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Bear Growls: Theology: The Art of the Possible

I suspect that our Bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear is also a fan of Evita:

 

This scene from Evita takes a grimly comical look at Argentine politics. The name of the piece is a quote by Otto von Bismarck, “Politics is the Art of the Possible.” This realpolitik view was echoed by Pope Francis during his visit to Korea a year ago when he paraphrased Bismarck (or the musical) by saying, “Diplomacy is the art of the possible.”

Too often lately, we seem to be hearing prelates saying “Theology is the art of the possible.” The Bear was inspired (last year) to write his own lyrics for Jorge: The Musical. He didn’t have to change much. Imprecision, double-talk and misdirection have been the hallmarks of this papacy.

Theology is the Art of the Possible

PRELATES
One has no rules
Is not precise
One rarely acts
The same way twice
One spurns no device
Practicing the art of the possible

One always picks
The easy fight.
One praises fools
One smothers light.
one shifts left to right
It’s part of the art of the possible.

THE BEAR (on the air)
I’m only a blogger, in fact I’m a Bear.
But as a pewsitter I wanted to share.
We are tired of
the decline of
Our Church
with no sign of

A Vatican able to give us the things we deserve!

PRELATES
One always claims
Mistakes were planned.
When risk is slight
One takes one’s stand.
With much sleight of hand
Theology–the art of the possible.

One has no rules
Is not precise.
One rarely acts
The same way twice.
One spurns no device
Theology–the art of the possible.

Go here to comment.  Bravo, brilliant!  I do think the shifting that many of our prelates have been engaging in lately is a mad scramble from right to left.  This pontificate has been an eye opener for me as to how many prelates seem to really believe in little other than their own careers.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

6 Comments

  1. “This pontificate has been an eye opener for me as to how many prelates seem to really believe in little other than their own careers.”

    The village of North Hinksey, just outside Oxford, has a fine mediaeval church, St Lawrence, that dates back to the 12th century. Like many such churches in England, it has a board listing the rectors who have served the cure for close on a millennium.

    One, in particular, is calculated to engage the attention of the visitor: Nicholas Hodge, who was rector from 1531 to 1589. A tenure of 58 years would be remarkable in any age, but bear in mind that some two years after his induction, Parliament passed the act of 24 Hen 8 c 12, restraining appeals to Rome, the first salvo in the English Reformation.
    The Rev Mr Hodge would have taken the oath of Supremacy under the act of 1534; he would have used the First Prayer Book of 1549 under Edward VI and may have used the short-lived Second Prayer Book of 1552. At all events, the following year he would have been reconciled to Rome under Mary. Perhaps, he witnessed the burning of Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley in nearby Oxford.
    Six years later, he would have, once again, discarded his missal, his breviary and his rituale for Queen Elizabeth’s Book and in 1563, he would have subscribed the Thirty-Nine Articles (dubbed by Catholics and Puritans alike the “Forty stripes save one”), in what sense we know not; no doubt his supple conscience was adequate to the occasion.

    We cannot doubt the sincerity with which he would have welcomed the defeat of the Armada in 1588, for he had recanted his errors in 1553 and the Spanish manner of dealing with a relapsed heretic was not pleasant. He must have been at least 82 when, the following year he was called to his long account.

    Only the length of his incumbency makes him remarkable among the English clergy of that troubled age.

  2. “I do think the shifting that many of our prelates have been engaging in lately is a mad scramble from right to left.”

    What need is there for a mad scramble to get to where you already are? The leftist bent of the western episcopate long predates this pontificate. The prelates leftism is not Pope Francis’ fault, Pope Francis is their fault. What I mean by that is they were able to get their guy elected.

  3. “What I mean by that is they were able to get their guy elected.”

    With largely the same Cardinals who elected Pope Benedict, the only changes being men chosen by Pope Benedict. Most of the Cardinals were buying a pig in a poke, as is usually the case with papal elections. I doubt if many of them privately view with pleasure the Pope steering the Church towards a huge schism, although they mostly lack the guts right now to state so openly. The test of course will be who is chosen after Francis.

  4. “With largely the same Cardinals who elected Pope Benedict, the only changes being men chosen by Pope Benedict.”

