|Bat Christians Unite!|
Pope Francis has made a habit of regularly insulting a large segment of Catholics, those with a more traditional view of the Church. When the Bear noted the Pope called us "hypocrites" every other week during Lent, he thought this was perhaps a verbal tic, or some South American cultural thing he didn't get.
Then came "Bat Christian." The Pope called us Bat Christians on April 24th. Seriously? Bat Christians?
Bats are creatures who flee the light. By analogy, Catholics who go around upset and joyless ("sourpusses") flee the "light" of Franciscan happiness, and are thus "bats," or creatures of the night. (It could also be that people who are verbally abused and forced to watch helplessly as something dearer to them than life itself is demolished before their eyes tend to not radiate giddy bliss all the time.)
Since Christ is the Light, and St. Paul uses the darkness to symbolize the works of sin, it is no small thing to call Catholics "Bat Christians." This reminded the Bear of something, someone from the past. Then he realized that this is a deliberate tactic.
|"You don't like me so there must be something wrong with you."|
Pius Babies will remember President Jimmy Carter's infamous 1979 "Malaise Speech."
The Cold War was at its height. Iran was holding the hostages, Three Mile Island had ramped up fears about nuclear power, and there were long lines at the gas pumps. Carter's approval ratings were at an all time low. So he went on television and scolded America for the problems of his (one) term. You don't like me, so there must be something wrong with you, was how Americans heard the speech.
Pope Francis is relentlessly marginalizing anyone who is not on board the Franciscan Magical Mystery Tour bus. Pelagians, Rosary counters, hypocrites and many, many other insults have been flicked our way. The Bear must reluctantly conclude it is a deliberate campaign to demoralize and ridicule traditional Catholics, and marginalize them so that anyone who does not offer Peronist adulation to Francis, breathlessly awaiting his phone call like Mildred in Farenheit 451 awaits her "role" in the parlor screen soap opera, can be ignored.
Call it a kinder, gentler excommunication.
Is this what the Church has come to? Intelligent people with responsible jobs going paranoid and talking about Bat Christians in the octave of Easter? (Wow, that works perfectly both ways, the Bear realizes.)
By the way, the poem that so disturbs the superficial happiness in Fahrenheit 451 is Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
The Sea is not in sight. Night is falling, and the diurnal creatures of the woodland are asleep. Only the bats are awake. And a solitary Bear.
|No melancholy, long withdrawing roar from this bear! Rugiemus quasi ursi omnes!|