Monday, July 31, 2017

The Question of Respect III

Hibernation Cancelled (but Still Need 25 Reviews)

You got Bear. Response to request for Judging Angels reviews touched heart of Bear. He will somehow manage to spend time with Woodland friends while writing 40,000 words in next eight weeks. That's (assembles acorns and seashells) um... only 666 words a day, appropriately enough.

So, rejoice and root for Bear to meet his deadline for Feast of Grass release (as some characters call it... any idea why?)

But please, if you've been putting off that review, help keep morale high at Bear Cave. He's rubbing his paws with evil glee with what he has in store for readers of the second book of the Rubricatae Chronicles. Won't you help us meet our goal of 25 reviews? (This is sounding like the Jerry Lewis Telethon.) Hey, at least it's free. Do it for the cubs.

Here, two lechers combine to blackmail
the virtuous young Susana. 

The Two Kinds of Witnesses a Lawyer Must Know How to Cross Examine

The marks of a good trial lawyer are knowing how to make an effective opening argument [sic], and closing argument, and direct examination. But, none of that matters if he can't make an effective cross examination. It is known as the most powerful engine for the discovery of truth ever invented. Its distinguishing feature is that the lawyer gets to ask "leading questions:" those whose answers he already knows, in order to tighten the noose of truth around a lying throat. (Lawyer tip: no one need fear cross examination if he is willing to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.)

In the story of Susana, the young Daniel uses the modern techniques of Rule on Witnesses and cross examination to spare the life of a virtuous maiden.

There are two broad classes of witnesses, and if a lawyer confuses them, or uses the wrong technique, the jury will hate him. At best he'll be ineffective.

Honest Witness

There are witnesses who are honestly mistaken in fact. It happens. Eye-witness testimony is not very good, for example, despite people thinking it is the gold standard. Memory is uncertain and attention not the good servant we imagine.

Watch this short video.

About half the people get it wrong.

Perhaps a little old lady testifies that she remembers seeing the defendant at the victim's house at 7 p.m. because Trailer Park Jeopardy was just beginning. The defense would kindly point out that the murder happened on Tuesday, and Trailer Park Jeopardy airs on Friday.

Perhaps she wears coke-bottle glasses, but you have a friend available to testify she had forgotten them at her house the night of the murder. You would commit her to her testimony about the glasses, then impeach her.

With these kinds of cases, the approach is sympathetic. The jury already identifies with witnesses, not the lawyer, and  there is no need to antagonize anyone. We understand. It's easy to make a mistake like that.

Less than Honest

Then there is the other class of witness, the dishonest kind. They need not be actually evil. But something makes them willing to swear to tell the truth but then instead offer testimony that is not truthful, but designed to secure a particular result.

Such a witness may be interested. Perhaps he is the detective, and is positive he solved the crime, but fears a sleazy defense lawyer might subvert justice with his silver tongue. You would be amazed at the lengths police will go to avoid answering a simple question. They always thought the Bear was playing some sort of ursine head game with them. But all the Bear had to do was ask simple questions requiring simple answers.

He supposes they did turn that into a head game, but only against themselves.

So many times investigators would self-destruct on the stand. The Bear once had an exasperated detective turn to the judge and say, "I don't know how to get around that question, your Honor." Those were his very words. The judge had some choice ones of his own for that witness.

A witness may be interested because he knew the murder victim, and is emotionally invested in a conviction. Or he might even be bribed. There are many ways a witness may have a personal interest in the outcome of a trial. That does not disqualify them. It must be taken into account by a lawyer, though.

The important difference is that a dishonest witness is cross examined more aggressively and the lawyer may communicate his disdain for the witness to the jury - as long as he can get the jury to see that the witness is not telling the truth. Indeed, while one may not treat a witness with outright disrespect in court, you don't have to treat him with kid gloves and smiles, either.

In fact, it is essential with the dishonest witness that the lawyer not communicate to the jury that he respects him. This is not a mistake on some particular. This is a whole witness who is bad. It is his very credibility that must be undermined. In this case, you must go after the witness himself, as a person.

What About a Mistaken Pope?

Imagine, for the sake of argument, you have a pope who sincerely believes something that contradicts previous Church teaching. Let's say, for example, he believes the Virgin Mary is a Fourth Person to be added to the Holy Trinity. His love for the Blessed Mother is unquestioned. His belief that this would benefit Catholics is sincere.

It would be proper to criticize this view, would it not? But if this was the only mistake he made, you would still want to treat him with respect. For one thing, a pope normally deserves respect. For another, he is a kind and sincere man who has gone astray on one matter, albeit a very serious one.

