which is a bad idea - it must be done with great discernment which the laity lack.
"The truth is much less dramatic than you have imagined. The authors of this epistle were addressing local churches that had been divided by a different understanding of the new faith, most likely Gnostics of some sort. In fact, this epistle is not even relevant to Catholics today.
"For example, we have a much broader understanding of who comprise the People of God on this great human pilgrimage.
"Your simple-minded reading of the text out of context would eliminate our Muslim brothers and sisters in their own valid faith-experience of one of the three Great Abrahamic Religions. Such an exclusivist view of the Christian Faith was buried with Father Feeney. [Laughs.]
"The requirement is not any sort of intellectual acceptance of some first-century Christ-figure, whose myths were collected around a possibly historical rabbi, or at any rate movement of universal love. Christianity is one of many simple expressions of mercy in today's world, a world that is much larger and more diverse than any imagined by the third-century editors of the Johannine school.
"The Church is evolving into a reinterpretation of the Christ-figure that leads it to accompany everyone without exception, but especially those on the peripheries: the poor, the refugees and the migrants. Indeed, we must learn to do without the facile certainties of old labels like 'Catholic,' and even 'Christian.' Labels divide. We must never smugly formulate our brothers and sisters with a word. Only triumphalists do this.
"The existence of the crisis of Global Warming proves to us that we are all just humans being, facing the same threats, the same questions, and finding answers suited to our experience, heritage and language. The answers are unimportant. What is important is the image of each of us touching one another in mute loving ways and finding reciprocal acceptance beyond all ancient arguments, modern borders. or outdated arbitrary cultural constructs such as morality and gender.
"Your implication that Pope Francis may be an antichrist, besides being shockingly non-Catholic and uncharitable, shows a naive, even childish proof-texting that is the result of wrenching the text from its context. Catholics can hardly insist on the biblical texts as some sort of 'divine oracle.' That is superstition, and one that the Catholic Church has always condemned. They did not have tape recorders in those days, you know. But I am sure you have not considered that essential fact in your petty bourgeoisie piety.
"It is not only futile, then, but dangerous to rely on... [laughs again] your quaint reading of your Bible. Read it for inspiration, if you must, but leave the interpretation of it to scholars who have spent years in training. You are, after all, merely a Bear."
The Bear's Counter-Argument: 2 Kings 2:24
(Several minutes later, after wiping his muzzle carefully with a napkin and brushing his fangs.) "Nothing tastes worse than antichrist," says the Bear with a toothpick in his jaws, "but what's a Bear supposed to do?"
|Probably the most brilliant bit of satire from the vast collection|
of the funniest Bear-related humor from the Bear's friends at