Saturday, May 21, 2016

Bless Me Father, For I Have Blogged

The Bear has searched in vain for the "bad pope exception" to sins of the tongue. Hey Baby, agitprop or a cutting bit of satire feels so good. The Bear doesn't feel guilty at all. But he is a smart enough Bear to know that you don't always feel guilty, even when you kill a whole flock of sheep just for fun.

That's what they killed Bruno for.

The Bear gets how that's a sin. Even if it is just a fun game of tag that sheep happen to suck at.

So, it appears that the Pope, or a bishop, or Fr. Rosica has a 00-license to kill, and if we say anything about it, we fall into the sin of backbiting, or irony, or detraction, or gossip, or sacrilege, or calumny, or lack of charity, or rash judgment, or bad grammar, or any one of the other 500 freaking sins of the tongue that Catholic thought has sliced as thin as panchetta over the centuries.

So, unless you're on some weak-kneed, useless site like Patheos, you, the Bear's fellow Ephemerist, are certainly on the way to Hell. Michael Voris is definitely going to Hell. Well, as they say, Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

"I'm a monster."
So confession always goes like this. "Look, Pope Francis is horrible, and is damaging the Church. Just yesterday he said [insert outrage du jour]. Okay, Father, see, I've got this blog, and I am often critical of what Pope Francis and others say or do that is against the Catholic Faith. No, seriously, I mean my blog is big. It has tens of readers, so it is very influential." Then you pull out your iPhone and show it to him: "Look what a horrible picture I photoshopped."

Of course, by now Father is looking nervously around the "rec room," because he obviously has an unbalanced person between him and the door.

But you press on, knowing how crazy you sound. "I feel very certain I have a mission from God to expose the holy Father's errors and abuses, and comfort those whom he afflicts. Like a, I dunno, field hospital or something. So I'm not sorry. Should I be? Can you, maybe, like, accompany me, or maybe do that gradual thing? Cuz, I don't see myself stopping. My therapist says I need to do this. Can I still get absolved?"

You bet. Like he's going to tell some 800 lb. Bear sitting two feet in front of him who thinks he's on a mission from God he's not going to absolve him.

The biggest sin is probably the pleasure the Bear takes in it all. It's the sheep all over again. Pope Francis and his minions are begging for abuse. The prey drive is strong in a Bear. And admit it, you can tell your Bear is having fun, can't you? And it's part of why you come here. The Bear treats serious topics with humor and panache. Every ephemeris has a style. This one is irreverent, not to mention being written by a Real Live Bear. And by now, we all know what that means.

The Bear desperately needs some Jesuitical casuistry to avoid being (gulp) neutered. Otherwise this ephemeris is going to have to be renamed The Memoirs of an Ancient Bear or something. But from where the Bear sits, it looks like the whole game is rigged against us, and malefactors can operate sure in the knowledge that anybody that criticizes them is going to get browbeaten into silence by their confessors.

Bloggers beware.


  1. You are invited to check out the agitprop page in the sidebar. Agitprop gives voice to the silent masses and reveals the truth about their masters. It's designed to be copied and distributed through social media. Help Comrade Bear grow stronger!

  2. Your humor seems perfectly apPopepriate.

  3. Oh dear! Perhaps I'm not taking my sins seriously enough. I tend to just confess non-specific uncharitable thoughts and words about 'others'. I've never felt the need to actually mention the Pope. Am I cheating?

    1. You're not Bear-mauling the Vicar of Christ on a daily basis.

  4. "But from where the Bear sits, it looks like the whole game is rigged against us, and malefactors can operate sure in the knowledge that anybody that criticizes them is going to get browbeaten into silence by their confessors."
    I was going to write, "Do NOT be silent. NEVER be silent." Then I recalled what happened to Christ when He was in front of Pontius Pilate. From John 19:
    8 When Pilate heard these words, he was the more afraid; 9 he entered the praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. 10 Pilate therefore said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore he who delivered me to you has the greater sin.”
    "They" crucified Christ the Head. Why will they NOT crucify His Body the Church?