The Bear would say that whenever it is possible to limit the errors of a pope and refute them one by one, this is the preferred approach. There is no reason to be disrespectful with someone who is merely mistaken.

Tar Baby Alert: a confusing message not meant to be understood,
but to "provide cover" for others to run with novelties.
Bear gets his fur stuck to it and learns nothing.

What About a Hypothetical Pope Who Was Willing to Shade the Truth?

However, what if the pope communicated all sorts of other errors. And, by errors, the Bear means clear conflicts with the previous settled teachings of the Church. Not just differences in emphasis. What if it began to look as though a pope did not respect the teachings of the Church very much and seemed to hold his own eccentric opinions in higher regard than Dogmas of the Church?

What if, furthermore, he was not content to merely announce errors, but did not let a day go by without taking to the airwaves and the internet and piling error upon error, constantly repeating a handful of novelties until true Christianity was distorted? What if the Church as she was known before him could scarce be recognized beneath his "new vision" for humanity?

What if, furthermore, this "new vision" happened to be easily identified with a particular theological fad, or political program. What if his view of Catholicism was really Communism, or Nazism, or New Ageism, or Peronism, or Feminism, or some other easily-identified "ism" dressed up in Catholic clothes and language?

And to add to the problem, what if he resorted to bullying, and behind-the-scenes plotting to rig debates, and was insulting to a large class of Catholics whom he believed did not share his vision for a new kind of Catholicism? What if, supposing he were respectfully asked to clarify apparently dubious teachings, he simply ignored the request?

Summary of the Two Previous "Question of Respect" Articles

The Bear, after identifying his perspective as that of a lawyer and admitting he was using only naturalistic reasoning, has written two articles already.

In the first one, the Bear explained how "respect" could be either earned or conferred. Both were worthy of a certain approach, because even conferred respect is important to running institutions that need offices people are willing to treat as special. The judiciary, the military, and the Church, are all good examples.

However, the Bear also observed that "respect" could be used to cover misconduct and gag legitimate criticism. Worst of all, that kind of "respect" could also used as the very means to commit misconduct. The judge who takes a bribe to fix a case is different from the judge who uses cocaine. He can take a bribe only because he is a judge, holding an office of "respect." If a bishop helps conceal homosexual abuse of adolescent boys, both the crime and the cover-up are possible in large part because of the very "respect" owed to clerical offices.

So, the Bear concluded that, where the seriousness of the misdeed warranted, one should not be deterred from criticism by "respect." Indeed, "respect" may be nothing more than an obstacle to uncovering, punishing and preventing misconduct. The Bear argued this has, in fact, been the case during the homosexual abuse scandal.

So, "respect" must, in principle, have its limits.

In the second article, the Bear answered a hypothetical objection by asserting that a pope's teachings may be measured by the two witnesses of the Deposit of Faith and Holy Scripture. There is a distinction between "reformers" who have their own better ideas than the Church, and the faithful, who want nothing more than the Church not to go into conflict with herself.

The Bear argued, in principle, that it was not impossible for a pope to go so badly astray that he was no longer teaching the Catholic Faith, but something else. A novelty. A political program disguised as religion. 

He also argued, in principle, that if that were ever to happen, and a "spirit of error" became so pervasive as to defy proposition-by-proposition refutation, then it would be legitimate, even praiseworthy, for Catholics to resist the temptation to superstition, and own up to what they saw and heard and smelled, and resist such a hypothetical renegade pope.

The Bear argued that it would then be essential to pierce the "force field" of "respect" because it would then be a false, superstitious and lazy sort of "respect" that merely got in the way of dealing with the emergency.

Back to the Witness Illustration

The Bear hopes the reader now understands his discussion of the two classes of witnesses in a trial. The honest, but mistaken, witness is like a pope who is basically good, and respects the truth, but is mistaken in one or a few particulars.

On the other hand, a hypothetical pope who was mistaken in more than one or a few particulars; but seemed to represent a different spirit that did not feel bound by the Deposit of Faith; who constantly confused the faithful; who refused to answer questions on dubious matters even when they were respectfully and officially submitted; who bullied and punished those who did not agree; insulted ordinary Catholics who were confused by his novelties; and did not always operate "above board" when it came to advancing an agenda that looked suspiciously like a particular religious fad, or political movement, or the spirit of the age; and who relied upon the "respect" demanded by him and his supporters, or a certain wing of Catholic laypersons, in order to cover his misconduct, gag his critics, and commit the very misconduct others noted with alarm - why, such a pope would be more like the dishonest witness than the honest, but mistaken, witness, wouldn't he?

