By Tim Capps – April 19, 2017
Bears have a saying: “A bee on the end of your nose is big.” Meaning, when we’re focused closely on something, it is easy for things to look bigger than they are.
The quick answer to Can Francis Destroy the Church is probably not. This moves us to the second question: Can Francis Destroy the Papacy. That’s a closer question.
The tools the Bear has are practical ones developed over centuries to smoke out liars. One of the most important of these is simple the assessment of credibility. It’s a seat-of-your-pants skill we all use. It may seem like bootstrapping, because, after all, determining credibility is supposed to be the result of inquiry in court. Yet most people can size up someone pretty quickly and surprisingly accurately. Credibility is the short-cut to knowing if a witness is telling the truth in particulars.
Once you decide someone is not worthy of your belief, his credibility is shot, and you don’t need to worry about whether the streetlight was out at the time he said he clearly saw the nighttime murder across the street. Liars lie, buh-bye.
The Bear alludes to the greatest engine for determining the truth known to mankind – cross examination. Exposing bad testimony in particular answers is fine, and a good cross is darned near unbeatable (except by a truthful witness not playing games).
Ah, just the name is charged with drama and tinged with more than a little fear. Cross examination is seldom fun for the witness. Especially when he is being cross examined by a Bear.
You might catch a witness in an outright falsehood. That would certainly put a ding in his believability. You might learn that he is legally blind without his glasses, which were sitting broken on top of his TV as he peered out the window, or he was in Las Vegas when the crime was committed back in Peoria.
Or, you might just observe the witness and listen to the little fibs and accumulation of backtracks. Then, maybe you learn he’s a convicted felon who is the best friend of the alternate suspect. A pattern builds up over time and one can can conclude this:
“This person is simply not the truth-telling sort of man I’m going to pay much attention to in this important matter.” There is no recovering in the eyes of the jury from losing credibility.
The Pope of Rome is unique among all people in that his job is to speak the truth, and only the truth, but, moreover, he is preserved from error by a whole lot of complicated rules that we can forget about for our purposes. Unless someone cares to explain why it’s okay for the Pope to avoid the truth on important matters such as communion for the divorced and remarried as long as he doesn’t have his lucky rabbit’s foot in his pocket, the Bear does not draw nice distinctions in the age of the magisterium of the sound byte.
So when a sentient Catholic must concede the obvious – Pope Francis is not telling the truth – it matters. Big time. After all, if the Pope can spend his entire papacy running around contradicting Jesus and shoveling untold millions of souls into Hell (maybe), what good is he? And if the signature office of the Catholic Church is worse than useless, what else did those devious medieval clerics dupe us about?
If Pope Francis had not already said Martin Luther was right, the Bear might suspect he was. As it is, the opposite of whatever our Pope says is a veritable rock of the faith.
So, is it time to stock up on Jack Chick tracts and hit the hallelujah highway? This is really another way of coming at a favorite theme of the Bear: cognitive dissonance. Catholics are being required to believe two opposite things at the same time. The Bear doesn’t know about you, but that gives the Bear a headache. A headache and a craving for human flesh.