Saturday, March 24, 2018

Why the Bear is Done with Church Controversy

The Bear has decided he will no longer write about Church scandals and controversies.

Instead, he would rather write about how to survive in the Church we have. Culture. There are important things going on and most people can't see the forest for the trees. Leave it to a Bear to see both.

And goats. Our latest (video to come) brings our flock to 20, all but two born right here in Zoar.

As you might have gathered from a pungent recent post (perhaps the very one that landed the Bear in Facebook Jail) he has come to a strong opinion about that during Lent. There is something wrong when you can't tell what season it is from reading Catholic blogs.

Fortunately, there is no lack of other places to read about scandals.

Are there problems? Of course, and serious ones. The path of sheer ubiquity and relentless tinkering chosen by Francis has created a new level of difficulty for thinking Catholics. But, the Bear thinks it will be a thousand years before we see another South American or Jesuit Pope. So we're vaccinated.

Even so, time is short. Eternity is world without end, amen. 

Does that mean the Bear has gone all Michael Voris and thinks it was horrible to criticize this pontificate? Not exactly.

Before we knew everything we needed to know about who Francis was and what he wanted to accomplish, it was legitimate to try to solve him. However, the Bear has decided there is nothing new for him to say about Pope Francis. At some point, the good he is doing must be balanced against the evil. And, he does see a downside to relentless well-deserved criticism of the Church.

Has the cottage industry of critical Catholic bloggery done some good? Perhaps. The Bear hopes so. Have we reached the point of diminishing returns? The Bear will let you answer that. Has there been more than a little ego involved? The Bear can only answer for himself: yes. If Pope Francis did not exist, the Bear would have had to invent him.

Certain realities must sometimes take a back seat to the work of getting into Heaven. We can be right, but wrong. Correct, but uncharitable. Dogmatically pure, but shipwreck the faith of a person for whom Christ died.  See the eighth chapter of the first Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Corinthians to see how this works.

Pope Francis will be dead soon.

Let Bear say that again. Pope Francis will be dead soon.

His legacy is by no means certain. At least he has made most of the vipers feel safe enough to slither out into the open where we can see them.

And, now, the Bear will let you in a big secret smart lawyers know.

Nobody ever changed the opinion of anyone by argument. The Bear knew he was not going to change anyone's mind during closing argument at the end of a trial. Most jurors had probably made up their minds before opening statements were finished. No, the Bear used his closing to give the best arguments to help anyone on his side during the most important part of the trial: the part that happens in the jury room.

Let's be honest. We are blogging for people who already agree with us. The minority of those who care have already chosen sides. The rest aren't listening anyway.

In the meantime, we cannot both stand apart from the Church as a thousand Addison DeWitts, Critics of Everything, and remain inside it as the vehicle for our salvation.


  1. It's hard to imagine what else they may have up their sleeves, and if any of it matters anymore.
    You're a terrific writer, and I enjoy reading whatever topic you pick.
    Keep us posted on the goat population, and how Buster's doing. And how's Kitty?

    1. Thanks! I had two articles prepared. This one and “Bear Says Goodbye.” It came down to this: his readers have good to him and he would truly miss them. He gathers there are those who would miss him.

      The Francis blog boom is nearing a bust. The Bear is repositioning himself. He does not want to be stuck with the label “Anti-Francis Blogger” when Francis kicks the bucket. Bears are versatile. He really will say goodbye - but only when he has nothing worthwhile (or at least entertaining) to say.

    2. Buster is quite active for an old fellow. Dahlia, our little rescue Yorkie died in her sleep. It’s okay; it was the right time. Red Death is about ten goats past normal. (Psst. Anybody want a goat?”)

      The new arrival, Antoinette, was a single and post-term. Blanquette is her mom. Wait until you see the video. She’s got a black rump, and tale that looks like the Angels dipped in white paint. Very striking! She’s a firecracker.

