Monday, April 11, 2016

CNN Priest: No More "Living in Sin" in FrancisFamilies, Pope Grieves Over Judas

This is possibly the most disturbing article the Bear has ever written. Yet, in its own way, it is, if the Bear may say so, a masterpiece of horror that builds to a towering crescendo of insanity that you have to read to believe. And even then, you may not.

The overture comes from Fr. Edward L. Beck, C.P. who finishes up an emetic piece in Crux with these words:
Francis saves some of his most startling and liberating comments for the latter part of the exhortation. After having made an earnest appeal for the primacy of conscience and individual discernment within the context of the faith community, Francis says this: "It can no longer simply be said that all those in any 'irregular' situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace." 
How extraordinary! 
That means those who cohabitate without the benefit of marriage are not to be perceived a priori as "living in sin"— nor is anyone else, for that matter.  We do not have states of life that are deemed sinful, or beyond the reach of grace.  Rather, we have individuals who must be encouraged, no matter what their state in life, to be continually transformed by the grace of inclusion and mercy. 
Joyous indeed.
The Bear just realized that his "Dear Reinhard" satires, where Cardinal Marx plays agony aunt to a group in various "irregular situations," has already evolved from satire to reality in the space of eight months.

Bear prophecy is awesome.

The kid who always gives the wrong answer when called upon in class, Archbishop Blase Cupich contributes this incendiary quote in the Chicago Tribune: "a game changer."

Cupich called the document "a game changer for the way we as a diocese are going to work with people."
"There's not really any doctrine as such that's changed, but there is, I think, a very fresh way that will strike Catholic people in the pews and the priests about how we pastorally deal with people, especially those people whose lives are really very complicated," 

But see, he gets it. If there were weeping in Heaven, St. Thomas would be sitting with his face buried in his hands, because buzzwords have replaced the inspired intellect. "Conscience." "Pastoral." "Mercy." "Game-Changer." We have seen the same phenomenon in society in general. We can't be bothered to think. We just react, like the galvanically excited legs of a dead frog. We are following Pope Francis into a new age of the Church, from the dark ages of doctrine to the light of merciful and creative pastoral solutions.

(h/t Father Z) Dymphna's Road sums it up with genius. (But the Bear is going to make you go there for the traffic. Just wait, or be sure to come back, because the worst is yet to come.)

Then there is the wisdom of America's editors. (Warning, those with high blood pressure should not view due to danger of stroke.)

Observation deck of Pope's Flagship Santa Marta orbiting in low earth orbit today.

Not to be outdone, this very day, Pope Francis grieves over freaking Judas -- "this poor, repentant man" -- who went to the Jewish priests for forgiveness and only found rules. While you read, the Bear is going to make himself a cheap-vodka martini, very dry.

Pope Francis said: "It hurts when I read that small passage from the Gospel of Matthew, when Judas, who has repented, goes to the priests and says: ‘I have sinned' and wants to give ... and gives them the coins. ‘Who cares! - they say to him: it’s none of our business!’ They closed their hearts before this poor, repentant man, who did not know what to do. And he went and hanged himself. And what did they do when Judas hanged himself? They spoke amongst themselves and said: 'Is he a poor man? No! These coins are the price of blood, they must not enter the temple... and they referred to this rule and to that… The doctors of the letter."

How long will it be before we hear Pope Francis ponder poor Satan, an angel of light who was harshly judged by God's Rules, rather than Mercy for his non serviam? Pastorally, God should have accompanied Satan; and offered a respected place for him in the angelic host while Lucifer worked out his complicated, irregular situation of rebel. After all, it was only forced upon him by his sovereign conscience.

What does it take to open a cause for psychological incompetence on the Pope? This does not seem to the Bear to be the sermon of an educated Catholic in a sound state of mental health. "Mercy" vs. "Rules" has become an idée fixe for him. The Bear is being quite serious, and views with a mixture of sympathy and horror a man who should never have been pope sowing confusion at every opportunity. How horrible it would be to be a pope, and not to have anyone to say, "I'm worried about you."

