5

Bear Growls: Truth

 

Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.

John 14:6

 

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear is in an ironic mood:

 

We will probably never know what Pilate meant when he asked Christ, “What is truth?” Sarcasm? The world-weary cynicism of a Roman official with one of the most difficult jobs of Rome? Or perhaps the echo of a genuine question from a decent young man long ago ground down by his responsibilities to a brutal empire?

In any case, it is the wrong question for our time and is causing Catholics far too much anguish and contention.
The question is not “what is truth,” and we betray our naïveté when we ask and our disloyalty to the Church when we complain. The legitimate question is “what does the Church now say the truth is?” In fact, the second question always answers the first, because of the inerrant truth-knowing feature built into the Church as an institution and the Pope in his office.

“Truth” is nothing more or less than what the Church, through its many channels, but in our day, primarily the Pope, says it is. We now understand that truth is a construct that is contingent upon the matrix in which we live. This matrix is comprised of our evolving language; our behavior; and the changing moral consensus of our culture as expressed in many different ways, ranging from our laws to popular entertainment. The truth is to be found in the current teachings of the Church.

The Church reflects the culture, and perhaps has done so for most of its existence, although we can only speak certainly of our own time.

It is irrelevant whether Church teachings are formal or not. Indeed, the less formal teachings of the Pope with a microphone in his hand loom larger in both the culture and the minds of individual Catholics. It is the informal teachings which are seized by the news gatekeepers, massaged, and then proclaimed in partnership with the Church – not merely reported, it is important to note.

“What is truth?” is not some great mystery. One of the main purposes of the Church is to be the authority that tells us what the truth is for our generation. The power of the keys means that the truth is whatever the Church – ultimately Peter – says it is. The Church is trusted with not just proclaiming the truth, but creating it.

It must be so.

The Bible is understood by all but the most conservative Protestant scholars as a collection of tales edited long after the events it relates by men who wished to promote different and sometimes conflicting agendas. It is certainly not historically reliable, according to the very best scholarship. Read the notes to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Bible, the New American Bible, Revised Edition if you have any doubts. They will quickly disabuse you of any lingering Protestant tendency toward bibliolatry.

Only a fundamentalist would today hold up the Bible as containing “the truth.”

Only the most naive traditionalist would look to the teachings of the brutal, superstitious and exclusivist past of the Church to find the truth for today’s world.

Neither Holy Scripture nor poking around in the Museum of Church History can be the source of truth today. No, the truth is what the Church says it is, most immediately and importantly through the Pope when he utters his oracles to the interpretive priestly class of reporters.

Let go of the irrelevant past and embrace the truth as it has evolved right up to this second and is proclaimed by the Pope: Peter, upon whom the Church was built and to whom the Keys of Binding and Loosing were given in perpetuity. Yesterday’s Catholics owed the same duty to yesterday’s Church. Why would some of you, today, presume to be less faithful and arrogate to yourselves the authority to decide “what is truth?”

Do you imagine for an instant that the Pope himself could (if he would even think of such a crime, which he could not, protected from error as he is) weave a carpet of lies to spread beneath the Bride of Christ without an army of brave and faithful bishops rising up to challenge him? The teachings of the Pope are confirmed by the agreement of the clergy, the acceptance of the people, and his personal popularity with the entire world. You may trust him without question and to question him is to place oneself outside the Church.

What is truth? The answer is simple:

Continue Reading

7

Bear Growls: Continuum

 

 

Our Bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear has listed what he sees as the range of opinions about Pope Francis by Catholics on the net:

 

  1. Pope Francis is the respected successor to St. Peter, and, as such, is due slightly more veneration than was Emperor Hirohito in his day.
  2. Pope Francis may have a wobble in his orbit, but his ordinary magisterium remains just as worthy of respect and assent as any pope’s. That’s the LAW.  (Query: if the answer is that we need pay attention only as far as he is right, i.e. in line with other popes, then do we have to memorize Denziger, and how do we know those popes were right? Seems a bit over-engineered for a bunch of Galilean fishermen, if you ask the Bear.)
  3. Pope Francis can do no damage to the Church short of infallibly declaring some abomination before the Lord an Article of Faith, which is not going to happen.
  4. Look, you don’t have to pay attention to everything the old fellow says. Only the big stuff. (Like homosexuality and divorce?) The Church will be protected by God.
  5. Whatever you think about Pope Francis – and let’s admit he’s a few steps short of a tango – he remains THE POPE. Whom one must NEVER criticize. (Paging Michael Voris.)
  6. Entertain your private doubts, if you must, but you’re in danger of heresy, and in any case must never, ever criticize him for fear of starting up the Know Nothings again.
  7. Rome, we have a problem. Prudence and good taste dictate, however, that we do not speak of il Papa’s delicate condition.
  8. We have never quite seen anything like Jorge Bergoglio’s disconnect with the deposit of the Faith nor his willingness to perform end runs around around the Church itself via incessant media exposure. The man is a menace.
  9. No REAL pope would spout half the nonsense he does. Pope Benedict is still at the wheel and Bergoglio is flat out an antipope.
  10. No REAL CHURCH would ever elect someone as evil as Jorge Bergoglio, so he is Exhibit A in the case for sedevacantism.
  11. Jorge Bergoglio is nothing less than Damien in his old age. He is evil. In fact, he is at the very least the FALSE PROPHET. In other words, a cosmic player in the end times.
  12. We had a good run, but the warranty has expired on the Church. Time to become one of those Protestants that get salmon and honey while the praise band is warming up. (Do not tempt Bear.)

Continue Reading

7

Bear Growls: No Love From This Teddy

 

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear does not think much of the Pope’s TED talk:

 

Everybody loves to hate TED talks. It is an official entry on the “Stuff White People Like” website. Comedian Sam Hyde was spot on when he gave a ridiculously self-congratulatory TED talk on “the 2070 Paradigm Shift” a few years ago, while dressed like a Greek hoplite.

With his “Neo-Earth Good Government League” he should have been the warm-up act for Francis’ TED talk.

 Among the gems (this is Sam Hyde):

What inspires me, is teaching African refugees how to program Javascript. What inspires me is finding out how to use MagLev trains to get resources to the moon. These are the challenges that tomorrow’s going to face.

It should be no surprise that Pope Francis popped up on a TED to talk about the “Future You.”
The Bear finds that phrase ominous, since, actuarially, the future Bear will shortly be fertilizing the daisy patch. But, of course, the future is full of hope for Pope Francis. But what kind of hope?
As the Bear read the bland comments, he recalled the brilliant po-mo generator that assembles jargon into academic essays that have fooled at least one journal. It would not be hard to create a “Francis Generator” that did a quick paste job using solidarity, refugees, migrants, youth, arms dealers, dialogue, and those evil northern bastards who stole everything from the south, etc.

This talk could have been generated by the Bear’s hypothetical program. And it is just as hard to write a sensible story about. You can skim it for yourself. It isn’t that long. It is devoid of any genuine Catholic insights. The theological virtue of Hope is reduced to an expectation for a better tomorrow – here on earth. Pope Francis actually calls for a revolution. A worldly revolution, of course, that would put in power progressives like himself.

It makes an uncomfortable read, because you realize that this is not someone who is all that interested in souls, or Heaven, or any of that stuff. Jorge Bergoglio was elected Pope to advance the agenda of the Prince of This World. His gospel is the anti-gospel of the Prince of This World.

Continue Reading

3

Bear Growls: Predictions

 

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear gazes into his ursine crystal ball:

 

The Vatican may be a rhumba of rattlesnakes, but too few of them are motivated by aberrant ideology to risk a repeat of Sampson’s after-dinner show for the Philistines.

Bear predicts there will be the usual polite language when Bergoglio go-goes, but inside, most prelates are going to be saying, “Boy, did we elect the wrong guy. How could we have been so stupid? Let’s get back to normal ASAP before the Bear hops a tramp salmon freighter and cleans house, but good.”

The Bear does not think the institutional Church enjoys turmoil. Nor does it wish to court schism, however small the risk. And, who knows? Perhaps there are 10 righteous men in Sodom-on-the-Tiber.

The next pope will be a reliable Italian. This whole darts-at-a-map thing has not worked out very well. His job will be to settle the hens down after that fox Bergoglio is gone. The era of the magisterium of the sound byte will be over. Everybody has seen what a disaster it has been.

Nobody likes to be made fun of incessantly.

There will be the usual suspects agitating, but the Bear repeats, institutions do not enjoy chaos. The mainstream plus the faithful will out-vote the cardinals of questionable orthodoxy.

The Bear does not think Bergoglio was voted in over a desire to extend Holy Communion to divorced and remarried persons. The Bear thinks he was elected to be the outsider that would fix things. Perhaps he even ran for pope on that platform. “I’m from Argentina. And if there’s one thing that Argentina is known for it is fixing problems with institutions.”
Continue Reading

9

Bear Growls: More of the Same

 

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear points out that the Pope never misses an opportunity to disappoint:

 

The whole idea of blogging is that somebody does something and the blogger offers insightful commentary. But Pope Francis is so mind-numbingly stupid there’s just nothing to add.

Muslims mass-murder Christians in Egypt and the Pope says this:

We pray for the victims of the attack carried out unfortunately today, this morning, in Cairo, in a Coptic church. I am close to my dear Brother, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, and to the Coptic Church and to all the dear Egyptian nation I express my profound condolence; I pray for the deceased and the wounded, I am close to the families and to the whole community. May the Lord convert the heart of all those persons that sow terror, violence and death, and also the heart of those that produce and traffic arms.

Sorry, Bear got nothing. Continue Reading

Bear Growls: That’s the Way It Is?

 

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear gives us a Bear’s view of current events as gleaned from the mainstream press:

 

Here is a recap of world news based on the Bear’s cursory reading of stories the past few days. The Bear has been busy and may have gotten a few details wrong, but he’s pretty sure the gist is accurate.

