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Bear Growls: Saint Skank?

 

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear has a bone to pick with the Pope and his use of a famous passage in scripture:

 

Fortified by a cheap-vodka martini and ten milligrams of diazepam (note to self: do NOT run out of tranquilizer darts before tackling another episode of Amoris Laetitia) let’s do one more briefly. Paragraph 38:

Yet we have often been on the defensive, wasting pastoral energy on denouncing a decadent world without being proactive in proposing ways of finding true happiness. Many people feel that the Church’s message on marriage and the family does not clearly reflect the preaching and attitudes of Jesus, who set forth a demanding ideal yet never failed to show compassion and closeness to the frailty of individuals like the Samaritan woman or the woman caught in adultery. 

By now you know how to play this game at home. The good news is that marriage is doing okay in Africa. The bad news is that everywhere else we’ve been “wasting pastoral energy” (the Bear suspects this is a euphemism for something not mentioned in polite company, but isn’t sure). Anyway, for the slow learners, on one hand we have the terrible tragedy of being on the defensive, and wasting our precious bodily fluids, or whatever, and, on the other hand, “finding true happiness.” (See Gospel according to Disney.)

Helen Keller said “true happiness is found in fidelity to a noble purpose.” Pope Francis says true happiness is found in trading up.

Welcome to the new patroness of marriage, St. Skank. Yeah, the Bear knows Jesus forgave her and he’s okay with that, but when you make it into the Bible as “the woman caught in adultery,” people aren’t going to remember you for your wonderful goat sausage recipe. Maybe she really didn’t sin anymore — sorry, Bear means fail to lead an even more worthy life. The Bear hopes so. But whether she did or didn’t is beside the point, isn’t it? Of course she committed adultery. She was frail. She had limitations. Jesus doesn’t really care that much, and neither should we.

Is the Bear the only one to realize that — contrary to artistic representations of a chastened and disheveled woman — the whole point of the story is not to feel sorry for her, like she had just got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time? The point is that Jesus was willing and able even to forgive what was, in those days, an almost unimaginably horrible offense and betrayal. A capital offense like murder today. Think about her poor husband, if you want to feel sorry for someone. The rest of his life he was known as “that guy whose wife committed adultery with Abner, poor schmuck.” Maybe that’s why Jesus warned her not to sin any more (a fact conveniently omitted from your Pope’s accounts).

Go here to read the rest.  Saint Augustine has the best interpretation of this passage:

    “The Lord did also condemn, but condemned sins, not man. For if he were a patron of sin, he would say, “neither will I condemn you; go, live as you will; be secure in my deliverance; however much you sin, I will deliver you from all punishment’. He said not this.”

We misinterpret Christ to our everlasting regret if we only remember His mercy and forget His justice.  “Go and sin no more”, was a command not a suggestion.

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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.

2 Comments

  1. Slight quibble here, but as a wise priest once pointed out to me the text does not say that Jesus forgave the women, just that he would not condemn her.

  2. Since “condemnation” at that point would mean “ordered her stoned to death,” and it was important because it was to be the result of one was held guilty, the failure to condemn is forgiveness.

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