In the courtroom, a witness who suffers from a fundamental credibility problem (for example, interest ("I want my agenda to win") or bias ("I don't like rich people in the north because I think they stole their wealth from the South") would be cross examined aggressively by the opposing counsel, and that lawyer would not go out of his way to show respect or kindness or sympathy to the witness.

Not because he "didn't like" the witness,  or "hated him," or took unholy glee in making him look small, or was going out of his way to be "unchristian," but because the approach must match the claims. 

He would want to communicate the opposite, in fact. He would want the jury to make no mistake that he - the lawyer - did not "respect" the witness. He would not wish to confuse the jury by asking questions in one direction, yet signalling in another. He would want to make sure the jury knew that he held the witness in contempt for sullying the sacred process of truth-finding and trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

Of course, the Bear is not writing a bill of particulars against anyone in particular. He is offering a kind of hypothetical "worst case scenario" in these three articles in order to starkly expose and discuss the principles behind "The Question of Respect."

So what do you think? Is it ever legitimate to not show a pope "respect?" (And not this particular Pope, or any actual pope, but in principle, remember.) Can "respect" be used to cover misconduct, gag legitimate criticism, and even as the very means of misconduct?

If one may criticize a pope (and Bear believes it is pretty easy to imagine hypothetical cases where one might), and if "respect" interferes with legitimate criticism (which the Bear is pretty sure it might, under certain circumstances) the demand that "respect" nonetheless be shown, however "nice," and however "Catholic," and however "holy," and "pious," and "loyal" it may seem, the Bear believes that it is really putting yourself on the wrong side and in the service of error and - let's not be too fastidious - evil, in such a hypothetical case.

Back to Susana and Daniel and the Respected Jewish Elders

The Bear can imagine the horror when a boy - Daniel - stood up to challenge the very integrity of two Jewish elders. Age was respected in that culture. There were two witness, after all. How dare Daniel - a mere kid - throw off the respect due these white-haired, well-respected men! 

Daniel knew he was not dealing with honest men who were merely mistaken. He was dealing with a couple of pretty horrible men who blackmailed a young virgin to give in to their sexual demands or be put to death. He knew he was going head-to-head against everything his culture "respected."

"Daniel, show some respect!" How many times did he hear that? And yet he did not let "respect" deter him from challenging the lecherous elders to save the one, finite lifetime of one woman. If a pope were to ever seek power over the virtuous virgin Church, to bend it to his desires, counting on "respect" as cover, do you think Daniel would shrug and show him that sort of "respect?" If "respect" was put aside to get at the truth to save Susana, how much more might it be put aside if souls, not lives, were at stake, if a different religion were ever to be taught in the place of the Catholic Faith.


  1. will review for you Monday....need this week (and weekend) to have time to read. (nearly killed myself reading whole thing in 3 days for the beta test), but promise I will post review MONDAY.....only for you Bear....only for you.

    1. That's' the spirit, Bagder! May you be an inspiration to others!

  2. I just hope the Bear doesn't wake up with a bloody horse head in his bed someday...although, he'd probably just have it for dinner.

  3. I concluded that Cardinal Burke would never pull the trigger, and would not make the kind of Pope that is needed when, after the publication of the dubia, he referred to the "correction" as needing to be "done with the greatest delicacy and respect."

    The next Pope must make heads roll. Dozens and hundreds of bishops must be deposed. Tens of thousands of priests must be laicized. Hundreds of parishes must be suppressed and razed simply on account of irremedial corruption. (E.g., Most Holy Redeemer.) Bishops' conferences must be abolished.

  4. Susanna was not a virgin. She had a husband called Joakim (Dan. 13: 1, DRB)

    1. You expect a Bear running a slipshod ephemeris like this to actually read the story before writing about it? Anyway, the point remains, and thank you for the clarification. It is interesting that Daniel relies on two cornerstones of the modern truth-finding process, Rule on Witnesses, and cross.