  • WASHINGTON D.C. (March 24, 2017) — Trump the Usurper hosted a hunting trip for Soviet strongman Vladimir Putin. The pair were seen on the banks of the Potomac River clubbing adorable baby river seals to death with babies. Witnesses also report Trump the Usurper backed a dump truck full of $100,000,000 bills and buried a laughing Putin. The two men spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the pile of money like children in autumn leaves.
  • WASHINGTON D.C. (March 24, 2017) — Legitimate President Dear Leader Hillary Clinton staged a lightning raid on Richmond, Virginia yesterday, freeing thousands of slaves. Trump the Usurper had last Thursday declared the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution null and void, opening the way for the return of slavery for the first time since 1957. A Gallup poll shows 100% of Americans support the campaign of Dear Leader to restore America to the golden years when Legitimate First Partner Bill Clinton was president.
  • PARIS (March 23, 2017) —  The religious harmony of France was broken by a White male using a loudspeaker to cry “Jesus is Lord” from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Witnesses say he had a distinct American southern accent and raised an enormous Confederate flag on the tip of the landmark. He mowed down thousands of curious Parisians gathered below with an automatic machine assault rifle firing bullets of depleted uranium. With a final cry of “Soldiers of the Cross do thou likewise” he detonate a 20 megaton nuclear bomb strapped to his back, destroying France.
  • VATICAN (March 24, 2017) — Today Generic Spiritual Leader of the World Pope Francis condemned frequent terrorist attacks by Christians. “Out of all religions, why do we only see Christians committing all these terrorist acts? The exclusivist nature of a religion that offers only one means of salvation can only breed hatred. Their beliefs taste like excrement in my mouth.” The pontiff announced that a new bible was being prepared that eliminates all references to violence and incorporates wisdom from other faiths.

Continue Reading

16

Bear Growls: What is the Common Denominator?

I was afraid that our bruin friend was in hibernation at Saint Corbinian’s Bear, but he just posted a barnburner:

This is why I love this country. The vaudeville acts. True, they’re amateurish and predictable, but the old “Searching for a Reason” (sometimes “Motive”) routine never fails to crack me up. But note the new gag. It’s kinda okay because he was “scared to pray in public.”

So, Muslims are scared to pray in public because… no matter what they do, America will roll over and show its cultural belly? Because when they’re bent over praying, they might get trampled from everyone kissing their a**es?

Hey, I’ve got a great PR strategy for scared Muslims. Murder as many innocent people as possible shouting Allahu Akbar. Because then no one will have any reason to mistrust you or dislike you when you’re praying.

And the big hook drags yet another loser off the stage of life, to make room for the next hilarious act, Muslim leaders failing to make an unqualified condemnation of terrorism while singing the ever-popular “Backlash” song.

BTW, can I be the first to blame the election of Trump? I mean, seriously, what CHOICE did poor little Amtar have? Muslims are the cuckoo in the American nest. The Bear just doesn’t trust them, and never will. It’s not just here. The Bear has the Green Eggs and Ham approach to Pope Francis’ “Great Abrahamic Religion That Worships the Exact Same God We Do and are Practically Catholic.”

THAT is the Bear’s litmus test. Slobber all over Muslims, and you are forever written off as an unserious person who values your PR above truth – even revealed truth. The Bear will waste no further time on you, because you’re an idiot or a liar. The Bear has simplified his life by crossing off nearly everyone in the world with a title in front of their names.

Muslims kill far more people in America than Bears. But when someone gets mauled to death by a Bear do we start whining about “Bear Backlash?” The Bear supports non-violent, cultural backlash. Remove Muslims from top place of America’s Culturally Protected Groups. It’s been a long time since Blacks were there. They are really far back in the pack. The Bear says give them a turn at Number 1 again and take Muslims off the list entirely. Continue Reading

3

Bear Growls: Green Acres World

 

 

I can’t tell you how many hours I wasted as a child watching the sitcom Green Acres.  Even in retrospect the show still strikes me as one of the funniest series broadcast by a national network (CBS).  I loved the patriotic, and usually conservative, speeches by Oliver Wendell Douglas, the successful lawyer who, with his wife Lisa, portrayed by Eva Gabor, has traded the life of a New York City attorney to be an unsuccessful farmer in the Hooterville countryside.  Eddie Arnold played Douglas to perfection as the straight man to all the zanies around him.  Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear believes we now live in a Green Acres’ world:

The Bear knows that Green Acres was coded by time travelers to tell us, here in the blighted 21st century, everything we need to know.

Oliver Douglas is a New York lawyer who fulfills a life-long dream to leave the big city and become a farmer. He drags his socialite wife Lisa to the bucolic setting of Hooterville, and they try to make a go of it. Ironically, it is the ditzy, game, unflappable Lisa who fits in, not the lawyer turned farmer, Oliver. Oliver has a romanticized idea of farming, and often breaks into little speeches about “the little green shoots,” which no one wants to hear.

You see, everyone in Hooterville is one wheel short of a tractor.

The county extension agent can’t finish a sentence without contradicting himself. An old couple treat a pig as a child. Twin carpenters can’t even hang a door. (No matter how many appearances the carpenters make, the house is in the same incomplete state at the end of the series as at the beginning.)  The Douglases have to climb a pole to use the phone; connecting the last forty feet to the ramshackle farmhouse a seeming impossibility. A peddler always happens to show up with his dubious and overpriced wares just when Oliver happens to need something.

Oliver, the who who  wanted to come here, after all, spends his days in exasperation at the incompetence and sheer weirdness that only he seems to notice. Although Lisa misses her glamorous life in New York City, she fits right in with her gowns and signature marabou trimmed robe.

Hooterville is sort of a first-rate third-world country. It has everything we take for granted, except not quite. The loopy inhabitants have all found their niches and are happy. All except Oliver. The only sane man in a mad world.

The Bear bets you get this. He bets you are Oliver. He bets that you look around and are amazed at the insanity that has engulfed the West. Weirdest of all, you seem to be the only person that notices.

Is the Bear right? When a Muslim shouting Allahu Akbar rampages through Sam Drucker’s general store and kills Uncle Joe, the sheriff solemnly announces he is “searching for motives.” Continue Reading

5

Bear Growls: USCCB

 

 

In his latest post our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear reveal some of the puppet masters behind the USCCB:

Catholic News Service: USCCB’s Pravda

The Catholic News Service is the house organ of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Yet as  CNS’s hilarious “About CNS” page points out several times, it is doing real journalism, having some vague relationship with the USCCB, but definitely not involved in publicity.

CNS is not directly funded by the USCCB. “It must be financially self-sustaining.” In other words, the lefty foundations shovel money to keep it afloat, along with all the other trendy scams with which the USCCB is fascinated, in lieu of promoting the Catholic Faith.

USCCB Committee That Produced Gun-Grab Policy: Very Interesting
 

The list of those serving on the USCCB’s committee on domestic policy that produced the USCCB gun-grab policy paper is quite fascinating. George Schmidt, Google ex-boss and massive supporter of President Obama, etc.;  John Sweeney, head of Democrat Socialists of America, former SEIU, AFL-CIO boss and recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom; Sister Janet Mock, LCWR; Sister Miriam Mitchell, LCWR; Sister Carol Keehan, President of Catholic Health Association and vocal supporter of Obamacare while drawing a $962,467 salary from CHA; Ray Boshara, former Senior Fellow at New America Foundation, which has George Soro’s son Jonathan on the board, is anti-gun, pro-Obamacare, and funded by left-wing heavyweights such as George Soros, through his Open Society Foundation. Anthony Williams, vociferously anti-gun ex-mayor of Washington D.C.

Those are the people behind the Catholic gun grab in the U.S. There are different players in the Vatican.

The USCCB heavily pushed its anti-gun policy through it’s official party organ, Catholic News Service, in an article by Carol Glatz in 2011. The point is, it is somewhere between a joke and a lie to claim that CNS is some sort of legitimate, independent news outlet. The Bear also wanted to show who has the ear of the U.S. Bishops: billionaire lefties and curious private / government entities like the New American Foundation. (Top contributors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the U.S. State Department.) Continue Reading

2

Bear Growls: Indigenous Blondes

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear likes the latest video of Pope Francis:

 

The new Pope Video is out, and the Bear has to hand it to Pope Francis this time. The theme is something about indigenous people. Like, leave us alone, unless you’re giving us stuff. But it is by far the best Pope Video yet.

It begins with Daenerys Targaryen, First of Her Name, Khaleesi of the Grass Sea, The Unburnt, The Mother of Dragons, The Breaker of Chains, in indigenous Dothraki dress, stepping up to a podium in an empty hall as the usual synthesized score plays. Soft lighting behind her reveals an indigenous Dothraki royal tent and a servant steps up and begins braiding Daenerys’ hair.

Without speaking a word, she produces a horse heart and consumes it in a montage of very short takes. With her face covered in blood, she addresses the camera directly.
 “I have many titles, but now I wish to address you simply as Daenerys Targaryen, First of My Name, Khaleesi of the Grass Sea. I love my loyal indigenous Dothraki subjects, who will soon cross the Narrow Sea in wooden horses along with their mounts.

“I speak for the Sheep People, and the Wildings, as well, and all indigenous folk who do not get a clockwork city of their own in the opening credits. I’m not sure if the Ice Zombies are indigenous, but we’ll include them to be on the safe side.

“The Dothraki ways may not be yours, but they deserve to be respected. Except for that giant dome for ex-Khaleesis, which I incinerated along with everyone in it. Leave us alone. Just like we would leave you alone if I did not have an enormous fleet, Dothraki horse lords, the Unsullied, the Second Sons and a squadron of fire-breathing dragons. Oh, and that dwarf, the eunuch and the old guy with the crush on me. As if.

