A Day in the Life
|This was as far as Bear got. It took|
several valuable seconds.
He did spend several hours, however, planning a Game of Thrones type intro video for this ephemeris. Locations like "Beaver Dam," "Badger's Den," "The Big Clearing," and "The Bear's Cave" would come to 3D life by the patient use of stop-action video and construction paper locations.
So that was time well spent.
Then he had a Department of Fish, Game and Wildlife Office of Large Talking Predators mandated doctor's visit at the VA hospital. The doctor claimed to have finished and enjoyed "Judging Angels" (having purchased a copy during the Bear's last checkup after the Bear got on his knees and cried) and prescribed a sequel.
Or Seroquel. Bear isn't sure.
He promised to write a review. (Hint. Reviews make the Bear's morale soar and inspire him to tend to things like this ephemeris.)
Meanwhile, Over at the Bear's Other Blog
JUST IN: Judging Angels picks up two more 5-star reviews to bring its unbroken string to 20! The book no one expects but everybody likes.
Speaking of which, there is a new, short and funny review up at Amazon, so the Bear reposted it on his other blog as he accompanies and dialogues with the clever reviewer. For those of you who wisely ignore said other blog, the news is that the sequel stands at 85,600 words, or 2000 more words since yesterday. Also, the last-finished chapter is entitled "The Sting of the Lash and the Solace of the Bite." But, anyway, if you're interested in the sequel, there's plenty to read over there.
Did the Bear tell you about his idea for the intro video? Oh. Yeah.
So, here's what the Bear would write about if he were not distracted and beset with ennui.
The Big Question:
Has or Has Not the Church Changed Its Teaching
on the Necessity of Being a Faithful Catholic in Order to be Saved?
Is there any real question that the Catholic Church has changed its mind on some pretty significant topics like, oh, salvation?
The Bear is not thinking about Pope Francis.
It was commonplace until living memory for popes to condemn "indifferentism" (which is now pushed as "ecumenism"). Numerous exercises of the ordinary magisterium of popes in their encyclicals rap Catholics who dare fraternize in any religious way with Protestants - let alone non-Christians - sharply across the muzzle.
And salvation for heretics, pagans, Jews and other infidels? Surely, you jest.
Now, don't get the Bear wrong. Personally, he doesn't care for that teaching at all. Between him and you, he's not quite sure how much stock to put into it. But, then, the Bear is a terrible Catholic. Nonetheless, that it was the way things were until recently.
Not just here and there. You cannot stroll through Church documents for the vast majority of her existence without tripping over this teaching.
Even into the 20th Century, popes are still acting as if they were the monarchs of a Church that remained the only means of salvation. (Various narrow exceptions were always argued, such as whether catechumens prior to baptism might be saved and "invincible ignorance," but the list was never long, and the exceptions went, as the saying goes, to prove the rule.
"No salvation outside of the Church" was not something invented by Fr. Feeney, as some people seem to believe. (In any case, there is a lot more to the Fr. Feeney story than the validity of a doctrine.) It was harped on by popes on their magisterial harps for ages, and expressed by the Church's extraordinary magisterium three times, just in case you missed the first two. (Council of Florence, Pope Eugene IV, Bull Cantate Domino; Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unam Sanctam; and Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council.)
The tantalizingly blighted 15th Century Council of Florence, which saw an agreement on the healing of the Great Schism that was ultimately rejected by the East, put it in fairly typical language.
It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.
Pope Eugene IV, Bull Cantate Domino, Council of Florence. (If the Bear is deluded in this, someone ought to let EWTN know.)
Bear means, "Yikes!"
Of course, nobody talks like that anymore. Bear thinks it would be a hate crime and certainly a trigger. But, as far as the Bear knows, while Lumen Gentium of Vatican II backpedals glibly across the centuries, the Bear does not remember it stating anywhere that, "Oh, and all that stuff about belonging to the Catholic Church being essential to salvation? We hereby formally declare it all nonsense."
The closest it comes are some confusing hints that the Church might actually be a lot bigger than previously suspected. (As the Bear always says, though, he firmly adheres to whatever infallible teachings might be contained in the turgid meanderings of the pastoral Vatican II Council compromise documents that he can be expected to make the least sense of as a degreed professional and paperback writer.)
On this one issue alone, the Bear is firmly convinced that the Church has always officially stood for the proposition that your chances of salvation were, to say the least, exceedingly dim unless you were a faithful Catholic.
Until, that is, well into the 20th century, when things... mysteriously changed sub silentio.
So, if this is true, then why is everyone up in Pope Francis' business? The Bear suspects the Woodland Creatures and Welcome Visitors might be able to shed some light on the topic.