    From whom Bergoglio got the second highest vote count in the 2005 Conclave. So, he wasn’t exactly an unknown quantity among the Cardinal electors going into the 2013 Conclave.

    “I doubt if many of them privately view with pleasure the Pope steering the Church towards a huge schism, although they mostly lack the guts right now to state so openly.”

    They may not be pleased with the manner this pope is proceeding, but they share the same ideological vision that is the driving force behind this pontificate.

  5. “So, he wasn’t exactly an unknown quantity among the Cardinal electors going into the 2013 Conclave.”

    True, but according to vote totals from an anonymous cardinal he was a very distant second, never getting more than 35 votes in 2005 on the same ballot where Cardinal Ratzinger got 65.

    “but they share the same ideological vision that is the driving force behind this pontificate.”

    If true, that would be quite a switch among Cardinals who voted for Pope Benedict in 2005 and those made Cardinals by Pope Benedict who voted in 2013.

    I think that hard core supporters of Pope Francis may have known his views in 2013, but I think for most Cardinals he was largely an unknown quantity, particularly since this was an unexpected conclave, rather than a conclave after a Pope has been visibly ailing for quite some time.

    No, I doubt if a majority of Cardinals support the actions and views of Pope Francis. What they do support is keeping their jobs, and thus the Pope in power will always have the support and allegiance of the careerists, always the largest faction among the cardinals.

  6. “True, but according to vote totals from an anonymous cardinal he was a very distant second, never getting more than 35 votes in 2005 on the same ballot where Cardinal Ratzinger got 65.”

    Remember, it only took four ballots in 2005 to elect Ratzinger. And Bergoglio topped out at 40 by the second ballot. At that stage, many Cardinal electors are still casting tribute votes. Given this backdrop, that’s pretty significant. And I think that same anonymous Cardinal also said Bergoglio, seeing they didn’t have the votes to derail a Ratzinger election, urged his supporters to cast their votes for Ratzinger, thus preventing a more lengthy conclave that probably still would have resulted in a Ratzinger election. Seen in light of the Benedictine abdication and the Vatican bureaucracy running roughshod over his pontificate prior to that historic event, one can wonder why Ratzinger got elected in the first place. He was an old man at the time, who already had a well-documented history of health problems and never had much in the way of physical stamina. A simple reading of his memoir Milestones will bare that out. Also, such an election can give the appearance of a desire for continuity of St JPII’s pontificate, given his closeness to JPII. You had expressed similar suspicions:

    “Alas that is often not the case, and one wonders whether Pope Benedict, such an old hand at the Vatican, ever gained real control of it. Was he elected with the thought that he would be a brief transitional figure, with a large group of cardinals in the background eager to gradually shift the course of the Church back to where it had been prior to the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, a movement that has reached fruition in the current pontificate? Was pressure of some sort exerted on Pope Benedict to get him to resign? Was blackmail involved? One does not have to see conspiracies around every corner to suspect that not a fraction of the story behind the resignation has yet been revealed.” (Popewatch Mystery July 20, 2015)

    Also, there is the fact that Bergoglio was elected after only 5 ballots in an “unexpected” conclave.

    “No, I doubt if a majority of Cardinals support the actions and views of Pope Francis.”

    Oh, the overwhelming majority do support his ideological views that fall outside the realm of faith and morals. I mean look at the writings of individual bishops and statements from bishops’ conferences themselves. It’s leftism run amok. If you read Laudato Oh No No, (er Laudato Si) you will find copious references to statements from bishops conferences. And the swipe at “trickle down” economics in Evangelii Guadium is also very telling. The term trickle down was an American left-wing pejorative aimed at Reagan’s economic policies. And we both know the U.S. Bishops were hostile to Reagan’s economic policy as well as his foreign policy.

    Furthermore, Papa Bene wasn’t exactly right of center on matters outside of the imperatives of faith. Although he wasn’t aggressive in forcing this on everyone the way Pope Francis is, he held pretty much the same views on “climate change” for example. He wasn’t as callously dismissive of opposing views, there was no evidence that he took the views of “climate change” skeptics seriously.

    This pontificate is not the cause of episcopal leftism as much as it is the product of it.

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