“Swear obedience to your rightful queen, people of the Seven Kingdoms!”

 

Fade to familiar “Pope Video” closing title. Continue Reading

4

Bear Growls: Game of Popes

 

OK, this is simply too brilliant.  From our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear:

 

King John Paul Arryn, Second of His Name
The death of the Mad King occurred some time after the Council, and a war for the possession of the Iron Throne ensued. The fearless and noble Benedict Stark led a large army from the far north, and fought House Lannister in the final battle for King’s Landing. The Lannisters were defeated by the unexpected arrival of a large cavalry force led by John Paul Arryn, Lord of the Vale, a province to the east.

The victors agreed upon the dashing and proven John Paul Arryn, Second of His Name, as King of Westeros. Benedict Stark was named Hand of the King. As Hand, Benedict had authority second only to the King. Benedict Stark had sided with the Sparrow faction at the Great Council, but repented of his error after The Red Wedding and following abuses.

During Benedict’s long term as Hand, he discovered much corruption in the capital. He carefully compiled evidence of grave misconduct by certain Lords of Westeros and their confederates, especially the powerful but sinister Lannisters. The Sparrows were up to their necks in it. King John Paul, however, believed that moving against the corruption would be a distraction from his chief business, which was to improve the political landscape, roll back the influence of the Sparrows, and restore reason to the maesters.

King Benedict Stark, First of His Name

King John Paul had a long and popular reign. It is said that he ruled Westeros without a single sword being drawn from its sheath. But some thought he did not do enough to correct the Great Council and suppress the Sparrows. Upon his death, his faithful Hand, Benedict Stark, Lord of Winterfell, was named king by acclamation, John Paul leaving no heir.

King Benedict, unlike King John Paul, was not universally loved. The Sparrows despised him, especially his “reform of the reform,” which included an option for the ancient rite of the Seven. He was mocked by many, and his efforts were largely ineffectual where they were not simply blocked outright. He never felt he had the strength to go after the corruption he had uncovered as a younger man, while King John Paul’s Hand.

When he grew very old, he was given an ultimatum by the Lannisters. He would abdicate the Iron Throne, while retaining some ambiguous royal prerogatives as “King Emeritus.” From Dorn, the uttermost south, an unknown Lannister would be installed upon the Iron Throne before anyone could do anything about it. [Dorn? You don’t remember Dorn? Neither does anyone else.]

King Francis Lannister, First of His Name

The smallfolk of King’s Landing literally woke up one day to find that Benedict Stark was no longer king, and their new king was Francis Lannister, First of His Name. He was young, and had the blond Lannister hair, just like his aunt Cersei and uncle Jaime, as well as a streak of sadism. He named Lord Kasper Frey as his Hand. Some, those not familiar with the rules of the Game of Popes, were shocked, given Frey’s connection with the Red Wedding. Others were simply confirmed in their suspicions: Francis Lannister and the Sparrows had not just blown in through the window together by chance.

Initially, nearly everyone was charmed by King Francis’ simplicity. It was said he slept naked in a pile of dung spread over iron spikes beneath the stars, no matter the season. He ate nothing but sawdust wetted with vegetable broth, while servants beat him with canes. These, at any rate, were such stories as he enjoyed hearing about himself. He did not wear shoes, famously saying, “carnival is over,” and so was rumored to be a Sparrow. Continue Reading

3

Bear Growls: The Caine Mutiny

 

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear takes a look at one of my favorite movies:

 

Surely one of the greatest movies of all time is the 1954 naval drama The Caine Mutiny, based on Herman Wouk’s novel. It stars Humphrey Bogart, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray, E.G. Marshall and Jose Ferrer. Bogart’s Captain Queeg is the skipper of an old minesweeper, USS Cain. One can hardly imagine a less glamorous ship. Queeg is quirky, rigid, and insecure. When he gets nervous, he rolls two steel balls in his hand.

His wardroom, instigated by Fred McMurray’s character — a writer — lose respect for Captain Queeg after a number of lapses of judgment. When Queeg reaches out to his officers to try to repair mutual respect, he meets a stony rebuff.

When a typhoon threatens to capsize the ship, Queeg does not seem up to the crisis. His executive officer, played by Van Johnson, relieves Captain Queeg of duty and takes command of the ship.

During the ensuing court-martial (the Navy does not take mutiny well) Captain Queeg takes the stand. What follows may be Bogart’s best performance, and is a film classic. We see in Queeg an ordinary man who was simply not up to the extraordinary responsibilities he had been given. Under the effective cross-examination of trial defense counsel, played by Jose Ferrer, Captain Queeg slowly strips himself of his dignity as his psychological unfitness for command is revealed.

Realizing what he has done, Captain Queeg, who has largely been allowed to testify in a narrative, offers to answer specific questions. There follows a series of tight shots of trial counsel, played by E.G. Marshall, and the other officers present, looking at Captain Queeg’s train wreck with a mixture of horror and sympathy as we hear only the clack of Queeg’s ball bearings.

It is hard for us to see a man who should command respect be revealed as incompetent. The captain of a U.S. warship is a father, a leader, and an exemplar. His commands are unquestioned. (The XO does all of his dirty work.) To see someone fall from such an exalted position is sad. What’s even worse is serving under such a captain.

We’re not sure if Van Johnson’s “mutiny” saved Cain or not. A few ships were lost, but the vast majority survived. What was clear was that the circumstances were extremely dangerous, and the captain’s actions were questionable. The trust between leader and led had already been eroded. It was a position no officer should have been put in. Van Johnson had to do what he thought best, and would never be certain he was right in substituting his judgment for his captain’s.

After the trial, a drunken trial defense counsel, played by Jose Ferrer, is hardly in a celebratory mood, despite his win.  He points out that while he was going to law school and the other officers were following their own civilian pursuits, Captain Queeg had the low-paying, unglamorous job, of maintaining a peacetime navy. He reminds them that when he reached out to them, they were cold. But it’s Fred MacMurray’s writer character, LT Keefer who is singled out for the worst treatment.

Continue Reading

3

Bear Growls: Fighting Back

bunny_header

 

Hmmm, apparently our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear is fighting back against the takeover of his blog by the sinister Rabbit.  Here is a cryptic post:

HACKED BY B34R TOP SECRET UMBRA//SI-GAMMA 4478-MANSION/TALENT KEYHOLE-LANTERN//NOFORN 164303MAY28 SECTOR PETER VICTOR KING RAW SIGINT POSS BEAR RELATED RESIST RABBIT END OF MESSAGE Continue Reading

6

Bear Growls: What Happened to the Bear?

bunny_header

 

 

 

I suspect that our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear is being held captive by sinister forces.  Some impostor Rabbit has proclaimed this at his website:

 

Hi. I’m St. Corbinian’s Bunny Rabbit. (And not that kind of rabbit!) What, you’ve never heard of me? Figures. Leave it to a bear to hog all the attention. Someday I’ll tell you all about it. And notice that I don’t say anything stupid like “the Bunny Rabbit” thinks this, or “the Bunny Rabbit” believes that. I always hated that.

Anyway, management has decided that settling for 15% of Catholics who aren’t exactly in love with Pope Francis, while alienating the 85% of Catholics (and 50%+ of atheists) who worship him, is a bad business model. You don’t continually complain about the most popular man in the world. (Think there might be a reason for that?) So from now on, you can expect lots of fluffy news about the wonderful things Pope Francis is doing every day. I think you’ll find that the bear has been too negative. It’s time for the truth!

So, sorry, malcontents, but your precious bear is gone.

Come back home. Everybody’s joining us. We are the winning team. You can be happy. You just need to put your negativity aside and read some good news for a change. Continue Reading

17

Bear Growls: Father Rosica

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear sets his sights upon the recent charitable musings of Father Tom Rosica.  Go here and here to read about this credit to the priesthood.  Here are the comments of our bruin friend:

 

Fr. Rosica: Jesus Brand Out, Francis Brand In

The frightening and unusually meaty face of Fr. Rosica
Catholic Bloggers Holy Executioners Strewing Corpses All Around

The Pope’s PR flack and head of Salt and Light Media Foundation has excoriated Catholic ephemerists. On May 17, Fr. Rosica had these charitable words for the Bear and other Catholic ephemerists who are having none of Pope Francis’ Kool-Aid. The Bear would just point out that the beginning of the first sentence unwittingly states the problem. This from the ever-reliable CRUX.

Although Pope Francis has succeeded in rebranding the public profile of the Church, according to a Vatican PR aide, his positive tone isn’t always reflected when Catholics themselves take to the use of social media. 

On the contrary, to hear Father Thomas Rosica tell it, sometimes Catholic conversation on-line is more “culture of death” than “culture of life.” 

“Many of my non-Christian and non-believing friends have remarked to me that we ‘Catholics’ have turned the Internet into a cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol, all in the name of defending the faith!” he said. 

“The character assassination on the Internet by those claiming to be Catholic and Christian has turned it into a graveyard of corpses strewn all around,” said Rosica, who assists the Vatican Press Office with English-speaking media, on May 11 as he delivered the keynote address at the Brooklyn Diocese’s observance of World Communications Day. 

“Often times the obsessed, scrupulous, self-appointed, nostalgia-hankering virtual guardians of faith or of liturgical practices are very disturbed, broken and angry individuals, who never found a platform or pulpit in real life and so resort to the Internet and become trolling pontiffs and holy executioners!” Rosica said. 

“In reality they are deeply troubled, sad and angry people,” he said. “We must pray for them, for their healing and conversion!”