    3. Bear, this pontificate and the social media that scrutinizes it have brought me to a point in my faith that I'm almost ready to split. I've not read much of any blog that markets on scandal these past few months all the while struggling ever more fiercely with my faults and simultaneously begging God for the grace to not let go of Him. For those who've loved Him And His Church fiercely, these are dark and depressing times of doubt and fear. I will definitely be visiting your site more frequently now. Thank you and God bless you and your family sir.

    4. "Antoinette"? Whatever possessed you guys to name a goat "Antoinette"? Hehe.

    5. Her mother is Blanquette. It was either that or Madame DeFarge. We’re not exactly up on our French names.

    6. If it was male goat, with a muscular build, would you have named it Briquette?

    7. Lafayette is good too. Avoid the Franciseffect. No one likes it much.

  2. Unfortunately, for faithful Catholics the problem is that the Church has made bloated claims regarding the authority and infallibility of the Bishop of Rome.

    Amoris Laetitie is just the latest and most agregious example of a shattered Magisterium.

    Another example is Pius XI declaring in his Encyclical Mortalium animos "this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics" and yet a mere 50 years later the Magisterium of John Paul II took part and promoted assemblies with non-Catholics, non-Christians and even anti-Christians.

    If the Magisterium of the Catholic Church is allowed to abrogate the Law of Non-Contradiction then it has lost any legitimate claim of infallibility.

    Circus Bergoglio and his coterie of sodomites and sodomite enablers have brought the 1,000 year rule of the "Uber" papacy to a screeching halt.

    No one and I mean NO ONE with an ounce of intellectual integrity takes the claims of papal authority and infallibility seriously any more.

    Faithful Catholics have no choice but to admit the truth!

  3. Just happy to be chrismated Eastern Orthodox next Sunday---having gone from Novus Ordo to FSSP to SSPX to sedevacantism to the only logical alternative. Feel like I can finally just breathe.

    Seattle Kim

    1. God bless you. Be ready for the honeymoon to end at some point. I say that not smugly, but as advice from one experienced, so that you may know there will be a time when you will be challenged in Orthodoxy, too.

  4. Well, Bear you know best---I guess. Certainly speaking to those already wised-up about Pope Francis is probably with so many books on the subject already in print, doesn't make a lot of sense. Better to use one's talent for critical analysis in more productive ways.

    And one way I would suggest to the Bear is that he comment on conservative Catholic blog sites such as Crisis Magazine or The Catholic Thing where many/most of the readers are not up to date on the Pope Francis and the ravages of Vatican II.

    We need to shout out loud and clear that Vatican II was a catastrophe for the Church and must be abrogated in it's entirety.

    Whatever you decide to do Bear along the lines of keeping your oar in the water I will pray for your success.

    1. Mainly he’s one more thing that I am crossing of my Big List Of Things that Make Bear Crazy. It’s just safer for everyone that way.

  5. Wolverine, you've pointed out something that's been nagging at me ever since I read and compared the Canons of Vatican I and of Trent with the documents of Vatican II. Not to mention the document Quo Primum which seems to say the form of the Mass could never be changed.
    How does "papal infallibility" really work if two popes say opposite things? What does that mean in light of "whatever you bind on Earth is bound in Heaven...", etc.? What does "magisterium" mean when one "ecumenical council" says "A" and another later one says "Not-A", while the latter one calls itself "pastoral" despite publishing documents with the word "Dogmatic" in their titles?
    I don't know any of these answers and I doubt that anyone else on this Earth does, either. So I'm with Bear. Nail your foot to the floor...keep praying and going to confession and try to live like the Church taught before all these confusing things started happening. Say, around 1570 or so. I'm not even sure about that. Sigh.

  6. Bear feels the best thing to do now is to get out of our heads and try to live the ancient faith as an experience. It’s tough living at the end of a civilization. But nothing says we can’t follow the program designed for surviving the end of civilization: the Benedictines are specialists in that. That is one reason we wanted to do the Bear Book, which does not court controversy, but tacitly acknowledges the differences in our unfortunate age.