Had the Bear read of a bomb going off somewhere in the Vatican, he does not think he would feel any more dismay than what is happening now.


  1. Cardinal Burke said:
    “In other words, the Holy Father is proposing what he personally believes is the will of Christ for His Church, but he does not intend to impose his point of view, nor to condemn those who insist on what he calls “a more rigorous pastoral care.”

    Today the HF did condemn (Vatican Insider) those who “insist on what he calls a ‘more rigorous pastoral care'”. In his homily today he excoriates the doctors of the law, of the letter. He goes on to bemoan their treatment of Judas:
    “Pope Francis said: “It hurts when I read that small passage from the Gospel of Matthew, when Judas, who has repented, goes to the priests and says: ‘I have sinned’ and wants to give … and gives them the coins. ‘Who cares! – they say to him: it’s none of our business!’ They closed their hearts before this poor, repentant man, who did not know what to do. And he went and hanged himself. And what did they do when Judas hanged himself? They spoke amongst themselves and said: ‘Is he a poor man? No! These coins are the price of blood, they must not enter the temple… and they referred to this rule and to that… The doctors of the letter.” The life of a person did not matter to them, the Pope observed, they did not care about Judas’ repentance. The Gospel, he continued, says that Judas came back repentant. But all that mattered to them “were the laws, so many words and things they had built”. “


    Took away the bells
    Took away the art
    Took away the songs
    Inspiring our heart.

    Took away the missals
    Took away the veil
    Took away our right to kneel
    At Communion rail.

    Scourged us with indifference
    Whipped with Worship, weak
    Crowned us with their humble words,
    “A more pastoral view we seek.”

    Now with untuned strings you dance
    Pass us on The Way
    Carrying our crosses on the path
    Of “long defeat”, we stay.

    Try to kill us softly
    With bashful, blushing, babble
    Condescending degrader dogs
    Then slap us as we scrabble.

    The Way, the Truth and our life
    “Is crux of all sedition.”
    But we are merely branches
    Rooted in Tradition.

    Branches weak and branches strong
    Branches propagate
    Branches full of Sacred Sap
    From Vine proliferate.

    A branch can bend, a branch can break
    Become dead wood to toss
    But He Who makes the things all new
    Made dead wood save…the Cross.

    So take away the bells
    Take away the art
    Take away our Catholic name
    Written in His Heart.

    For “What is in a name?”, you ask
    The rigorous rose you cheat ~
    “By any other name” I say
    Still, rigorous rose is sweet!

  2. It seems as thought the Pope is being led whither he wills not in his old age, I'm worried about him.

    1. No wits here to blame I am afraid, it plainly appears the work of that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan and the pope is on board with his agenda.

  3. Hi Bear! Its amazing how many people understood what I was trying to say. Thanks for the link.

    1. Well done! Wisdom of the simple, putting the learned and the mighty to shame.

  4. I have to ask, if the priests had acknowledged Judas a sinner in need of repentance, would they not be culpable as well? Are these not the same men who wanted Jesus killed as well? I really don't know. Just asking.

    Sometimes it's too late. Some men cannot be saved.

    1. Really, it's like four guys conspire to rob a bank. Then one of them has remorse and gives his share of the loot to the other three to make things right. He's really just trying to avoid feeling bad. It isn't repentance at all. Nor does it make sense for him to expect forgiveness or "mercy" or whatever from his co-conspirators. It's just illogical.

  5. But it's even worse than that. We can all grieve over sinners that could have repented but failed. Even Judas, I suppose. But he's blaming the JEWS for his suicide! (Just as traditionalist Catholics are supposed to blame the Jews for the death of Jesus.) They could have forgiven him, you see (according to Francis). But of course, they had no power to forgive in that sense. Indeed, they explicitly rejected that whole idea--that's one of the reasons they condemned Jesus. The whole theory (or whatever you want to call it) is utterly bizarre. But it is original. I don't think any human being in history ever previously uttered it.