Mixing humor and invective can be done. The Bear does it nearly every day. But, Fr. Rosica, the humor should be intentional. Sadly, for Fr. Rosica, the Bear is laughing at him, not with him. Not the best thing for a liar-for-hire. “Trolling pontiffs and holy executioners?” “Corpses strewn all around?” A bit purple, don’t you think?

Even funnier is absolutely ripping the heart out of Catholic ephemerists then faux-piously saying, “In reality they are deeply troubled, sad and angry people. We must pray for them, for their healing and conversion!” A good PR flack should stay on message and avoid blatant insincerity.

This “disturbed, broken and angry” (alright, disturbed and angry) Bear for one takes comfort in the fact that someone filled with such contempt for him nevertheless manages to pray for this unworthy Bear’s healing and conversion. However, the Bear thinks Fr. Rosica is mainly going after traddies here. The Bear merely wants Pope Francis to go away and never come back.

The Infamously Litigious Fr. Rosica

Now, the Bear realizes that he is taking a big risk criticizing this pompous asshat. [Note: edit out “asshat” before pub] Fr. Rosica doesn’t always just pray for erring ephemerists. Sometimes he sues them. Or possibly, he both prays for them and sues them; the Bear does not know.

Fr. Rosica sued one-man ephemeris Vox Cantoris. If Fr. Rosica wishes to sue the Bear, the Bear would be delighted to match his public relations instincts with Fr. Rosica’s, which appear to be nil. “Pope’s PR Priest Sues Disabled Veteran Blogger for Calling Him ‘Asshat.'” [Note: sub. “asshat” before pub.] “Rosica Strikes Again: Sues Adorable Bear Who Hurt His Feelings.”

“[Francis] Has Rebranded Catholicism and the Papacy”

Fr. Rosica gained infamy during the Synod on the Family. He also promoted Pope Francis to “Prince of Peace.” Now, that’s the kind of publicity you can only buy. Here’s what Fr. Rosica had to say about his client, Pope Francis. The occasion: Fr. Rosica received some award in Brooklyn, covered by his very own media outlet! 

“After three years at the helm of the Church, we must ask ourselves: What is the most important achievement of Pope Francis? He has rebranded Catholicism and the papacy.” [Emphasis in original.]

He also said this:

Many of my colleagues in the “secular” media industry have said that Francis has made it fun to be a religion reporter and journalist again. He has changed the image of the church so much that prestigious graduate schools of business and management are now using him as a case study in rebranding. 

Note that Fr. Rosica and the Bear agree with all this rebranding of the Catholic Church and the Papacy. It’s just that Fr. Rosica thinks this is a good thing. Why wouldn’t he? As long as the reporters are having fun. Heck, the Bear would have fun in the back of the plane, too. No doubt Fr. Rosica, as PR flack, enjoys having a hand in this rebranding. And it’s comforting to know that big corporations, maybe Target, who get themselves into trouble are using Pope Francis as a model to “rebrand” themselves. What kind of dope uses “rebrand” in a religious context, anyway?

The Bear has one question for Fr. Rosica. What was wrong with the Jesus brand?

Any way, nice to know we humble ephemerists, the francs-tireur of this war for the soul of the Church, are getting to people like Fr. Rosica, and, it may be assumed, image-conscious Pope Francis.

Continue Reading

19

Bear Growls: Of Bears and Bibles

bear-bible

 

 

Our bruin friend over at Saint Corbinian’s Bear gives a useful overview of Catholic Bibles:

Recently, the Bear joined a Facebook Group called something like “Douay-Rheims Bible.” His first contribution was to note that St. Jerome started by correcting the “old Latin” Bible, which took people like 200 years to get over. What he got back was this:

THE BIBLE DOES NOT NEED TO BE “CORRECTED!!!” IT IS PERFECT FROM GOD IN THE ORIGINUL LATIN!!! SELL YOUR MODERNIST HEARESIES SOMEWHERE ELSE. AND HOW DARE TO CALL YORSELF A “SAINT.” YOR’ PROBLY NOT EVEN A REEL BARE!!!

The Bear still doesn’t know what to make of this. Except that he inadvertently turned over a rock. But it illustrates the fact that Catholics do not get Bible. Granted, they have the correct number of books, but we’re not spoiled for choice compared to our separated brethren.

  • Vulgate — Bear forgot most his Latin
  • Douay-Rheims — archaic language, but Challoner’s version is useful, especially with Haydock’s semi-useful commentary. (You want to talk BIG; must be registered as a deadly weapon in Washington state and Maine.) Published back when Catholics were confident. Not a bad choice at all, although some words will leave you scratching your head. Currently available on sale for $95 from Catholic Treasures. You owe it to yourself to own this beautiful, illustrated edition. Of course, more portable versions are available, too, but without Haydock’s notes, from St. Benedict Press and Lepanto Press, which has an economical, illustrated hardcover. Note that just as Protestants have their KJV-Onlyists, Catholics have their Douay-Rheims Onlyists. Both harmless if you pass on the Kool-Aid.
  • Revised Standard Version (either Catholic edition) — people get upset that Isaiah 7:14 is accurately translated in the 1st Ed. 2nd Ed. panders a bit by trying to make Catholics happier, which fails, because everybody (even Protestants) just knows “it’s a liberal translation.” Even so, the RSV is one of the best all-around choices for Catholics, in the Bear’s opinion. 1st Ed. uses “thees and thous” when addressing the Deity, if you like that sort of thing. Not impressed with translation to “repent” in relation to Judas, though, which recently confused our dear old holy Father.
  • Navarre Bible — very nice, extensive, conservative Catholic commentary (even if St. Jose Maria Escrivá is overrepresented in some volumes). RSV translation with current official Latin on every page. While there is a lovely one-volume, oversized “expanded” New Testament, it otherwise comes in a multi-volume set, e.g. “Pentateuch,” “Minor Prophets,” etc. You won’t be taking this to Sunday School with you. Catholics just don’t do one-volume study Bibles. Otherwise best in show.
  • Ignatius Study Bible — another multi-volume publication done by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch. Nice; the NT volume is hardcover; others are paperback and the Bear has not read them. Probably the Catholic study Bible most like a Protestant study Bible in format and style, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
  • Catholic Scripture Study International — a whole program designed for group study, with an RSV-CE 1st Ed. Bible. Apologetics material on glossy pages scattered throughout. The program drivers are obviously well-meaning, but the Bear was just not impressed. You might be.
  • Jerome or Collegeville commentaries — Bear calls Modernism, but officially state-of-the-art, Catholic-style, i.e. recycling century-old liberal Protestant theories that the Bible is a forgery written in 1829 by Wilbur T. Birkenback, of Augusta, Maine. (Collegeville? Really?)
  • New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE) — the official Bible of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, one of two “officially approved” for private reading by Catholics in the U.S. The Bear doesn’t know about you, but he can’t think of a single body better qualified to publish an annotated translation of the Bible! Translation itself isn’t bad, but you can’t get it without the notes, in which you will learn things like: because St. Matthew had never heard of Hebrew parallelism, he had Jesus enter Jerusalem riding both an ass and a colt like a circus performer. “The ass and the colt are the same animal in the prophecy [we sure about that, smart guy?] mentioned twice in different ways, the common Hebrew literary device of poetic parallelism. That Matthew takes them as two is one of the reasons why some scholars think that he was a Gentile rather than a Jewish Christian who would presumably not make that mistake” [when he was making up his Gospel]. That’s right, St. Matthew, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, completely blew the whole Palm Sunday scene because he was an ignorant Gentile. Recommended for Catholics who aspire to become atheists. Plus the usual recycling of Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis (Darwin’s Origin of Species of Biblical scholarship) and other “assured results of higher criticism,” e.g. all books of the Bible were forged by people other than whose names they bear, and any prophecies had to have been made after the fact. (Sorry, Cyrus.)

Continue Reading

2

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). Continue Reading

1

Bear Growls: Mortality

Christ Defeating Death

He had been to touch the great death, and found that, after all, it was but the great death.

Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage

 

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear had a recent reminder that bears do not live forever:

 

 

The evening before last, the Bear was lounging in front of his computer screen, when suddenly moderately severe chest pains struck. He waited for two minutes (having read somewhere that you should act on any chest pains that last longer than two minutes). Then he got up on his hind legs and announced to his driver, bodyguard and factotum, Red Death that we were going to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital ER right now.

 
After what might have been a sketch from the Three Stooges, with a special appearance by Buster, the Yorkie, who insisted on accompanying his master, Red Death and the Bear’s son managed to get the stricken Bear into the car.
 
During the thirty minute drive from the goat pastures of Zoar to the VA hospital, the Bear had to face the possibility it might be a one-way trip.
 
He pulled out his rosary and prayed it.
 
He contemplated his sins.
 
He was sorry.
 
He didn’t feel confident about judgment.
 
He regretted the drama of it all, as he imagined a medical team swarming all over his furry body, his family disrupted and grieving.
 
He told Red Death that he was open to massive employment of morphine if it came to it, short of hastening his death. (The Bear is a chicken, and Bears never turn down opiates.)
 
At the ER, they did an ECG. They drew blood. They put a line in. They hooked him up to a monitor. They gave him four baby aspirin to chew. The Bear asked for some diazepam. (Due to being frequently tranquilized by humans, the Bear has developed an appreciation for benzos.) His request was granted.
 
The Bear amused himself by making his blood pressure go up by picturing the Pope, and then making it go down by not. Seriously. He considered that the Pope might be hazardous to his health. He was, in fact, writing an ephemeris article about the Pope when he was afflicted.
 
He was ignored for an hour and a half, then they came in and took some more blood. The Bear was encouraged that otherwise they seemed have have forgotten about him.
 
Finally, a nurse came in and said everything was perfectly normal, and the Bear had not had a heart attack, and could leave. It was anticlimactic. Follow-up appointments were made with Cardiology.
 