    Should we write off Christians who are not Catholic? Does that make sense at this historical remove from the reformers? What made sense during Trent, and before, might be one thing, while today it’s trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube. I would hope we would meet Protestants where we can in witness to truth, not water down our faith.

    I agree with other comments that it is difficult for Bear to reconcile the different things that have been taught, probably most shockingly the rejection of Christ in the salvation of the Jews. It is a stumbling block. Bears, being practical and powerful can go around, climb over or move out of the way stumbling blocks that humans have more problems handling. It only prevents him from Catholicing if he lets it.

    Finally, my fear is that a large element of Catholic bloggery, having established an identity as critics, will be faced with a very difficult choice no matter what happens post-Francis. I say this with charity. If your identity is Joe Catholic, Controversialist, if that is your revenue stream, can you - again, the Bear does not presume to offer fraternal correction, but asks gentle question - can you close up shop? Or have you trapped yourself in a role that puts you on the outside looking not in, but at the Church? Bear was concerned with this problem of making the Church an object of scrutiny and comment, rather than an imperfect, but workable religion experienced from the inside. And no, he is not saying critics are outside the Church.

  7. Bear. Vatican II is the problem. It needs to be condemned by the Church and abrogated. Everything that has happened in the Church since then must be reviewed for validity using Vatican I and Council of Trent as a guide to truth. This would include all of those declared saints during that period.

    1. Does V2 Mark a sharp departure or a development of the truth?

      It nuked the Church’s mission activity and gave us banal worship and created other problems, the Bear has little doubt.

      Is it ever going to be abrogated and V2 saints de-canonized? No. As in never going to happen. It can’t. The Church cannot now say, “Whoopsie” and admit to misleading an entire generation of Catholics. So, where as a practical matter does that leave Catholics? It is a legitimate question.

      We can pretend it never happened, that all post-Pius popes are anti-popes, and the Church exists only in a past that is just out of reach. We can seek a substitute Church, such as a breakaway outfit or Orthodoxy [sic]. We can become Protestants or Wiccans or atheists or something else.

      We can stay in the Church and bleed our spiritual and mental energies into endless controversy.

      Or we can make the most of one of the problems that tens to happen when the lights go out on an entire civilization. Mike, it’s not just the Church. As the Bear has said before, the Church is in trouble in the exact same way and for the exact same reasons as all other institutions of the West. The Big Picture lesson is the Church has a real hard time existing independently of the cultural matrix of the West.

      The West is dead. The future belongs elsewhere. The Vatican knows this and has made a prudential judgment on worldly wisdom that it must be non-exclusive and go along with fads like global warming to remain relevant on the world stage, in Bear’s opinion. It expects a one-world government, and, whenever that happens, it is going to have a seat at the table. Pope Francis has already replaced the Dalai Lama as Generic Spiritual Leader of the World.

      The Bear believes that DESPITE ALL THAT, God will provide for us, AND THROUGH HIS CHURCH. We are going to have to adjust expectations.

    2. Thanks Bear. The way I see it the Church is already in de facto schism within itself, orthodox Catholics vs. quasi-Protestants. There will be a de jure split when the Eucharist is declared symbolic or something similar. At that point a few Bishops and Cardinals will split off and establish the remnant that Christ talked about when he would come again.

      As far as Vatican II is concerned that will be abrogated by the new remnant Church.

      That is how I see your comment: "DESPITE ALL THAT, God will provide for us, AND THROUGH HIS (True and new remnant)CHURCH." Of course, what do I know?


  8. Vatican 2 didn't develop doctrine; it abrogated previous doctrine. But living the Delusion that it developed doctrine is pleasant.

    Meanwhile, I moved on and ultimately came to the same conclusion this former Novus ordite turned former sedevacantist seminarian did.

    Seattle kim

    1. To cut to the chase, you went from sedevacantist to Orthodox. I’d agree that’s an improvement. It may or may not provide an example of how people leave the Church. Were you ever a plain old Catholic, Kim? You know we’re friends. It’s an honest question.