  5. so, the gist of this article would be, "Vincent LaGuardia Gambini was the greatest trial lawyer......EVAH" (?)

    lemme pose a further tug on your string of this hypothetical pope, if I may.....

    point one:
    hypothetical pope (HP from now on), as you've alluded, speaks in contradiction to the Deposit of Faith, in fact against the very words of Christ; he does this repeatedly, to where it becomes no longer a one-off or two-off, but rather his MO; he teaches this heterodoxy as fact, again repeatedly, and vigorously attacks those who would point out these errors. He has 'rehabilitated' and placed in high positions those clerics (and lay) who have been (or whose positions have been) formerly censured by past popes, with no change either demonstrated or requested in their behavior; in fact, the heterodoxy is encouraged and rewarded. HP has demonstrated over MANY years that his behavior is set, purposeful, and patterned (witnessed by the utter spiritual destruction and desolation left in his former diocese, and now pattern-repeated in his current one of Rome). HP has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have been at the center of a diabolical, intentioned, illegal (canon law) conspiracy to put him in place (St. Gallen ‘mafia’). In other words, he's not your 'honestly-mistaken witness'.

    point two:
    Jesus Christ, Son of God the Father, Second Divine Person of the Blessed Trinity, established His Church on earth for the salvation and TEACHING GUIDE of mankind. He founded said Church of the Rock of Peter (not on his faith, but on his person...and not two persons, ie; sharing the munus with St. Andrew or some other wildly, unimaginable, hypothetical thing like that there). He (Christ) made certain promises regarding this office (charism of Truth), established certain duties (feed and tend the sheep IN SAID TRUTH), and imparted certain powers, sp; binding and loosing. While shared in the general with the other Apostles, Peter is given a specific and unique aspect of this power. One other power that is sui generis to/in/with Peter and his successors alone is the keys. These keys reference Isaiah 22, and the king's prime minister having the power of the king, by the authority of the king, to speak for the king in the king's absence. These keys (this charism) is upheld, overseen, and protected by said King who happens to be God, Almighty (pretty much able to do what He says....for the most part, all things being equal.....least that's what I think).

    point three:
    HP speaks repeatedly and habitually in contradition to Christ's words and teachings.

    HP teaches repeatedly and habitually in opposition To Church Tradition (Deposit of Faith).

    HP, in 'papal' decree (Apostolic exhortation, encyclical, post-synodal AE, etc.) repeatedly and habitually contradicts past papal magisterial decrees which are fully in line and continuity with 2,000 years of settled, unambiguous Magisterial Teaching.

    While there have been morally reprobate popes on the throne, none previously has ever, in 2,000 years, tried to change the Deposit of Faith, 2,000 years of Tradition, and the very teachings of Jesus Christ (ie; even the moral reprobates displayed the papal charisms in regard to the teachings of the Church and the municiple duties of Peter).

    HP mocks, ridicules, demotes, and exiles those who speak in defense of and teach the Deposit of Faith.

    HP WILL NOT genuflect or kneel publicly before the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament....("Do not even bring out a prie dieu Marini, or I'll, I'll....boil you in oil and roll you in a cappa magna with your friend hypothetical Burke!).

    (I could go on and on with many other hypotherital things of the sort, that might happen, but I think I’ve made enough of a hypothetical point to reach the...)


    HP cannot be Peter.

    but hey....this is all just wild, fantasy, bizarro-world stuff, right? eh? uh? no?

  6. Hewlett Packard printers are unreliable. Is that what you're saying, good old Badger?

    It would be a great mystery if there such a man claiming to be Pope. And yet, as far as I can take things by my naturalistic logic, and as correct as your understanding of my very lucid and irrefutable points are, I cannot "invade the province of the jury by reaching the ultimate question." That is not the role of the Bear. He can entertain, he can enlighten, he can make funny faces, but in the end, he cannot - will not - reach the ultimate mystery of God's governance of His Church.

    Only a human can do that. And probably a human who has the expertise and authority to do so. Bear has seen humans screwing up for 800. Mostly it's been fun. Sometimes it's been pretty horrific. The Bear has played surprising roles in the great movements of history, and his secret life today would beggar the imagination of Ian Fleming. He has been kidnapped, held by the Turks for execution, got shot up during a mad dash to the Bosporus, rescued by a Russian ship and given refuge in Syria, and treated as a hero in Russia.

    What has that got to do with anything? Nothing. But it's pretty damned cool.

    1. oh Bear....I don't expect you to make a proclamation as such. I was just expressing the sensus fidei of a growing number of the fidelium. And the ones of us that are on fire with outrage over the rape of our Mother on a near daily basis, just can't keep this under wraps when we've got a moral certainty of such....the evidence is overwhelming; and (as regards the subject of your post) to then to treat the chief rapist accordingly...he's forfeited respect.