    1. When does eccentric become symptomatic? Good point. And, of course, Our Lord did not envision Judas being saved.

    2. I suspect the Pope gets his theology (or at least this strand of it)from "Jesus Christ Superstar" which lyricist Tim Rice suggested was the Gospel told from the viewpoint of Judas.

      Bactrian Princess

  6. Oakes Spalding said:

    "Even Judas, I suppose. But he's blaming the JEWS for his suicide!" THIS is anti-Semitism!!!

  7. Bear, here are the lines that appear in my Bible (NAB) for Matthew 27:3-4:

    Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood."

    Do you disagree with the Holy Father when he refers to Judas in this passage -- after his great, tremendous sin -- as repentant? We are told by the gospel writer that Judas "deeply regretted" his sin. We are told that he tried to return the monetary gain from his sinful betrayal of Our Lord. We are told that he admitted his sin bluntly: "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood."

    You have indicated in your post here, along with a number of commentators at Fr. Z's blog, that you heartily disapprove of the Holy Father's discussion of Judas's repentance. And yet he DID repent. Judas, the sinner extraordinairre, repented deeply for his sin. And we are told elsewhere in the gospels -- by Christ Himself -- that Our Lord came not to heal (save) those who are well but those who are sick (sinners). Who, precisely, would be in greater need of repentance and mercy than Judas? Why then do you condemn the Holy Father when he discusses Judas's repentance and the crass rigidity of the chief priests who rejected his repentance and more or less laughed in his face when he expressed sorrow -- "deep regret" -- for his sin? Setting aside for the moment the potential short-circuiting of Judas's repentance in his choice to take his own life, I don't see how you can ignore the fact that the Holy Father is right when he discusses Judas's repentance.

    As much as you may despise the Holy Father's letter -- and as dismayed as you may be by various aspects of his papacy -- I simply cannot comprehend why you or I, sinners each, should cast stones at the Holy Father for referring to an important part of the passion story less than two weeks after Good Friday. I know I will be in great need of Christ's mercy, and the Church's ministrations and prayers, when I reach my end on this earth. I'm assuming the same is true for many of my fellow Catholics, including yourself.

    And, for the record: unlike in the case of Judas, there is no scriptural evidence whatsoever that Satan has repented of his evil. You know darn well that the Holy Father is not going to some day refer to the need for "sympathy for the devil" -- or however you (or the Rolling Stones) might phrase it. With Judas -- well, there's the scriptural evidence of his repentance. Choose to ignore it if you like, but it's right there in Matthew.

    1. Would Jesus know Judas would repent? If so, why did he say it would be better for the man who betrayed him never to have been born?

      As for Lucifer, supposing Pope Francis did say that it was unfortunate that one of the brightest creatures in the Heavenly host was condemned, and perhaps Mercy would extend even to him, then, honestly, would your opinion change on Pope Francis, or would you still be defending him?

    2. Wow, Bear, nice job of putting words in the Holy Father's mouth that he has never uttered -- "supposing Pope Francis did say..." One heck of a hypothetical. How about if I pose a hypothetical right back: "Suppose that Cardinal Burke did say that anti-semitism was a-okay..." Except, of course, he didn't say that, so I would have indicted Card. Burke on a charge (as you have with the Holy Father) of which he is not guilty. Too bad, I suppose, that you decided not to address the scripture from St. Matthew in which we are told that Judas "deeply regretted" his sin. Keep in mind, that passage was not written by Judas's public relations guy; it comes from the evangelist himself. Divinely inspired scripture, in other words. Set it aside if you wish, but, like the Holy Father, I will read it as an important part of the Passion story.