  5. Another great 'Bear Droppings' column whereby, you The Bear, having digested the latest Pope Francis morsel of nonsense, have left it in the woods for us to inspect.

    On the matter of sinfulness of what you do. There is nothing sinful about it. In fact you a performing a multiple spiritual works of mercy:
    1) Admonish sinners. YES.
    (2) Instruct the uninformed. YES.
    (3) Counsel the doubtful. YES
    (4) Comfort the sorrowful. YES
    (5) Be patient with those in error. YES
    (6) Forgive offenses. YES
    (7) Pray for the living and the dead. YES

    I can see it coming. The first Bear granted sainthood. Right up to salmon heaven with no stops on the way.

    1. What would St. Thomas say about performing a bad act to achieve a good goal?

    2. Which only goes to prove we are all screwed up in one way or another from NewChurch, even those of us who still recall moral principles of prior days. But to criticize the pope feels BAD, it feels bad, and how would one know where to stop or what is "too much". If the pope killed someone (God forbid) in the piazza outside St. Peter's, would it be right to report that to readers of blogs? Or is that detracting from the holy father. This is all new territory for contemporary church militanters, where did we put that rule book...
      We're all victims of our times, even when we think we aren't. I personally would love to know what Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen would be saying about PF and his minions if he were alive today. If only!
      But I hear you Bear, it is something that would play on one's nerves, and it's a good idea to have a spiritual director, but where would one find one that isn't part of NewChurch and thereby critical of criticisms. A dilemma.
      My hope is you will do what is best for YOU, as I'm sure nobody here wants a sick or a tortured Bear. I kind of worry about you.

    3. Have you ever been in a Turkish Bear pit? Now that's torture.

      But beneath his clownish antics, the Bear is quite serious, and indeed, melancholy by nature. There is no doubt that the Bear often commits sins "of the tongue" (or fingers) on this ephemeris. That is not a fact to be shrugged off. Even if it doesn't feel like a sin. When you think about it, only a very, very good person feels much true contrition, and they need it the least. Poor Bears with 1300 years to dull their consciences don't feel much contrition.

      So the question remains -- and the Bear would maintain this applies to Michael Voris and every other person who criticizes anyone on the internet -- by what rule are we permitted to operate in the way we do?

      Perhaps informing people of important issues and decisions in the Church is a licit act. Okay, then we must deal in personalities. Sometimes our reportage may not put them in the best light. But there's no way to accomplish the intended licit goal without, shall we say, breaking a few eggs.

      You may have guessed where I'm going with this. The law of double-effect. Is that a good argument? I have no idea. Is there a difference between fair discussion of Pope Francis' public inanities and gossiping about George's drinking problem? No one can now say the laity must sit still and be quiet, not after Vatican II. Pope Francis commissioned a survey to learn what a very tiny sample of Catholics thought about marriage and family. So doesn't it make sense to toss in the Bear's two cents, whether he reads it or not? (Who knows? Stranger things have happened.)

      The next question is, is it a sin to enjoy this business? To craft blog articles that people will find entertaining, so that they will read them? Does that legitimize satire and agitprop?

      The thing that rankles is that it seems awful convenient for the Church to be able to muzzle (and the Bear hates muzzles) any ephemerist by saying it's a sin to blog. How do other ephemerists handle this?

      So, I've got two confessors basically telling me I can't write about anyone unless I am fawning.

      BUT WAIT!

      "Every word or attitude is forbidden which by flattery, adulation, or complaisance encourages and confirms another in malicious acts and perverse conduct. Adulation is a grave fault if it makes one an accomplice in another's vices or grave sins. Neither the desire to be of service nor friendship justifies duplicitous speech. Adulation is a venial sin when it only seeks to be agreeable, to avoid evil, to meet a need, or to obtain legitimate advantages. "

      So, Catechism to the rescue?

