This never gets old. "Wait. She looks a lot bigger up close." This is just to make you smile. The Bear reckons you might need one.
The Bear could not sleep last night, as his 450 gm. ursine brain was spinning like a top. A top shooting flaming nails out of it. It's been a bad month.
The Bear is not learned. He can't define all the degrees and kinds of heresy. But like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said of pornography, "I know it when I see it."
First we had the January Intentions video. Sure looks like heresy to the Bear. 500 years ago somebody would have had some 'splaining to do before the Inquisition.
Then we had Cardinal Koch's New Jew View, "The Gifts and Covenants of God are Irrevocable," from the Commission on Relations With the Jewish Faith. The take away is that the normal method of salvation for Jews is to reject Jesus Christ. Ha! But we put one over on them! They still benefit from from some sort of impersonal salvation process through Jesus, even as they reject Him. But that's a mystery they did't even try to justify. The ADL said, "whatever" and issued their press release that Jews don't need Jesus, but the Church can't exist without Jews. The Bear hastens to add that it is non-magisterial; just a glorified press release. That does not matter, however, because to everyone, it's "the Church says." This was to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II's Nostra Aetate.
Yeah, that's heresy.
|Arte Johnson from "Laugh-In"|
Then our Pope thought of another "biggest problem." The biggest problem today is that people feel overwhelmed by their sins. And fortune telling. This is like telling Americans their biggest problem is that they don't eat enough. We need more awareness of sin! Everybody's fine with their sins. They even wave colored flags to celebrate them and inform everyone of their nature. Repentance, then Mercy!
From behind the foliage, wearing a German helmet and smoking a cigarette, "Not heresy, but shtupid."
We're far from over. The Pope visited the Great Synagogue in Rome. He's never happier than when he's as far away from Catholics as possible. He said this: "The Church, while professing salvation through faith in Christ, recognizes the irrevocability of the Covenant." Huh? Perhaps a kind reader will explain to the Bear what that even means. The Bear suspects it means, "Now I'm going to say something that will make you happy, but will sound like I'm still a Catholic." But it is an incomplete thought, so the Bear cannot determine if it is heresy or not.
|"Whatever you said, it sounded good to us. We've got our covenant. End of story."|
Then there were the priests giving communion to Lutherans (whether they wanted it or not, according to some reports), with knowledge and approval of the Vatican. A harbinger of things to come? Certainly sacrilege, but the Bear doesn't know if it is heresy. But the Bear would have scattered everyone with a terrifying roar just in case.
|Too short? Who are you to judge?|
Then the Pope changed the rules for Holy Thursday foot washing to include "those from among the people of God." He encouraged the choosing of those reflecting the diversity of the parish: men, women, children, ill. While it is not heresy to change the rules (he can do that) it does destroy the symbolism of Jesus and his (male) Apostles. Now it is just a general gesture of humility. Two totally different things. Generally, the Bear has noticed that the Church over the last fifty years just doesn't understand symbolism or how to design effective rituals.
According to a study of erogenous zones of 800 Brits, none were reported. Relax, the Bear is joking. In reality, "feet scored surprisingly low." (This is the kind of in-depth research that sets SCB apart.) So if you are just kind of creeped out by the above picture, that's on you. But the Bear still has little confidence in the good sense of many pewsitters on the distaff side, and cringes at what might occur. (Sorry ladies, but you know what the Bear is talking about, especially at parishes with the newer liturgy.)
Then came the big news. Pope Francis would make a Halloween pilgrimage to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation with a joint Lutheran-Catholic liturgy. (The Bear has already seen the spin: it's a "commemoration," not a celebration.) The Bear honestly cannot believe how a Pope can do that. Won't his Popeliness just disappear? If he despises the Catholic Church so much, why doesn't he resign and become a Muslim on Friday, a Jew on Saturday, a Lutheran on Sunday, and Orthodox, Evangelical, Buddhist and atheist on the rest of the days? Heresy?
Oh, yeah, that's a hella heresy. Christian unity cannot be a unity in error. It can only be a return of wandering sheep to the fold. This does not fit in with the world's agenda, though.
Pope Francis also apologized again, which is hardly even news anymore. But not a heresy.
|Bear holding a fish up to show|
this is important.
The Bear has noticed something about where Pope Francis strays. It is always following the spirit of the age. Diversity. Global Warming, Tolerance. Socialism. Self-Abasement by non-victim classes, and the erasure of established boundaries. These are the virtues and ceremonies of the Prince of the World. In other words, when Pope Francis errs, he errs exactly as the world errs. If he can, he will steer the Barque of Peter into the strong current of the age, and away from the safe course of the ages.
We have a Pope who appears to be informed by the Spiritus Mundi, not by the Church. That is why everything must change.
|Death mask of Martin Luther.|
All of this happened in one single month. The Bear fears it makes for an exhausting read. The Bear's confidence in Pope Francis has never been lower. Nonetheless, the Bear shall pretend he is Pope, because it gets really messy otherwise. And now, more than ever, he will nail his foot to the floor in front of his favorite pew in his regular plain ol' Catholic Church that must still exist, despite the antics of it's leaders. The Bear can see it, right where it always was. Everything Pope Francis has done can be undone by his successor. Or some pope the Bear shall never live to see. We were born in the age of the world. It will not last forever.
We will be delivered from Pope Francis' many errors, one way or another. We should spend at least as much time considering the state of our own souls, especially as Lent approaches.
And brace ourselves for February's horrors.