This was a good way to start off Lent. Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return. Who really plans for their death? It seems to the Bear that making it up as he went along was not the best way of preparing himself. Perhaps the Bear will develop this issue.

Continue Reading

2

Bear Growls: Pope and Bears

 

Bear Blogging

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear looks at papal interaction with a “bear”:

 

According to this report from Eye of the Tiber, Pope Francis granted a private audience with the celebrity Bear from the motion picture, “The Revenant.” Many have written to the Bear asking for a statement.

First of all, this so-called “Bear” is fake. That’s right. According to Variety, the bear is CGI.

The Bear wishes to make it perfectly clear that he is not bothered by some fake bear being a celebrity, while the Bear labors in obscurity. At least he knows he’s the real thing. Does Pope Emeritus Benedict’s coat of arms have some anonymous, fake, CGI bear on them? No. They unmistakably have St. Corbinian’s Bear, complete with pack. So, now who’s famous, Mr. Fake CGI imaginary bear?

So what to make of the Pope’s pitiful propaganda effort to convince the world that he is on good terms with Bears? Clearly, the Bear has gotten under his skin. He knows the growing popularity of the Bear is a threat to his Jesuitical plots. So His Holiness is trying to neutralize the Bear.

Here is the truth. The only Bears that are behind the Pope are South American Spectacled Bears, and Polar Bears, who are working the global warming scam for all its worth by swimming out to tiny ice features and hoping somebody takes their picture.

My friends, long after this so-called “bear” has been buried in the graveyard of forgotten CGI animals,  like that tiger from Life of Pi, or the 50 rampaging mammoths from 10,000 B.C., the Bear will still be writing his ephemeris, growing his audience, scrutinizing the Vatican like Bernardo Gui on methylphenidate. If a freelance Bear inquisitor high on speed doesn’t scare you, nothing will.

There’s only one place to find the real Bear. It’s right here, friends. Thank you for your continued support. Continue Reading

23

PopeWatch: Bear Growls: Sorry Saint Paul

 

PopeWatch2-199x300-199x300

 

One of the more pernicious pathologies within the Church today is an ecumenism that neuters the command of Christ to the Church to “make ye disciples of all the nations”.  Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear takes a look at a dispiriting recent example:
The Vatican has just released a new document assuring everyone that it has no mission to the Jews.

This is not going to be politically correct. You have been warned.

The need to examine the Vatican’s proof-text (Romans 11:29) in context required a detailed examination of Paul’s clear teaching on the issue. That will be published in Part 2.

But for now, St. Paul wrote, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9 RSV.)

Keeping in mind St. Paul’s double anathema, read what he wrote about the salvation of Jews:

We ourselves, who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, 16 yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified.

(Galatians 2:15-16 RSV.)

Now, since a different gospel is preached because of interfaith relations, one may ask which is the more important of the two. It is not surprising to hear the Vatican say it has no mission to the Jews, and that Jews may or may not have a special Jew way to salvation.

If you want the photo op with the rabbi at the press conference, the only thing you have to bargain with is the truth. Today, interfaith relations are so important they have eclipsed the truth. In addition, Pope Francis has worked closely with an Argentinian Rabbi, Abraham Skorka, with whom he authored a book, “On Heaven and Earth.” We all know how Jorge Bergoglio’s personal connections influence Church policies.

The Protestants say Catholics believe the teachings of men. The Bear has to concede them the point too  often. The Bear is just an ursine mammal, but he would think twice about advocating a scheme in which knowing rejection of Jesus Christ was a routine method of salvation.

What does it really say about the need to be Christian — no, Catholic — to be saved, or, rather, our leaders’ opinions on that? We have often discovered clues that the Church now believes in universalism, that all persons are saved and Hell is empty. Bad ideas have consequences in the Church, and we should be alert for their expressions. One is this: if everyone is saved, religious differences become unimportant.

Now the Vatican repeats their favorite phrase on this issue: “For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.” Of course He didn’t revoke them. They got their Davidic dynasty forever, and they got their Messiah, in Whom the Law was completed. Elijah prepared his way in the person of John the Baptist, and Moses and Elijah — the Law and the Prophets — met with Jesus during the Transfiguration. Not to mention over 300 Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus’ life.

God never revoked his covenant, He completed it.

All Jews  have to do is accept it. Yet the Church has crossed them off the list of people to be asked in order to please men. Is the Bear alone in finding this monstrous?

How different from the early Church, where Jews were tirelessly proselytized! Why were Jews converting to anything under the urging of the Apostle Paul and other Christian leaders if it were not necessary?

But something is going on that makes interfaith relations more important than the truth of the faith, and  the salvation of souls of people we supposedly care so much about. The Bear sniffs the air, and there is something unwholesome on the breeze more often than not of late. The Bear finds himself typing “The Prince of This World” too often.

He fears for his Church as never before.

Ultimately, the Bear fears the Church is currently advancing a different program than the one Jesus began with St. Peter. Continue Reading

8

Bear Growls: Someday This Pontificate Will End

 

It is an old maxim among historians that times of peace make for boring reading while times of war make for rattling, gripping reading.  Our Bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear applies a variant of that maxim to the current papacy:

 

The Vatican has planned an elaborate light show celebrating Christmas. Images of the Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and a whole choir of angels will be projected even on the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, announced Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the head of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.

“We are quite humbled to present this beautiful program of the nativity to the world,” Archbishop Fisichella said. “It is a reminder that the Church, and the new evangelization, is about Christ, and earthly cares must fade into the background.”

Had you going, didn’t the Bear.

We might expect that, if the Luciferian program of the union and glorification of man on his planet were not in vogue in this papacy. Instead, what we get is humankind (not too many, now!) and global warming propaganda painted on Christianity’s most important church.

Of course, it is only natural that Goofball-in-Command of Shameless Dopery, our old friend speaking-against-the-Pope-is-exactly-the-same-as-physically-attacking-him Archbishop Rino Fisichella is the showrunner for this — and the Bear does mean this literally: abomination. (How’s that New Evangelization going, boss?)

Read more at Restore DC Catholicism.

When the Bear scans the Vatican News on any given day, he feels guilty that they make it so darned easy to blog. Pope Francis has been the best thing for Catholic bloggers since Pope Alexander VI. (The Bear is sure they had some equivalent of blogging in those days.) The Bear feels like Col. Kilgore in “Apocalypse Now:” (Sniffles) “Someday this war’s gonna end…”

Someday this papacy is going to end. (Sniffles.) Continue Reading

6

Bear Growls: What Can a Few Refugees Hurt?

 

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear has unearthed an obscure historical document:

Scene: Canaanite Hebrew Refugee Welcoming Commission Headquarters.
Dramatis Personae: Bazar, a minor functionary; Tukal-Baal, vice chairman.

Bazar — Vice Chairmen Tukal-Baal, there’s something I feel I should bring to your attention.

Tukal-Baal — Will it take long? We have hundreds of thousands of Hebrew refugees on the way. Did you hear that they crossed the Red Sea? Probably thousands lost on over-crowded papyrus rafts. That kind of determination to seek a better life moves me to tears.

Bazar — But there’s a problem, sir.

Tukal-Baal — Problem? What kind of problem?

Bazar — A copy of their holy books fell into our hands. It’s not good.

Tukal-Baal — Not good? Their god will fit in with ours, I’m sure. It’s good that we have their holy books. It will help with our interfaith efforts.

Bazar — Sir, their holy books say they intend to wipe us out, man, woman, child, and livestock. Even our pets.

Tukal-Baal — Wipe us out? That’s ridiculous. I’m sure you’re misreading it. Perhaps there is a symbolic interpretation. They’re refugees for Baal’s sake. All they want is a better life. We owe them that!

Bazar — Listen to this, right from their holy books: When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you — I’ll skip the list of our neighbors, but include “the Canaanites” — and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them; then you must utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them, and show no mercy to them.” That’s what it says. And may I respectfully again invite your attention to the mention of “Canaanites?” And look, sir. “Utterly destroy them,” right here, and “show no mercy to them,” there. That’s why I said it’s not good. I mean, you can read it right there in their holy books!

Tukal-Baal — And you think a bunch of four-year-old refugees looking for a better life are going to pay any attention to that? Seriously? Our civilization is destined for immortality! They’ll just be assimilated like everyone else.

Bazar — These are the same determined people who broke free of Egyptian slavery, crossed the Red Sea, and spent forty years in the desert, sir. And I’m not so sure they used papyrus boats to get across the Red Sea. It is suspected they used nuclear weapons in the devastating attacks on Sodom and Gomorra centuries ago. These people don’t fool around.

Tukal-Baal — You really believe they’re going to bother chasing down Buster after they’ve slaughtered me and my whole family?

Bazar — They take orders from a reclusive cleric named Moses. Moses has a military lieutenant named Joshua. We know their spies have scouted out our defenses. At best this has terrorism written all over it, if not outright conquest. They are as numerous as the sand of the sea.

Tukal-Baal — That many? Well, all the more reason to stop this nonsense and redouble our welcome efforts! Next you’ll be saying they’ll stamp out Baal worship and impose their god over everyone! [Laughs.] Maybe build a temple in Jerusalem! And why not a king, as well? [Laughs uproariously.] You can’t take these things seriously, Bazar. They’re just pitiful refugees. Put those Hebrew holy books away and attend to your regular duties.

Bazar — Yes, sir. I’m sure you’re right. Continue Reading

7

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Saint Corbinian’s Bear

 

 

This is what the sheep are fed in the “unsettled Church” Pope Francis wants. Sheep don’t like to be unsettled, though. They like to be safe and at peace. That’s the whole idea of the Good Shepherd. Or any shepherd. Our Lord told Peter, “feed my sheep.” Not tie balloons to their tails and watch them chase around in panic and confusion.