    2. Well I'll let you decide. I converted to a Novus Ordo (a somewhat conservative one in that it actually had a pro-life committee) in 2003. In 2004 I was a guest on Life on the Rock in a show entitled I Regret My Abortion. I was interviewed and sang a song I wrote. . You can no longer watch the archive because the priest who
      interviewed me got somebody preggers and so he left the priesthood.

      I have taught CCD 4th 5th and 7th grade.

      I have worked as an organist, pianist, and choir director in 3 Novus Ordo parishes for the last 14 years though I was sneaking off to sspx and sede chapels during the week for the last few years.

      I don't know what that makes me Bear.

      Seattle kim

  9. Imagine yourself in Heaven, with Jesus and Our Lady and all those saints you’ve only read about. St. Peter and Paul. The Little Flower. St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Catherine of Sienna. A billion years have passed, or their Hevenly equivalent.

    Suddenly, you say, “You know, that damned footnote in Amorous Latetia has always torqued me off. And Vatican II? Give me a freaking break. And while I’m venting, let’s talk about the USCCB’s gun control policy. Was that asanine or what?”

    EVERYTHING we are concerned about today will be as straw in that company.

    If we have the authority to change things, we ought to wisely do so. But the Bear, and, you, gentle reader, do not. The Bear said his piece and that’s that, for the sake of your soul and his. When Pope Francis John Paul comes along next, the Bear will probably have pungent things to say. But, there is a point after which the Bear is not doing anyone any favors.

    Look. He must someday account for every word. For any soul whom he discouraged. This is no small matter when the perspective is eternal.

  10. Sloth here. I haven't been around in the last several months, but it seemed to me you quite Church controversy two years ago.

  11. Sloth here again.

    I think you are mistaken about Bergoglio's longevity odds based on what I saw as my Dad's caregiver for 5+ years in a big, deluxe assisted living place. I would expect him to live into at least his late 80's and quite possibly his mid-90's.

    Bergoglio is exceptionally active mentally and physically, and has the world's best healthcare and caregiving. My Dad's doc said my Dad would live about 6 months because of advanced Parkinson's, but then we started superb 24/7 caregiving and he lived a very active 5 years.

    1. So, he lives another five years. I still consider that a short time. In any event, we are free to choose it as we think best.

    2. Bear maybe done with Church controversy, but Church controversy not done with Bear.

    3. It takes two to, um, tango. Which suggests a title for my new book. A Tango Without a Partner: How Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Francis.

  12. Speaking of tango dancing, Pope Pius X declared dancing the tango to be immoral and required Catholics to mention it in confession and do penance for it.

    Seattle kim

  13. To Frank and Wolverine and probably some others who don't understand "papal" infallibility ...

    Actually, if you read Vatican I closely, which few do, you'll find that what's infallible is the Faith handed down to the Apostles. V1 makes it clear that a pope is "infallible" only when he's handing down the Apostolic Faith.

    The presumption of most, of course, is that that has always been the case--the the Apostolic Faith was handed down to Trent and from Trent to V1. It ain't that easy, as anyone who reads some history will find out. However, the clerics have too much invested in bloated and dishonest claims to ever, as Bear says, say "Whoopsie!" Unless pushed to the wall.

    For those who pin it all on V2, I hear ya, but think about this: one of the prime architects of V2 was Ratzinger. That should be a clue. And I'm here to tell ya that Bergoglio is essentially saying nothing much different from Ratzinger (Ratzinger's secretary Gaenswein has said so several times)--it's simply that Bergoglio's style is much blunter, less "nuanced."

  14. Re: mark wauck. Very good comment on Papal infallibility. Vatican II is a catastrophe for the Church and must be abrogated in it's entirety. The intent of this Council was to Protestantize the Church. Note comment:

    “We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren; that is for the Protestants.”
    - Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, L'Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1965


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