|Blessed Pope Paul VI|
We knew next to nothing about the man. It never occurred to us to wonder whether he was a good pope or a bad pope. All we knew was that he was the Pope. He was a reserved father figure; a symbol of our identity as Roman Catholics. To be Catholic was to hang a picture of the pope on your wall, probably next to a picture of JFK, as in Red Death's childhood home.
Perhaps if we had been paying more attention, we might have picked up on the controversy over Humanae Vitae. But neither of us had so much of a whiff of anything like that, let alone the intricacies of the second Vatican council.
The Bear cannot help but look upon those days of blessed ignorance with nostalgia. Now, as passengers in the Barque of Peter, the Captain is on the bridge barking commands to rock and knock us between bulkheads, pursuing a punishing zig-zag course as if to dodge torpedoes of orthodoxy.
One can hardly help forming opinions about Francis and what he says. He possesses an overexposure Kim Kardashian can only dream of. No remote father figure he. Francis is more like a carping mother: constantly, constantly criticizing and exhorting. He will not let us alone. He lacks the wisdom to understand why this is bad. That doesn't matter, though, because he lacks the discipline to step out of the spotlight and let the Church proceed upon her stately course. Somehow, Francis has convinced himself it needs every single idea that enters his head to correct course and ensure safe passage.
The Bear has said it before: Francis sees himself not so much as Pope than as Prophet. He is the third source of revelation, along with Holy Scripture and Tradition. Unlike the prophets of old, however, his message is not one of sin and repentance, but worldly opinions and accommodation in the name of mercy.
One day, the world will learn, if there was ever any doubt in anyone's mind but Francis', that the Church can get along without Pope Francis. On the Vatican website, instead of his latest confounding homily, will be the umbraculum of the sede vacante Holy See without a pope.
The Bear doubts anyone in his family will cry for him.