    3. Actually, I have addressed the text at length. With all due respect, you're trying to "proof-text" like a Protestant instead of applying real exegesis. "Repent" is just an English word chosen by the people who translated your Bible. It is not even a good choice (see below). If you are reading the "repentance of Judas" as part of the passion story, then I just don't know what to say. You should try to read your Bible in tune with the Church, which did not spring into existence three years ago.

      Unlike you, I have no problem answering your hypothetical. If Cardinal Burke said anti-Semitism was okay," you would see a swift condemnation in this ephemeris.

      Since you are unwilling to state your reaction to my hypothetical, I can only assume you would find reasons sufficient to yourself to justify Pope Francis' statement about Lucifer. Of course, you're still free to answer my hypothetical.

  8. "Setting aside for the moment the potential short-circuiting of Judas's repentance in his choice to take his own life. . ."


  9. Also, most Biblical commentators (Catholic and non-Catholic Christian) agree that Judas was probably repentant only in the "I'm sorry that things are going badly for me now" sense. And obviously the suicide would bear that out. The Greek word that Matthew uses for "repent" is different from the word generally used in other places by Matthew and others. It's more akin to "stupid move" than "I'm truly sorry that I betrayed my Master and friend."

  10. The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." (Matthew 26:24-25 RSV)

    So why would Jesus say this if Judas had actually repented in such a fashion that his horrible sin would be forgiven? Knowing everything, why didn't he say, "It's a really bad thing, but fear not, the man who did this will repent and join me in my Father's house?" If Judas truly repented, then he would have been forgiven, and gone to Heaven, right?

    St. Paul has this to say, distinguishing "godly grief" that acknowledges the offense against God, and worldly grief that is incomplete. Or do you maintain that merely emotionally regretting an action under extreme psychological pressure is the same as true repentance?

    For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10 RSV)

    Thank you for your contribution, Steve, but you have been clearly shown to be mistaken. However, it is not your fault. You have every right as a Catholic (assuming you are) to trust your Pope. It just isn't that simple right now.

    1. Thanks for being so patronizing, Bear. It's your blog, of course, and you do have that right...assuming you really are Catholic, that is -- or heck, even if you're not Catholic, you still have the right to be as patronizing as you wish!

      More to the substance of the issue, however: Last time I checked, it was God who determined whether any given individual was/is sincere in his or her repentance. A priest in a confessional can exercise some discretion in assessing whether or not the repentance is sincere, in terms of deciding whether he can grant absolution or not, but you and I are not actually fit to judge the sincerity of any individual's repentance. Thank goodness.

      As for Christ's admonition about how it would "be better if that man had never been born..." Might it not be true that betraying the Son of God be the most spiritually traumatic and psyche-tearing thing any man could ever do on this earth? Keep in mind that Jesus also told Peter to pray that his faith would not fail -- and yet, at that same time, Jesus knew that Peter's faith WOULD fail him; he would, in fact, deny the Christ not once but three times. In other words, Christ foresees the epic failure of both Judas and Peter (Judas's is the worse of the two failures, obviously). Yet you assume that this closes the door on any sincere repentance on Judas's part. An interesting argument, but not convincing. It's entirely possible that Christ was acknowledging that a grave sin (in this case, Judas's betrayal of Christ) has a strongly corrosive effect on the soul. However, the effect of sin and repentance from that sin -- those are not mutually exclusive concepts.

      Anyhow, I am glad for the year of mercy; I am glad for God's gift of Pope Francis; I am, most of all, glad for Christ's willingness to die for me and for all sinners (no one excluded from the possibility of redeeming grace) on the cross. I assume the same is true for you.

    2. When the Bear is patronizing you, you'll know it.

      If you look below, you'll see that "repent" isn't even a very good choice to translate an extremely rare Greek word that means to change your mind, regret, have remorse, and (technically) repent. So this all gets started because of a questionable choice by the NABRE translators!