Saint Corbinian’s Bear

28

PopeWatch: Bear Growls: Martin Luther

PopeWatch2-199x300-199x300

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear asks an interesting question.  Who is the better insult slinger:  Pope Francis or the Mouth from Wittenberg:  Martin Luther?

 

Champion of Insults: Pope Francis or Martin Luther?

 
Background and Fighters

When it comes to Christians slinging insults, two heavyweights come to mind. First, of course, is the reigning heavyweight champion of the sour science of insult. The Bear gives you the pride of Saxony, the Heresiarch of Haymakers, the Raging Bull himself: Maaaaartin Luuuuuther!

And in this corner, a real up-and-comer, and a big surprise, the Pontiff of Punching, the Argentine Bombshell, and you know what’s coming! The Bear can only mean: Horhaaaaay Bergoliooooo! The 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church!

Luther started the Reformation in 1517, which split the Church under Bergoglio’s predecessor, Pope Leo X. Although the two camps have tried to keep the smack talk dialed down lately, you just have to know this is a 500-year-old grudge match.

Will Luther keep the title he’s held onto for half a millennium? Or will the antipodean upstart pull an upset? There are no rules, and low blows are encouraged. So let’s watch the Pope and the Heresiarch go head to head to find out who is the more insulting. The two fighters will square off over ten rounds, each with a different theme.

1. Johnny, Take That Out of Your Mouth!

Pope Francis: “Formenter of coprophagia!”

Martin Luther: “You are like a magician who conjures gulden into the mouths of silly people. But when they open their mouths, they have horse (dung) in them!”

Bear — the two statements are similar, but Luther’s earthy clarity beats the Pope’s spectacular display of vocabulary. Round One: LUTHER.

2. Say Again?
 
Pope Francis: “Self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagian!”
Martin Luther:  “You sophistic worms, grasshoppers, locusts and lice!”
Bear — here the Pope’s vocabulary dazzles, even if nobody understands it! Luther already looks tired in this round. Round Two: POPE FRANCIS.
3. Animal Crackers
 
Pope Francis: “Creed-reciting Parrot Christian!”
Martin Luther: “For you are an excellent person, as skillful, clever and versed in Holy Scripture as a cow in a walnut tree or a sow on a harp!”
Bear — Wow! What a comeback. Pope Francis is clever, funny, and right on target, but Luther’s humorous and memorable imagery demonstrates why he’s the champ. Round Three: LUTHER.
4. A Few Beads Short of a Rosary
 
Pope Francis: “Sloth-diseased, acedic Christians!”
 
Martin Luther: “You people are more stupid than a block of wood!”
Bear — Pope Francis may be getting a little cocky. He sounds like a doctor, here, and falls back into his tendency to use jargon that lacks impact. On the other hand, Luther connects with the simplest insult imaginable, but good enough to put the Pope on his heels. Round Four: LUTHER.
5. Prelates
 
Pope Francis: “Airport bishops!”
Martin Luther: “As for the signs of your peculiar priesthood, we are willing to let you boast of these mean things, for we know it would be quite easy to have, anoint and clothe in a long robe even a pig or a blog of wood!”
Bear — Here we see the difference. Pope Francis lands a popping jab that’s effective. But Luther just overwhelms him with an impressive combination relying once again on concrete, humorous imagery. He even slips that “block of wood” punch in again. Round Five: LUTHER.
6. Wings
 
Pope Francis: “There are Christian bats who prefer the shadows to the light of the presence of the Lord!”
Martin Luther: “You are a bungling magpie, croaking loudly!”
Bear — This one comes down to bat vs. magpie. The judges are going with bat! Round Six: POPE FRANCIS.

Continue Reading

3

Bear Growls: Voris to Bloggers: Drop Dead

 

 

Our bruin friend over at Saint Corbinian’s Bear has been on a roll lately:

 

Michael Voris is once again under the Bear’s scrutiny, because once again he has done something noteworthy. Since the Bear is not a Professional Broadcaster, he will go with an easy-to-understand, lawyerly chronological outline at the risk of burying the lede.

Voris’ Premise

Voris’ premise is that the bad guys are playing a game of pointing fingers of blame at conservatives when conservatives criticize Pope Francis. This is a welcome clarification of his recent “Failed Papacy?” Vortex, which the Bear found impossible to understand. Voris’ premise depends upon the idea that ordinary folks follow ecclesiastical politics and care. Voris gave three examples of how this has been tried.

First: “The Letter.” The letter circulated by some prelates was spun into an attack on the Pope. Some of them who had supposedly signed it, denied signing it. Voris apparently supposes this had traction with the man on the street.

Second: “The Tumor.” There was some speculation that the story released by an Italian newspaper was planted by evil conservatives to undermine Pope Francis’ papacy, although there were never any names suggested to the Bear’s knowledge. Again, Voris imagines that people follow this sort of “inside baseball.”

Third: “The Pope’s Enemies.” Cardinal Wuerl speculates about the Pope’s enemies. Once again, people are supposed to hear this, know who Cardinal Wuerl is, and agree with him. Thus we, the good guys, take heavy damage, according to Voris.

Liberals and Modernists use these tactics because they know they work, Voris says. In secular politics, criticize President Obama and liberals will call you a racist. Similarly, criticize the Pope and Modernists will say you, well, criticized the Pope. (A quibble: America has a built-in race factor bubbling under the surface that liberals can tap into in a way Cardinal Wuerl can’t in ecclesiastical politics.)

Now the reason we should not attack the Pope is because it is a bad tactic. For this reason, according to Voris, we should attack the evil men around the Pope.

Voris’ Solution: Ditch Blogs and Rely on the Professionals

This is where it gets interesting. It reminds the Bear of the scene in Ghostbusters where Venkman tells the guy at the library, “Back off, man. I’m a scientist.” Except now it’s “Back off, man. I’m a Professional Journalist.”

First, you have to have a real theological education to detect “subtleties and nuances.”

Second, you have to have professional, secular media experience.

Why, what do you know! We’re in luck! Michael Voris has both of these qualifications. In case you have failed to connect the dots, Voris actually states Church Militant TV has these ingredients. And they’re no fly-by-night blogs sensationalizing things for a few extra clicks.

And then he immediately asks for money: to buy a Premium Membership.

So do you get this? Don’t bother with a bunch of amateurs who will hose it all up. Stick with professionals, like, why, me! It’s like the famous 1975 Daily News headline, “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” Except this time it’s “VORIS TO BLOGGERS: DROP DEAD.”

The Bear’s Reaction
The Bear can’t help but observe that if you allow the other side to control the debate, you’ve already lost. When the Bear practiced trial defense, he would always pick the prosecution’s most shocking piece of real evidence, maybe the murder weapon, to pick up and use before the jury. It showed everyone that the Bear was not afraid of anything the prosecution could present. It also desensitized them, thus eliminating the shock value.
The other side is going to do their thing, period. There are givens. You can’t let that dictate your strategy.
So the Bear is not sure he even agrees with Voris’ premise. This just sounds like the same old lyrics of “don’t criticize the Pope,” set to a different tune. The Bear is not convinced that most people are attuned to ecclesiastical politics as are we visitors, friends and woodland creatures, or Michael Voris’ Premium Members.
But that’s not even the main thing that moved the Bear to put paws to keyboard.
VORIS TO BLOGGERS: DROP DEAD
 
In case you missed it, unless you’re Michael Voris, you bloggers should take your cheap quest for clicks somewhere far from Catholic news. You don’t have a degree in theology? You don’t have extensive secular broadcast experience? Then you don’t have what it takes to be in the big boy’s game. You’ll miss the subtleties and won’t know how to present the story. And you don’t even have a rich backer to send you to Rome where you can look like a journalist, “live from Rome,” even though you have said you don’t act as one. (Which makes one wonder what the use of that formidable professional experience is, since Voris apologized for acting like a journalist in the “Harming the Pope” incident with Cardinal Burke on October 22 of last year.) 

Continue Reading

14

Bear Growls: Egg Gate

 

images8YOXXYIF

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear analyzes the context of the Pope’s seeming endorsement of gay themed kid books:

More on Egg-Gate: The Gay Storybook and the Pope

 
In the interests of good journalism, the Bear wouldn’t write anything at all. But we’re way beyond that by now, woodland creatures. So here is a consolidation of information scattered through the Bear’s previous story and comments on the apparent endorsement by Pope Francis of a children’s book promoting homosexuality.

It all started in June, when the new mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, banned 49 books from the city’s preschool libraries. After a major controversy erupted, he rescinded the ban on all but two books, one of which was Piccolo Uovo.

Gay Penguins, Lesbian Rabbits, and a Rainbow

Piccolo Uovo, or “Little Egg,” is a children’s book written by Francesca Pardi. Among the fans of the book is gay pop icon Elton John, who, along with his male partner, have obtained two little boys, four-year-old Zachary and two-year-old Elijah. The book-banning became an international incident when Sir Elton blasted Brugnaro in the press. He described Piccolo Uovo this way:

Here is one of the Furnish-John family’s favourite storybooks. It champions an all-inclusive world where families come in all shape, sizes and colours. And most importantly, that families are about love. Our boys adore it.

Piccolo Uovo also champions families headed by gay penguins and lesbian rabbits.

It is important to note that this whole situation unfolded against the backdrop of a high-profile controversy. There is every reason to believe the Vatican was aware of this controversy. As we shall see, the Vatican had in its possession pro-homosexual books by the author sent by the author herself. The point to remember is that the response by the Vatican was done with eyes wide open.

At some point, the author of the book, Francesca Pardi, sent an unknown number of copies of her books to Pope Francis. They included seven or eight books expressly dealing with homosexual issues. Accompanying them was a plaintive letter that Pardi showed to a reporter from The Guardian. According to that newspaper, her letter included the following plea:

Many parishes across the country are in this period sullying our name and telling falsehoods about our work which deeply offends us,” she wrote. “We have respect for Catholics … A lot of Catholics give back the same respect, why can’t we have the whole hierarchy of the church behind us?