      I would say that said fidelium got to the Tomb first, but don't have the 'authority' to go in...the 'proper authorities' will eventually catch up, out of breath cause they haven't rum in a looooong, long time, and say "geee.....guess it's true, eh?...who'd a thunk?" At which time they should be soundly rapped on the head as we all scream, "DUH!"

      Yeah, it's a great mystery, but certainly not a big's all been foretold. I'm just still gobbsmacked that we're actually living thru it. Let's just say, it's making me take things a whole lot more seriously, and a darn-sight more urgently.

      How'ja like my review?....I thought it was magnificent! :)

    2. Haven't you seen the other blog?

    3. nooooooo....what other blog?

    4. Do you not see a sidebar to the right? See? That's why I wanted a different design, so everybody could see the sidebar which has a lot of important stuff. Anyway,

    5. awwww...don't go gettin' your fur leggings in a wad. I always thought of those top links on the side as reader's forums more than anything else, and that doesn't really interest me....I just hadn't wandered there yet. Now that I know, I'll go back. The woodland design is still so very beautiful...(unlike that set from War of the Worlds you trial-ballooned....(more like lead-ballooned)).

  7. While there have been morally reprobate popes on the throne, none previously has ever, in 2,000 years, tried to change the Deposit of Faith, 2,000 years of Tradition, and the very teachings of Jesus Christ ...

    Wrong. JPII did exactly that when he reconfigured centuries of Church doctrine concerning capital punishment for murder to conform to his encyclical, "Evangelium Vitae," thereby effectively making the Church abolitionist regarding capital punishment when it never embraced such a position before JPII!

    1. Qualitative difference between that issue and whether, say, Islam is a reasonably safe route to eternal salvation.

      The death penalty is rare, satisfies only the goal of retribution, is employed capriciously, is indifferently protected from error, and is risky for all sorts of reasons no one is interested in learning from an acknowledged authority in the field, to wit: moi.

      I do not understand the passion such an oddity in the modern world arouses in people, other than the emotional satisfaction of killing people who do very bad things, which a Bear can certainly get behind, although he learned enough by prosecuting, defending, and teaching about such cases to temper his blood lust with reason.

    2. Ursus Magnus, did you read the link? All the risks you cited in your second paragraph applied in centuries past, as well. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church its effectively abolitionist stance until JPII's papacy.

      Please read the link, then get back to me.

    3. Yes. I read it. I know more than the author about how the death penalty works in this country ;-) Which is only natural, since that was my field. It is applied capriciously, unevenly (most states don't even have a death penalty), does not deter, its application is statistically suspect (race of victim, not perpetrator more statistically relevant in seeking the dp) and we know for a fact that most states have enshrined the means for wrongful convictions. The unavoidable fact of false confessions is not appreciated by courts and police. We know exactly why they happen and how to stop them. DNA gold standard exonerations where people have confessed prove it happens, a few from Chicago's CAPT Burge (look his tactics up), a few from DuPage County prosecutorial misconduct, more through suggestive personalities, most through lousy Reid Technique training of all police interrogators based on police folk wisdom, rather than science. We knew simply videotaping ALL homicide interrogations from start to finish practically solves all issues with interrogations, yet few states require it.

      I freely admit that the Church executed people in the past, and not only for murder, but for heresy. I trust we are not bringing THAT back, are we? Torture was used routinely in ages past.

      For whatever reasons, we do not look the same way at capital punishment as the Victorians did, or the modern ISIS does. We have extremely few compared to the number of murders, so it is really a non issue.

      I understand you are saying the Church changed its view of capital punishment, and I am not arguing that it didn't. The Bible calls for stoning adulterers. I doubt anyone who quotes "an eye for an eye" is going to be pushing those other verses consistently, too.

      Of all the things to be bothered about, capital punishment's fading into history doesn't bother me. The Church has changed its mind on many, many things not related to salvation. Some of those changes have been wise, some have really confused essential issues.

      I do not consider capital punishment an essential issue, or one that must be fixed in a particular era's sensibilities. Drawing and quartering was great fun in Merrie Olde England.

      But, as I said, if I cared to, I could do nothing but argue capital punishment and make no headway whatsoever against everone's emotional attachment to it. None of my clients ever went to death row. I figure I did more than my share, and have approached it as a professional not an amateur with a "cause" one way or the other.

      I am against it because of the reasons I have stated, but mostly because the few jurisdictions that are still still using it have failed to keep up with the times and eliminate a few simple things that cause 90% of the few false convictions there are.

      Unless I am mistaken, the Church is now saying belonging to the Church is not necessary to salvation, but one may be routinely saved through any or no other religion, and Hell, if there is a Hell, is empty, or nearly so.