      Your attempt to reconcile Jesus' observation about Judas' doom and his repentance and (presumably) salvation is not based in scripture or tradition, or, anything, really, except a desire to defend at all costs a really eccentric thing Pope Francis said.

      Holy Scripture gives us all the information we have. That's it. If you want to make up a theory about Jesus speaking of some "psyche-tearing" consequence of Judas' betrayal, that's your business, but it does not merit serious consideration by other people because the text does not support it. It's something you've made up as an ad-hoc response to people criticizing Pope Francis for saying something eccentric and scandalous (again).

      I have no reason to believe Judas could not have, in theory, repented. (Although we still have Jesus' unambiguous curse.) But I also have no reason to believe that Judas did repent. What the Bible describes is the horrifying consequence of a man consumed with remorse for a horrible deed who never got on his knees and humbly confessed to God. Instead he tried to salve his conscience by returning the blood-money, then hanged himself. So now he's got two homicides on his soul.

      This is the text.

  11. Hi I'm a regular reader but don't comment. But this is too much and I have a question.

    Of course, in so far as the Biblical record has any meaning and purpose, Judas didn't repent; he indulged in worldly shame and self-deception. He dramatized repenting in front of the Jewish elders who had hired him precisely so as to avoid actually repenting in front of Jesus. Oakes Spalding is explaining it well above. And we've already seen that Pope Francis can't differentiate worldly shame from productive, spiritual shame or repentance; that he feels bad for those who are really only indulging in worldly shame and wants to make them feel nice again as quickly as possible... Okay.

    But, Bear, how is it not heresy to say that Judas was a victim rather than a victimizer, that he was, like King Lear, more sinned against than sinning? How is that not heresy?

    1. As far as I know, it is not dogma that Judas did not repent. It's just a fact. And Francis is probably speaking in ignorance, not in willful rejection of some dogma (if it were). So I don't think it's heresy. It is really odd, and not very well thought out, but he's really on this Mercy vs. Rules thing and sees it everywhere now.

      Nice for you to join the conversation.

    2. Exactly! Believe it or not, I have waves of true pity for this man! He seems to be so mislead and so confused by his version of theology, and call for MERCY, (whatever HIS definition of MERCY is)that he is completely illogical. The 'reason' part of our faith is absent with Francis.....he is a very confused man it seems to me, and why someone in the Vatican has not tried to intervene, is because he has surrounded himself with clerics who have taken advantage of his eccentricities for their revolutionary purposes. The perfect anti Catholic storm.

    3. The Bear has thought about Joachim of Fiore. The age of Peter would give way to an age of the Holy Spirit, when everyone would convert to Catholicism because of the love of Catholics. Bear thinks Pope Francis may entertain some sort of millennial idea where there is a sea-change in the Church for a New Age. Again, his role is the Prophet, who will plant the seeds that will grow into this New Age.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. It's also important to unpack why the priests did not show mercy to Judas, as Francis says. Similarly, why was St Stephen stoned? THEY DIDN'T LIKE JESUS. They wanted Him dead--and His followers too now, since the crucifixion didn't end Jesus' influence. (I guess the priests didn't believe that He resurrected.) The apostles only became stronger and confident in their faith in Jesus after the resurrection.

    Why on earth would they show Judas "mercy" if Judas' "sin" was to do their bidding? Yeah, I suppose they were cold hearted, but not for the reasons Francis articulates. Judas was not rejected b/c of any old "rules" about sin and mercy, but because Judas did what they wanted.

    1. Excellent point! What "mercy" were the Jewish priests with whom Judas conspired to kill Jesus supposed to show Judas? They could not forgive him on behalf of Jesus. Were they supposed to take him in, soothe him, tell him he did the right thing? Relax?

      The more I think about your comment, Francis' sermon seems demented. It is just wrong in so many ways.

  13. by a great Doctor of the Church....