Pardi was surprised to hear back from the Vatican.  In a letter dated July 9, Msgr. Peter B. Wells, a senior official in the Vatican secretariat, wrote back on behalf of the Pope. It said:

His holiness is grateful for the thoughtful gesture and for the feelings which it evoked, hoping for an always more fruitful activity in the service of young generations and the spread of genuine human and Christian values.

Msgr. Wells, an American, was appointed to his position by Pope Benedict. According to Vatican-watcher John Allen, Wells is far more than an ordinary functionary. He is a bellwether of Vatican opinion and a man of significant influence. In 2013, Allen wrote this in the National Catholic Reporter of Wells.

Cables revealed as part of the Wikileaks scandal show how much diplomats rely on Wells for readings of the Vatican’s take on sensitive issues, such as the church’s sexual abuse scandals. Other players know the score, too. In 2010, when parishioners in Boston wanted to appeal the closing of nine local parishes, they consulted a couple of canon lawyers about the best way to get the pope’s attention, and the reply was to address the petition to Wells.

Msgr. Wells seems like the last fellow to do something that did not reflect the Pope’s sentiments.

After the Guardian story broke on Friday, the Vatican Press Office issued issued a terse statement which placed responsibility for the letter squarely on Msgr. Wells. It did not mention homosexuality specifically, but explained the letter was not meant to endorse anything “not in line with the Gospel.” “In no way does the letter from the Secretariat of State mean to endorse behaviour and teachings not in line with the Gospel.”

The letter from Wells to Pardi on behalf of Pope Francis was also supposed to private.

The emerging narrative is that this was merely a polite, routine letter to an author of children’s books. The problem with this is that it completely ignores the context, which in this case, is everything.

Analysis

So what happened?

First of all, note that Pardi’s letter discusses the controversy and expressly asks for support of “the whole hierarchy of the Church.” In other words, she is asking the Pope — to whom she sent the letter and the books — to take her side in the controversy. And that’s exactly what she got, albeit in very careful language.

Second, the letter on behalf of the Pope speaks for itself. How the Vatican Press Office imagines one can praise an author for children’s books that favor homosexuality and yet not endorse “behavior and teachings not in line with Gospel,” is quite the mystery. Clearly, this is damage control to shift the blame to Wells and backtrack when the Guardian made the papal endorsement public. lt seems to have worked. The accepted narrative is that this was just a routine, polite letter to an author of children’s books, and the Pope had nothing to do with it.

Yet Wells obviously felt he had the authority to speak on behalf of Pope Francis on a well-known controversy involving a children’s book featuring gay penguins.  It would take a real Vaticanista to know if Wells would do that without the Pope’s knowledge, but it seems unlikely to the Bear. If this had been some under-the-radar thing, the Vatican might plead ignorance. This was a matter of controversy, however, as shown by the public record, Pardi’s letter and the books she sent.

It is interesting to consider once again John Allen’s assessment of Wells. “[D]iplomats rely on Wells for readings of the Vatican’s take on sensitive issues.” This is a man acutely sensitive to his boss’s positions. How likely is it that Wells misread Pope Francis on the controversial book?

Well’s letter is admittedly pretty generic. (Query: does praise for spreading “genuine human and Christian values” seem odd coming from the Vatican?) Even so, it is blandly encouraging to an author who writes storybooks on lesbian rabbits for children. This is really the bottom line.

As the Bear asked in the previous story, what would it take to get Msgr. Wells, on behalf of the Pope, to encourage the aggressively orthodox Catholicism contained in this blog? The sun standing still comes to mind, but probably not even that. And yet Francesca Pardi gets an attagirl from Pope Francis for writing Elton John’s and David Furnish’s favorite gay storybook.

This might be dismissed as an aberration were it not for Pope Francis’ — and indeed most of the hierarchy’s — famous tolerance for sexual deviance. This is the “Who am I to Judge” papacy, the “Bravo!” Church. Pope Francis’ priorities do not include teaching on the evils of abortion, homosexuality and contraception. He is a “son of the Church,” but finds “it is not necessary to talk of these issues all the time.” Or, as it turns out, any of the time.

This is not gratuitous criticism of the Pope. It recalls the context which makes it seem plausible that Pope Francis told Wells to “send a nice letter to the lady who writes about love and acceptance for children with gay parents.” So whatever the details of this scandal, in a real sense, Pope Francis owns it.

Continue Reading

6

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. Continue Reading

18

Bear Growls: Dear Reinhard

Dear Reinhard

As I have often said of some of my offspring, my bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear is “scary smart” and this piece of all too true satire will leave a mark on Reinhard Cardinal Marx:

 

 

Dear Reinhard: Is Sex With a Prostitute Adultery?

Once again, we look over the shoulder of Germany’s favorite advice columnist, Reinhard Marx, as he opens up his mailbag…

Dear Reinhard,

My wife and I have been married for eighteen years and have a six year old daughter. I love my wife, but for three years I have been seeing a sex worker in a Munich brothel, Magdalena. She is the only working girl I ever visit, and I  have fallen in love with her. Although I realize this may be less than ideal, I love both my wife and Magdalena.

I hear some people saying that this may be “adultery,” and, further, that it could be a mortal sin and maybe I shouldn’t take communion! I am a good Catholic and want to do the right thing. Surely God recognizes the stable and loving relationship I enjoy alongside my marriage? What should I do?

Signed,
Muddled in Munich

Reinhard replies…

Dear Muddled:

Don’t be so hard on yourself. As the editors of the traditions gathered together under the name “Jeremiah” wrote: “The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it?” Pascal, though only a Frenchman, expressed a similar sentiment when he said, “The heart has its reasons that reason knows not.” What these authors, separated by centuries, agree upon is this: you cannot control whom you love.

The important thing is that we find a way for you to feel welcome in the Church in your clandestine extramarital relationship with Magdalena. Is it right to call a committed, though unorthodox, loving relationship adultery? I think not. So enjoy the blessings of love (and love!) and do not let small-hearted naysayers keep you from communion!

I am sending you an autographed copy of Pope Francis’ friend and collaborator Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez’s “Heal Me With Your Mouth: the Art of Kissing.” (Sounds like you could use it!)

God bless you!
Reinhard

Continue Reading

9

PopeWatch: Bear Growls: Helping the Poor

PopeWatch2-199x300

Our Bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear notes a troubling trend for the Church in this pontificate;

The Poor and the Costly Oil

 

Now when Jesus was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of costly perfumed oil, and poured it on his head while he was reclining at table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant and said, “Why this waste? It could have been sold for much, and the money given to the poor.” Since Jesus knew this, he said to them, “Why do you make trouble for the woman? She has done a good thing for me. The poor you will always have with you; but you will not always have me. In pouring this perfumed oil upon my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Amen, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be spoken of, in memory of her

Matthew 26:6-13 (NABRE).

Care for the poor is part of the basic social justice and charity toward neighbor that God has always demanded. Yet here, the Apostles — Judas traditionally being the chief instigator — had lost sight of the supernatural nature of Jesus’ mission and His divinity. Jesus reminds them that their focus was in the wrong place.

The demagogue with his voters. The Communist with his proletariate. The Peronist with his descamisados. The Liberation Theologian with his poor. They withhold the oil from Jesus’ head.

Worst of all, there are prelates who see the Church as just another political party to pursue worldly goals. Having, perhaps, lost faith in God, they have fashioned for themselves an idol of The Poor, or, worse, their own love for The Poor. Such prelates are frauds if they burn for The Poor, but not for Christ and the salvation of souls. Once again, they have lost sight of the supernatural nature of Jesus’ mission and His divinity. Incredibly, they do not understand the purpose of the Church.

“The poor you will always have with you.” This is Jesus’ prophecy. Yet that is not what one hears today. If only we curb global warming. If only we redistribute wealth. If only we get rid of capitalism, then we could eliminate poverty. The poor we will not have anymore, for we have willed it, and our will be done on earth.

Continue Reading

13

PopeWatch: Bear Growls: Francis Fatigue

PopeWatch2-199x300

 

Our Bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear is weary of Pope Francis:

 

So, woodland creatures and visitors. The Bear must confess that he is just tired of Pope Francis.

The Bear can’t even muster the creativity to deal with his ennui in some entertaining manner. Pope Francis doesn’t hold any mysteries anymore, not even dark ones. If tomorrow he announced that he were an alien, our reaction would be, “meh, can’t say I’m surprised,” and we’d go back to our Words With Friends game.

Francis has an uncanny way of telegraphing his intentions in the clear, while relying on their very outrageousness to protect him.  It was a colossal mistake to try to “read Francis through Benedict.”

Here’s the thing about Communists and prostitutes. If your explanation starts out “Well, he’s not exactly a Communist,” or “she’s not really a prostitute,” he is, and she is. So the Bear has not the least doubt that Pope Francis is a Communist of the pernicious Liberation Theology variety with a dash of Peronist confusion. His eyes are fixed firmly on the world, and we must make sure eyes are not fixed firmly on him, but on Jesus.

This has been a very spiritually damaging papacy. Somehow the Bear needs to place the Catholic religion front and center. Writing about the Francisphere every day has not been consistent with that. Continue Reading

12

Bear Growls: Her Hotness

7419376_s

 

Saint Corbinian’s Bear brings us this:

 

In what Vatican watchers say is an attempt to rekindle flagging interest in Pope Francis’ “Green Encyclical,” the Vatican unveiled a new symbol for the initiative. A Vatican spokesman explained that “we want the people of the Earth to still think of Her as a ‘sister,’ but more of a hot step-sister.” The spokesman added that her “hotness” would remind people of global warming. Continue Reading

18

Bear Growls: Pope Francis the Angry

angry Pope Francis

A succinct, and, on the whole, accurate assessment of Pope Francis, at least so far, by Saint Corbinian’s Bear:

 

Pope Francis — this is his. There are no surprises to the man. We can all sit back and stop obsessing over everything he says and does. There’s nothing to figure out any more. He’s a Latin American bishop with naive, confused and passionate politics and a constricted view of the world. He idealizes the poor, not because they are needy, but because they are The Poor. The Catholic Church is being repurposed into something strange, vague. The tone of this Papacy is anger.

