Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Biggest Clue to Pope Francis

Bathing a Bear is big, messy job. As the "Bathe-a-Bear" crew  was lathering him up this morning for his monthly ablutions, the Bear's mind wandered to Pope Francis. 

He suddenly realized something. It won't take long to tell. It is the one thing that has been bothering the Bear for so long, just under the level of consciousness. It took a bit of shampoo in his eye to bring it to the surface.

If all Pope Francis wanted to do was to set a tone of mercy, he could certainly do that well within the context of sound doctrine. The Church, of all institutions, gets mercy. If he wanted to highlight our obligations to the poor, he could showcase many saints, and Our Lord besides. And without distractions like global warming and the corpual work of environmental mercy. Without all the horrifying airplane pressers.

And that's what we smell. It isn't a style (as was recently suggested on the Bear's official Facebook page). It isn't an emphasis. It is simple non-Christianity. We've been worrying that Pope Francis isn't Catholic. The Bear must wonder if he is even Christian.

It is certainly about conforming the Church to a leftist view of the world. One which has always and everywhere turned humans into something less, no less sure than unbridled capitalism does. (It is also about turning the spotlight on Pope Francis. Funny how everything seems to wind up being about him. Not that the Bear is any different. Then again, he's a Bear.)

You can claim to have - indeed have - a concern for the poor (of a sort) without a trace of Christianity. If Pope Francis were a character in The Brothers Karamazov (which is one book you should read if you read nothing else in your life) he would not be the staretz. He would not be sweet Alyosha. He would be The Grand Inquisitor in Ivan's fable.

Christ is brought before the Grand Inquisitor, centuries after His death and resurrection. Far from welcoming him, the Grand Inquisitor tells Our Lord that His religion is too hard for people. That He should have given them bread. In fact, he says Jesus was wrong to have rejected Satan's three offers. People are weak. Freedom is a burden. Responsibility is too much to bear. Before he tells Jesus to get out of town and never come back, he says this:

"We are not with Thee, but with him, and that is our secret! For centuries have we abandoned Thee to follow him."

Dostoyevski had it right. He was just a couple of hundred years too early.


  1. Brothers Karamazov is next in my queue.

    Your analysis is the key to making sense out of the inexplicable.

    A Modernist elevates Man to the Throne of God and turns Jesus Christ into a mere man among many who occupy the collective "Mankind". And Modernism is the Mother Of All Heresies, (or synthesis); the most lethal threat ever faced by Catholics according to Pope St Pius X, thus not just inconvenient and distasteful (like Trump), but a mortal threat to ourselves and our progeny.

    We will be confused by incomprehensible Church Fathers' actions unless we place them all in the context that the Church of Jesus Christ is now run by Modernists who present God as man (small m); Man (big M) as God.

    If Pope St Pius X was unafraid to declare Modernists would infiltrate the highest levels of the Church and warn in prophecy, then we should be of similar courage and act now in defense of our souls and of those we love accordingly.

  2. “Without God all things are permitted.”
    ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  3. I have always held it against Dostoyevsky that he was paid by the word.

    When I take an author seriously, I wrestle with him thought by thought and word by word throughout the text. Dostoyevsky's endless dialogues involving his "idiot" characters give my patience a hernia.

    1. I confess to only ever finishing BK, but more than once. I enjoy that he takes the room to fully develop his characters ideas. I hope you have a higher opinion of Judging Angels. There is a much higher body count.

  4. Brothers K. tell us an awfully lot about ourselves and the world we live in. And right on with Pope Francis as the Grand Inquisitor. Imagine what he would do with Jesus if he came back for a visit. Next to the Bible it was the best book I ever read. But utubeo has a point. The serialized distribution of literature in those days encouraged prolixity.

  5. Nervously, the Bear checked. Brothers Karamazov has double the word count of Judging Angels. BK is over 300,000 words! That is a really long book. It would never be published today. Even JA is considered questionably long these days.

    Yes, I agree BK could have been written much more economically. But it is really a theological treatise in the disguise of a novel. And is so true psychologically. The wicked old father says he can't believe in Hell because where do the devils get the iron for their pitchforks. A perfect illustration of the kind of confusion people get themselves into when the start from a wrong premise and develop it logically.

  6. There are two biggest clues, one from above and one from below:

    1. Revelation 13:11-16

    2. Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma


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