    "ON THE NUMBER OF SINS BEYOND WHICH GOD PARDONS NO MORE"..."Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" – Matt., 4:7

    part 2...

    part 3...

    francis is an old man...and in putting out garbage like this he is a stupid old man. Whether he believes it or not doesn't change the FACT that he will stand very soon before the just judge to give an account of his betrayal, more grievous no doubt to Our Lord than judas'. God have mercy.

    1. The reason that it is so very important to pray ESPECIALLY for this Pope!! And.....then again.....because he is a 'stupid old man' or even maybe a truly 'demented' old man, according to him anyway, he won't be as culpable.:)

      He is in much need of prayer.

  14. The Greek word used for Judas' "repentance" is more of a change of mind, regret, or remorse although it technically might be used for repentance. However, some Bibles translate it as "repent" in only one place: the one under discussion. A bad choice.

    The word for what we could consider "repentance," and is commonly used in Orthodoxy even now, is metanoia. The key idea is a "turning around." You can see how that applies to repentance.

    metamelomai is only used a few (4?) times. It means to change one's mind, regret, have remorse. The root is "it is a concern, it is a care." "Remorse" would be the best word. In fact, it is only in connection with Judas that some translations use "repent." The same word is translated "regret" when Paul denies feeling bad if he made the Corinthians feel bad. The other two instances are used in the "change one's mind" sense: in the parable of the two sons, and in an OT quote about God not changing his mind.

    So to translate the extremely rare word describing what Judas felt as, in just this one case, "repentence," a very poor choice with the potential to mislead people like Pope Francis.

  15. How long will it be before we hear Pope Francis ponder poor Satan, an angel of light who was harshly judged by God's Rules, rather than Mercy for his non serviam? Your thinking is not far-fetched. Everything now reeks of the evil one.

  16. We shouldn't be surprised by at all by all this because Pope Francis telegraphs everything in advance. Cf. [] re: him abolishing sin.

  17. There was plenty of room for Judas at the foot of the Cross if he wished to be forgiven.

    That's pretty much where all penitents have to go for forgiveness. There is ample mercy under the precious bleeding feet of Jesus.

    1. Well said, Brian. Judas felt regret. He did not feel repentance. It is a good, if tragic, demonstration of a practical lesson for us all. How many times do we go to confession with regret in our hearts, wanting to ease our conscience through absolution, but we are not really repentant? Scary thought. May God make up for our lack through His love.

  18. There is an interesting discussion of this from last year in Roroate.

    I recall from my own education that the great sin of Judas was despair.

    Bactrian Princess

    1. Well, you get a spoonful of honey for figuring out how to make a hot link in a combox!

  19. Pope Francis was educated by Liberal Jesuits, He embraced the totality of the Vatican II errors, He is well steeped in Liberation theology, and from his South American time, shows a deep regard for evangelical protestants. So why should we be surprised when he gives us encyclicals and exhortations that look more like Saul Alinsky than St. Peter? The Man is a train wreck and he seems intent on dragging us along for the ride. I choose to ignore His disoriented diatribes and stick to the Faith as handed down over the centuries.

  20. Bishop Sheen once called Judas, the First Protestant. See the Gospel of Saint John, Chapter Six. Judas never believed that Christ was the Son of Man. He secretly rejected Christ's call to the Eucharist; but he remained with Christ.

    Taken from this context, Judas was filled with remorse for betraying Christ. Yet, he never believed that Christ was God Incarnate - the Son of God. Judas couldn't return to his fellow Apostles, for he betrayed them as well. And, despite their own lack of Faith and understanding, they knew that Christ was who He said he was. Judas thought Christ's own 3 year ministry was a sham. Judas, despite being in close proximity to Christ refused to believe or acknowledge that Christ was Divine. He went to his death believing that he betrayed a mere Man.

    The biggest lesson for me is never to presume that even if Christ does appear physically that we will also not reject Him.

  21. Sympathy for Francis? Sympathy for the devil.

  22. Bear true prophet. Pope false prophet.



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