And pessimism.

15

PopeWatch: Bear Growls-Broken Crucifix

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Saint Corbinian’s Bear notes a crucifix mishap for Pope Francis:


So many impious comments come to mind… Bear must resist. So Pope Francis broke his staff. How do you think this might have happened?

Can’t say the Bear’s ever been a fan of this ugly crucifix. Christ looks utterly defeated, and drawn toward the center of the earth. Inhuman. Even the cross is bent. Shouldn’t there be a hint of triumph? At least shouldn’t we be able to watch the Pope without being repulsed by the odd staff? That’s old, old news, of course. Yes, the Bear knows this comes from St. Pope John Paul II. It still doesn’t improve it.

Without making too much of it, he might have chosen to go onstage without it, rather than sending a message of fracture. Then again, Bears are a bit superstitious. Continue Reading

12

Bear Growls: Sedevacantism

corbiniansbearscouts2

 

Saint Corbinian’s Bear takes a look at Sedevacantism:

 

If you look at the Church post-Pius XII, you can’t deny the sedevacantists have plenty of evidence to support, how shall we put it, not so much a sickness in the Church, nor even an injury, but brutal and sustained torture. Only “the tortured Church” captures the malice, cruelty, danger and grief we have experienced over the last fifty years.

The Church has changed. Better, the Church has been afflicted by a multitude of changes, vandalized by wrong-headed and malicious people. Under Pope Francis, the changes have come at a dizzying rate, and they are not for the better.

So why, then, is the Bear not a sedevacantist?

Simply put, the Bear believes we can have destructive popes, men who are, for all their folly and mischief, still pope. The Church can be tortured, yet survive. The gates of Hell will not prevail against it, but beyond that there are no guarantees. The Bear cannot bring himself to accept that God would allow the Catholic “brand” to be taken over by anti-popes for half a century with no end in sight. A billion-plus souls look to Rome and Peter. Looking to Peter, even with his flaws, if only as a marker of legitimacy and unity, is the Catholic thing to do.

The final reason the Bear is not a sedevacantist is that is just doesn’t feel right. When looking at sedevacantist websites, the Bear has the same gut feeling as when he looks at 9-11 truther websites. Yes, the individual facts seem like they could be right, but the whole thing lacks balance. The evidence to the contrary is not considered. Ultimately, asking someone to believe everything they know is wrong is asking a lot. Continue Reading

23

Bear Growls: Pamela Geller

dt_common_streams_StreamServer_cls

 

Saint Corbinian’s Bear is bemused about the hysteria regarding Geller’s Draw Mohammed contest:

See the picture above. Does anything strike you as odd? Muslims attack us, and we are the ones who have to be reminded to be nice? This is a standard tactic: play the victim card. Close down discussion. You don’t want to be a hater, do you?

The condemnation of Pamela Geller’s free speech exercise in Garland, Texas by L’Osservatore Romano was unintentionally hilarious, as were thousands across the globe. They might as well have said that Muslims are mad dogs who can’t control themselves when something (Muhammad drawing, accidental Quran burning, the historical fact of First Crusade, Friday) triggers their irresistible urge to kill. Because in their warnings not to do anything that might offend our delicate Muslim cousins, they not only damn free speech, but could not be more condescending to the very people they’re trying to protect. They’re like Bear Safety Tips.

The Bear would not be the first to draw a comparison to someone blaming rape on the way women dress. “Geller had it coming.” Oh, come to think of it, the last person the Bear remembers doing that was Chief Australian Muslim cleric Taj al-Din al-Hilawi in 2006.

Sheik Hilawi was quoted as saying: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the back yard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it… whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem.” Yep, ladies, better keep that cat-meat covered!

Pope Francis, who never saw a religion he didn’t like — except some elements of Catholicism — has said you cannot make fun of another religion.

Drawing a picture of a supposedly historical figure is not making fun of any religion. Giving some group advance veto power over speech is the end of free speech in principle. Continue Reading

12

Bear Growls: Incompetence

IMG_20140310_223301

 

St. Corbinian’s Bear is on fire over the coming climate change encyclical:

 

The Bear is not claiming to diagnose the Pope. Yet, think back on his papacy, and the way Francis bounces from one scandal to another like a pinball, seemingly unaware of the damage he causes and unable to stop himself. Recall how he seems to consider the papacy as his own personal belonging. That is not humility. Even his acts of “humility” often seem to feature the imposition of his will upon tradition.

What about criticism of those who don’t agree with him? Here is a lengthy collection of his insults. “Rosary counter,” and “self-absorbed, Promethean neo-Pelagian” are just the start. (Who can forget “Bat Christian?”)

Now here we are waiting on a papal encyclical based on the controversial topic of climate change. Once again, Pope Francis can bask in the spotlight. As the Bear pointed out in his last article, Catholics are required to give “religious assent,” i.e. agreement, to such a document. How this is going to work out in practice the Bear has no idea, but it doesn’t matter. On the possibly fraudulent or misguided science of climate change, “Roma locuta est, causa finita est.”

The Church works when grownups are in charge. Frankly, we could add when people who do not exhibit symptoms of mental illness are in charge. Should there be an odd-ball, the sheep can only be unsettled and mistrustful. Even worse, what does this say about the Church? We are expected to swallow an encyclical on dubious science because we believe the Pope has divine assistance to get it right.

The Pope expects assent to his climate change encyclical. The faithful expect a Pope who is not incompetent. We seem to be at an impasse. Continue Reading

31

Bear Growls: Michael Voris

 

corbiniansbearscouts2

 

Initiating a new series.  I have been greatly enjoying the commentary at Saint Corbinan’s Bear.  Whenever I relay to the readers of TAC some of these, I will do so under the rubric Bear Growls.  The Bear has turned his attention to Michael Voris and his hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil policy in regard to Pope Francis:

Here it is in a nutshell: Michael  Voris will expose, criticize and ridicule any bishop of the Catholic Church who fails to adhere to his own conservative sensibilities. That is mostly what his flagship program, The Vortex, does, day after day. Michael Voris cannot stand the “Church of Nice,” (i.e. ordinary Novus Ordo parishes) nor the weak, compliant and corrupt bishops who lead them. However, one thing Michael Voris can’t stand is laying any mistake or misdeed at the feet of the Pope.

Hence we have Christine Niles of CMTV saying at least some forms of criticism of the Pope were “just unacceptable.” Michael Voris interjects an “amen.”

Michael Voris is the furthermost right of legitimate Catholicism. Everyone to the left is despised as the “Church of Nice,” and everyone to the right is dismissed as reactionaries.

It is very narrow spectrum of opinion, if you think about it!

Now, Michael Voris and the rest at CMTV know the problems with Pope Francis as well as anyone. They admit (albeit in a sort of hypothetical way) all the problems we talk about concretely here at SCB. So it isn’t that they are fans of Francis (as far as the Bear can tell), or do not cringe at his mistakes.

The ostensible reason for Michael Voris and his people to ignore Pope Francis is that if media powerhouses like CMTV, or The Remnant, start pecking at the Pope, in no time people will desert the Church for more appealing havens, such as SSPX, whom they dismiss as “schismatic.”

Mr. Voris also characterized the Catholic blogosphere by putting both hands by his head and making rapid “talking gestures” while babbling — apparently suggesting ill-informed chatter by hysterical malcontents.

Mr. Voris was quick to point out that the Pope could never err in doctrinal matters, other people do not understand infallibility, and the Pope can entertain and even express wrong ideas on a human level.

Fair enough. But the answer to that is: Mr. Voris, with all due respect, where have you been the last fifty years? Has it been changes in doctrine that have all but destroyed the Church? Or has it been everything but doctrine that has undermined our worship, polluted Catholic culture, and confused the faithful? The Pope does not have to infallibly change doctrine to do mischief! Indeed, why would he, when he can use “gradualism,” and “compassion” to change the implications of existing doctrine until the same words mean the opposite?

The Bear isn’t sure where Mr. Voris is coming from with regard to the Pope. The risk of driving people to SSPX seems small to the Bear.

But to pretend that the Pope cannot harm the Church so long as he does not exercise his infallibility is ludicrous. If adulterers are welcomed to the communion line, one may be sure it will not have been because any doctrine has been changed. Indeed, the Church will take pains to explain that nothing has really changed, but our times demand an enlargement of compassion, not following the letter of the law in some picky way that doesn’t meet human needs.

One supposes Michael Voris and Church Militant TV will pass over all that in silence, unless they can blame the Bishop of Poughkeepsie, instead of the Bishop of Rome.

The irony of what you are reading right now is that the Bear isn’t what you would call a “traditionalist,” not in the way traditionalists would recognize, anyway. He doesn’t think Francis is not really the Pope, and can personally take or leave the Latin Mass. He tells everyone at least once a week to “nail your foot to the floor in front of your favorite pew and die there.”

But to adopt a policy of ignoring Pope Francis short of him infallibly declaring the Moon to be made of green cheese is unsupportable in a Western institution. If God wanted robots blindly obeying the big cheese in every tiny detail, no matter how ridiculous or harmful, He would have not a pope in Rome, but an imam, and there would be a great big mosque where St. Peter’s sits, around which we would all deliriously orbit. Continue Reading