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I was clobbered in dreams before dawn, for not writing this before I turned in last night.
Yesterday at the bridge club in Marathon, I talked some with an amiga, who is Catholic, about new Pope Francis. I said, if he were to don a brown burlap garb with a rope tied around the waist, sort of like what Francis of Assisi had worn, and if he went forth in that style from the Vatican, barefooted, as Francis of Assisi had traveled, and if he mingled with his flock in that style throughout his papacy, it would totally transform the Catholic church. My amiga laughed.
She said word has it that new Pope Francis is no friend of women or gays. I said, what’s new? Why doesn’t she tell him to shove his church up his hind end? Excommunicate herself. She said she once was excommunicated for marrying outside the church; and then she had kept going to mass and crying because she could not take the sacraments. Finally, though some sort of ritual, she was reinstated. I said, those also would have been good times to tell the pope to shove the church up his hind end. She said her husband had said as much.
On CNN last night, I saw a brief segment of someone leading new Pope Francis around to some kind of altar outside, with a big book open on it, and he leaned down and kissed one of the open pages. He was all decked out in his papal garb, which Francis of Assisi would never have worn, even if he had had it to wear. I felt my stomach turn, all the pomp and ritual, all the fine garments, the mider headdress, which looks like something out of an alien pagan ritual; what a giant superstition the church became, is.
I keep hearing on CCN reports of new Pope Francis being concerned about helping the poor, in the likeness of Francis of Assisi. Baloney! Francis of Assisi was concerned about helping the poor in spirit, not the poor in worldly possessions. Francis of Assisi gave up everything he had, renounced his inheritance from his wealthy father, and wandered about as a beggar monk, who attracted a large following as time went on. They had nothing. I don’t see new Pope Francis having nothing. I don’t see he knows Francis of Assisi.
My bridge amiga would make a great pope. But she’d be a lot happier, in my opinion, if she simply became like Francis of Assisi, not in the beggar sense, but in the church and communion sacraments being everywhere she is sense.
Like, when is anyone not in church?
Like, when did it get decreed that one man is the sole spokesperson for God on this world?
Like, when did it get decreed that people have to attend church, to walk with God?
Like, how often did Jesus attend a church made of brick and mortar during his ministry in the Gospels?
Like, how many churches of brick and mortar did Jesus build during his ministry in the Gospels?
Like, didn’t Jesus say in the Gospels that Peter was the rock on which he would build his church? Was Peter made of brick and mortar?
All of which was the point of the movie, “Stigmata”, in which a young woman not of the faith is smitten with a progression into the full Stigmata, the physical wounds of Jesus on the cross, until a Jesuit Priest finally wakes up and accepts that a non-believer actually is receiving the Stigmata and he does what he has to do to get it transferred from her to himself, even as he has to turn against the church and his long allegiance thereto, because “the kingdom of God is not made of bricks and mortar, but is inside of you and all around you.”
Every Catholic, and every Christian, should be required to see “Stigmata”, a production of the Melchizedek Priesthood, in which Jesus is high priest, according to the Letter of the Hebrews in the New Testament. An anonymous letter, scribed such by Mary Magdalene, who knew Jesus best, being his wife. Anonymous, because it was known no man would read the letter, if it was known a woman had written it. A letter scolding Jewish followers of Jesus for returning to the old Jewish ways, instead of moving into the new way. A way Francis of Assisi was taken, by God.
A terrific portrayal of Francis, and his transformation, and the difference between his way, and the church’s way, is the movie “Brother Son Sister Moon”. Every pope, every cardinal, every bishop, every priest, every Catholic, every Christian, should be required to see that movie, too. It also was produced by the Melchizedek Prieshood, in which Jesus is high priest.
My favorite part of that movie, of course, is when a young barefoot Francis, in brown beggar garb, dresses down the pope and his entire entourage in all their fine plumage, with the birds of the air and the lilies of the field passage out of Matthew and Luke, and the pope, smitten by the Spirit, comes down off his thrown and gets down on his knees and kisses Francis’ bare dirty feet, and ordains him a minister of the Gospel. Like, Francis was not already ordained, by God, but the pope’s entourage needed to see it come from the pope, since none of them could see it had already come from God.
Not long before his death, Francis received Stigmata wounds, the first recognized by the Rome church.
I told my bridge amiga, Pope Francis has no clue what he has set up by taking Francis of Assisi’s name. And, if Pope Francis doesn’t run with it, and I mean really run with it, the karma will be awful.
Francis preached to the birds and wild animals because they listened to him. His followers thought he was Jesus returned, but he said he was not, he was just a man trying to do what he was being led to do.
Perhaps the Spirit can penetrate the pomp and ritual, the superstition, and get Pope Francis to do what he needs to do. What that exactly is, I do not know. Except, I did like the report that he had washed the feet of several men with AIDS. That might be a pretty good directional arrow of where new Pope Francis should go.
Maybe it would be easier for him to get there, if he knew St. Paul was gay, and Jesus and Mary Magdalene were fully human, and bore a child.