      Once again. YES YES YES, the Church has changed its teachings on Capital Punishment. And NO NO NO I do not see such a prudential matter in the very same light as doctrines touching upon whether people go to heaven or not. And, finally, the CCC concedes that capital punishment may be used more or less as a last resort.

      Can anyone tell me why, out of all the dogmas that have been challenged, a punishment that is statistically irrelevant outside of the Islamic world is treated as the sacred cow it is?

    4. I would also observe that Crimes Against Humanity tend to be decided by victors in wars. In fact, I find a 100% correlation. Had Japan won, I have no doubt they would have remained very cross over two atomic bombs dropped on civilian targets, and might have tried to make a case for American war criminals. I am also not convinced (and this a a veteran of Desert Storm) that overthrowing Saddam Hussein, let alone killing him, has proved to be the greatest idea. Likewise the current campaign against the World's Most Evil Optometrist in Syria. Launching into Hitler's minions and Saddam Hussein might make one suspect the article he was about to read was going to be a tad tendentious and rely heavily on the undeniable (I certainly can't deny it - people LOVE the death penalty like ice cream on apple pie - I know) emotional appeal. V/r Bear

    5. "Can anyone tell me why, out of all the dogmas that have been challenged, a punishment that is statistically irrelevant outside of the Islamic world is treated as the sacred cow it is?"

      Very simple. First, God demands that murderers be executed under un-corrupt due process (Genesis 9: 5-6). Why? Because murder is the ultimate violation of the divine image in humanity. By changing its teaching on capital punishment, the Church is changing the fundamental moral criterion from a condition that cannot be changed (humanity's divine image) to one that varies with social and political condition (the state's ability to incarcerate capital felons).

      As far as "an eye for an eye," is concerned, that expression was meant to encourage proportional punishment for the offense, not ad hoc vigilantism (which is what the current crop of bishops seem to think). If murder is the ultimate desecration of the divine image in humanity, then what punishment other than execution of the perpetrator can be considered proportional to the offense?

      I don't deny the validity of your experiences. But you aren't the only lawyer in American history who has had to deal with them. Lawyers throughout the Western world have had to confront the difficulties you faced -- and, as a defense lawyer, I can appreciate your professional bias on the subject. Nevertheless, the fact that incompetence pervades the justice system does not diminish the moral necessity of any particular punishment. Comparing the two is comparing apples and oranges.

      Second, American Catholics view murder as far less heinous than in previous decades and even hold a kind of moral equivalence between the murder victim and the perpetrator -- an equivalence that is abhorent to a holy, righteous God -- as they follow the bishops blindly.

      More to come...

    6. So what does all this have to do with Francis and the issues you cite in this thread? Very simple. Francis believes he can arbitrarily change centuries of teaching on various subjects because JPII did that and not only got away with it but received respect and praise from fellow Catholics!

      The problem goes beyond Francis and JPII as individuals. It goes directly to a Church whose members -- especially its clergy, especially the leaders of that clergy -- are theologically and Biblically ignorant. Thanks to how the hierarchy has applied Vatican II, the Magisterium is no better than the Ministry of Truth in Orwell's "1984." You know, "We were always at war with Eastasia," then "We were always at war with Eurasia."

      Under Francis, Catholicism is as rudderless as mainline Protestantism. But Francis is not an outlier. On the contrary, he is the logical consequence of decades of infatuation with intellectual fashion.

  8. The Bear does not permit anonymous posts. If you wish to say something, please identify yourself.

    Bear does agree that IF it is a fact that the Church cannot teach error, and IF it remains visibly identified with the historically continuous Church, THEN the Church cannot teach error, either through her Pope nor her councils.

    And IF this is the case, then whatever is taught by the Church CANNOT be false by virtue of having been taught by the Church.

    AND SO, any apparent contradictions are NOT contradictions at all, but merely truths we have not learned to harmonize or something.

    Is this about right?

    1. St. Robert Bellarmine; Cardinal, Counter-reformation Lion and TRUE son of St. Ignatius (Jesuit), Doctor of the Church, Patron of Canon Lawyers and catechists:

      "Just as if is lawful to resist the pope that attacks the body, it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks souls or who disturbs civil order, or above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed."

      If this be true for a real pope, imagine how much more the onus to act against a (hypothetically-of-course) invalid usurper.

  9. One final thing: The hierarchy is about to abandon the thing most Catholics believed it would never abandon: opposition to contraception:


Moderation is On.

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