Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pope Francis is a Good Shepherd

The Church's One Foundation

Before the Bear proceeds to the chief business of the day, he is forced once again to address a familiar summertime complaint: weapons of mass distraction.

The Bear surmises that dressing themselves is a very confusing task for many ladies. The Bear is hardly an expert at putting on women's garments, so he has done some research. As he suspected, a lady cannot consider herself completely dressed for Mass if she contents herself to wear a frock, sheer blouse or bicycling attire with nothing -- the Bear blushes beneath his fur to say this -- underneath.

As a public service, the Bear has provided the rotogravure to the left to illustrate the appropriate type of foundation garment women should consider when visiting the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Note that it provides a layer of decency both south and north of the border, if you get the Bear's drift.

All things considered, the Bear felt transported to one of the remoter areas of Africa whenever his eye was inadvertently caught by one of the young ladies in attendance.

Finally, it is common wisdom that to be involved in an automobile accident without such precautions leads to newspaper headlines such as, "Underwearless Miss Mabel Jones Rescued From Motorcar After Accident Following St. Francis Xavier's Ten O'Clock Mass."

Now to change tone and get perfectly -- one might say deadly -- serious.

Pope Francis the Good Shepherd

Today's Old Testament reading seemed appropriate enough. It is one that would make the Bear tremble like an aspen leaf if had the slightest authority over the sheep. It is obvious to any real Catholic that many of our shepherds delight in misleading the sheep, from the lowliest priest to cardinals closest to the Pope himself.

They mislead. They scatter. They drive away. They do not care for the sheep. By any ordinary measure, faithful Catholics are indeed a remnant. Here is the reading, from Jeremiah 23:1-6 (NABRE).

Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the flock of my pasture—oracle of the Lord. Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people:You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds. I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have banished them and bring them back to their folds; there they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear or be terrified; none shall be missing—oracle of the Lord. 
See, days are coming—oracle of the Lord —
when I will raise up a righteous branch for David;
As king he shall reign and govern wisely,
he shall do what is just and right in the land.
In his days Judah shall be saved,
Israel shall dwell in security.
This is the name to be given him:
“The Lord our justice.”

Smiling Pope Francis has proved himself a good shepherd.

But not by the standards of today's reading.

Pope Francis is a good shepherd according to the lights of the world, and it's Master, Beelzebub. He is adored by the world and its puffed-up organs. He sows confusion and discouragement. (Look at the poll in the right sidebar to see the verdict of the Bear's readers.) He is happiest when the Catholic Faith is in retreat and Francis is put forward.

In the neglected (granted, Puritan) classic, Pilgrim's Progress, Christian and Hopeful get into an argument with Mr. ByEnds and his worldly companions over using religion to attain worldly ends. Christian's final argument is devastating.

"Fifth," concluded Christian, "don't think this simply a fabrication of my own mind that a man who becomes religious for the purpose of gaining the world will be just as willing to  throw away religion to obtain it. As surely as Judas had designs on the world in becoming religious, he just as surely sold religion and his master for the same thing. To answer the question [whether one might use religion to advance oneself and one's aims] in the affirmative, therefore, as I perceive you have done, and to accept such an answer as correct, is irreligious, hypocritical and devilish. Your reward will be in accordance with your works."

There are all sorts of men who lust after the world. The least dangerous are those who are dazzled by its treasure. The worst are the ones who gaze at the world, and see their own reflection as big as the world.


  1. We we at the Grotto of Lourdes shrine today. A pilgrimage group was there and one of the young ladies had on a dress with no back. My husband asked me why that girl was so naked in a holy place. All I could say was that our culture is so insane that even a church going girl browsing the holy water fonts in a shrine gift shop felt the need to go semi naked in public.

    1. It's not just young girls, either. It's young married women, or even mothers. It would be nice to have a grandmother brigade who would sweetly take these clueless ladies aside and explain what is acceptable in the house of God, and what is not. Maybe mention that they don't want to be a distraction to the men who are trying to maintain custody of their eyes while literally surrounded. They could even have some light shawls on hand for a quick emergency coverup. Honestly, I have to wonder if some of them are not getting a kick out of it.

  2. We were in the Emmitsburg, Grotto of Lourdes shrine in MD.

  3. Yes, summer is the season of unnecessary revelations. I don't need to see that much of people, especially females and especially the overweight. The styles of girls' and women's clothes is rather tight and (ill)-fitted. It's very revealing of cleavage as well. Women are not embarrassed to dress so at mass.

    1. I would love to know the thought process that goes alone with that. I have to think that "casual dress" opens the door anything is fine to walk through it.

  4. We belong to the Church that Jesus Christ founded; she is His Church. It is not 'FrancisChurch' and a 'FrancisBishop' is not going to be a true shepherd.

  5. One of my sons, who says he is a Catholic and goes to Mass, thinks Pope Francis is the best Pope we have had in the history of the Church. I think the opposite and told him so. He likes it that Pope Francis does not focus on rules but manifests his mercy and love to everyone. I said Francis is a wolf and sheep's clothing who doesn't speak out about sinful behavior but rather appears to condone it. After a lot of back and forth with my son I told him that he wasn't a Catholic but rather an atheist who didn't believe in heaven or hell and that all the "rules" Catholic's are there to help them be better and happier people. I ended this by telling my son I would pray for him.

    Pope Francis by casting ambiguity on Church doctrine makes it very difficult for parents trying to counsel their children and others.

    1. A little more clarification on why. my son likes Pope Francis. My son believes that Pope Francis understanding of the Church's mission is to make a heaven on earth reflecting the only reason Christ came and that our mission is to do the same.

    2. It is heartbreaking to try to keep your kids in the Church. The Bear's is at 50% strong Catholic identity, 25% non-attending, gay "equality" types, and the rest completely unchurched. The Bear has tried to discuss gay marriage, but gets an indulgent smirk. He knows he would get "But, Dad, even the Pope says we shouldn't judge, and they're changing all that in that thingy they're having."

      I have a piece I'm writing that (I humbly suggest) goes right to the heart of Francis' error on "the poor."

    3. Mr. Bear. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to your piece on "the poor".

    4. Yes indeed, I am right there with you Bear! We have an 'only' (could not have more) that thank goodness is not going along with the 'gay marriage' debacle, but isn't really all that sure about the 'Catholic' Church in general. Was told in College from a 'Catholic' Priest that it was no sin to miss Mass on Sunday....blah, blah, blah, and so many other non Catholic Church teachings. Was told that the Church was 'updating' to the 21st Century, blah, blah blah. For our children and our children's children, things look very bleak at this point, but our God is a God of miracles so......

    5. At my kids' age, the Bear was not exactly a Catholic Poster Child either. So we keep praying, keep setting the best example we can, and try not to nag (which is just counterproductive I believe). It is so sad your child was spiritually abused in that manner.

    6. My sons and their wives are aware of my views on gay "marriage", but I do not know to what extent they share them, if at all. We don't discuss it, and I do not press them to discuss it with me because my feelings about it are very strong, and more than anything I am terrified that disagreement might lead to estrangement.


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