  6. answer to the latest Bear Poll: 'Should the Bear continue to cover Pope Francis' keeps on evolving as time goes on. Change of heart...again. Now I am definitely in favor of the continuance. The bloggers are beyond a doubt getting under the skin of the Vatican, and touching a nerve. Just read the latest piece by Steve Skojac at 1Peter5. He, I do believe, is at the top of their so called 'hit list.' It's more important now than ever before that we pray intensely for courageous faithful bloggers.

    You are all now in my daily Rosary.

    1. Okay TLM, if the Bear is sinning you're complicit ;-) Please read directly above and see if the Bear has crafted a lawyerly case. It would seem that it is not the Bear who is sinning, but Mark Shea.

  7. "Oh, you pesky Americans!"

    See the latest from John Allen. (I have a post on this as well.)

  8. I revealed something similar, though less eloquently, in the Torture Chamber recently. After reciting a litany of more familiar failures, I blurted out: "Look, Father; I am a Catholic and all. I don't want to badmouth anybody, much less the Pope. People say it is a bad example. But what kind of 'bad example' would it be to leave the impression that I, personally, have no objection to the very highly objectionable things this Holy Father writes and says? Have I no obligation to stand up for the truth--to be unashamed of Jesus Christ, lest He find cause to be ashamed of me? Take Footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia, now. I'm sorry, but it is simply impossible to interpret it 'in continuity with' the Church's constant teaching, or to let it pass without remark. I don't know, Father. What do you think?"

    There was a pause. Then a reply came from behind the Screen:

    "How should I know? I refuse to even read the (blasted) thing, myself."

    1. That's funny. You have a very wise priest. I got, "Some of what Pope Francis says troubles me, too. But I find it's helpful to go to the original stories about what Pope Francis says and does, and not to rely on rumors on the internet."

      By this time, I just wanted to get out, so I didn't say, "Father, do you think I don't get my ducks in a row and write factually accurate pieces for my highly respectable and influential ephemeris read by as many as 30 people on a good day?"

  9. And what, no love for the awesome Blues Brothers & Bear photoshop job?

  10. Here's what I ask anyone opposed to my unhappiness with, and criticism of, this pope - Have you ever heard of St. Catherine of Sienna (Doctor of the Church!)? And do you know what she is most famous for (Ending the Avignon Papacy with her continuous criticism of the pope)? Time will eventually justify and honor the actions of us bloggers who are not afraid to constructively criticize the pope for the good of the Church. See my post on the issue here:

  11. Obedience isn't one of my strong suites and pride is one of my failings. That said, there are too many saints who are saints precisely because of the tongues. So "if you cannot say something nice, don't say anything at all" seems to be the wrong way to go. That doesn't mean "say everything that comes to mind", either.

    The problem, I think, is Pope Francis' authority, which demands a very high level of obedience. However, that also presumes that Pope Francis is being obedient to the Deposit of Faith and the Will of God.

    Speaking generally, what does one do with an abusive father, what does one do with a blooming idiot for a commander, what does one do with a Pope that likes to say things that are not Catholic thoughts?

    You get you job done, you give the love and obedience that is due, and you protect your brothers from the blows of your father, the idiocy that will get them killed, and the thinking that will lead them to perdition.

    I have Catholic forefathers who made good coin off of satirizing the Church of their day, and, as far as I know, died in full communion and their works are never labeled as sinful or blasphemous in any history book that I have seen.

    I've been going over my spiritual texts looking for a better answer for you, Great Bear. If we lived in any other time, history would bury the nonsense. However, we don't.

    So Great Bear, instead of making things easier, let's make it harder. DONUM VERITATIS -- On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian. Go to IV.B. The Problem of Dissent. Are you a dissenting theologian or perhaps is someone else?

  12. Just because small Jeorge is swimming in the red shoes of the office (that he feins to wear...secretly realizing he is not worthy.? still my foolish heart..) only diminishes the man not the position. To those that recognize this fact there is no crime in the telling of it. To those who are in the dark the honorable Bear brings a light into their minds. Where then, is the sin? It exists not.


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