Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
January 31st, 2014 by Joel Watts

The Jim Has Lost His Mind and Amore about Pope Francis.

St Francis of Assisi

St Francis of Assisi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My adoring fan, Jim West, has written a (another) piece directed against the Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis. His soul, no doubt, is in danger at this very moment.

He writes, “He’s gone loony and taken his ‘People’s Pope’ persona past the brink of theological sensibility this time.”

The Pope Has Lost His Mind | Zwinglius Redivivus.

On Facebook, otherwise intelligent people are laughing at the Pope in what they assume is a theological issue, because if there is anyone not steeped in theology, it’s the Pope, right?

The deal is… the Pope blessed a parrot. This is not like a normal blessing, of course, but given the literalist language used by some…, well. You can find more about the blessing of animals here. I assume they aren’t mocking the man simply because the parrot happened to be owned by a gay stripper. After all, the guy was a pilgrim in Rome. He was seeking Christ first, I assume.

They seem deft of context. Pope Francis has taken his name after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Further, this Pope has made it a mission to bring theology to the people in small, but powerful ways. Third, it was announced this week that the Holy Father was preparing an encyclical on ecological responsibility. All of this fits neatly with the public blessing of the parrot, a man’s gift.

As a pet owner, I count them gifts from God.

Of course, I’m not saying I would rush to my two felines blessed by the Pope either.

My books and laptop maybe…

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Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).


13 Responses to “The Jim Has Lost His Mind and Amore about Pope Francis.”
  1. Just Sayin' says

    I’m not interested in reading West’s fundy rant.

  2. So Jim West says “what the heck sense does it make to ‘bless’ a bird anyway??? What’s the exegetical or theological justification for it?”
    Oh oh. Better to bless a bird, than
    “then he shall offer his oblation of turtle-doves, or of young pigeons. 15And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be drained out on the side of the altar; 16and he shall take away its crop with the filth thereof, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, in the place of the ashes”.
    Yikes, I’ll take the Popes’s approach.

  3. You know what your problem is… You think to much, then speak a lot of sarcastic crap. Do you claim to be a Christian? No, thank you I’m not interested in listening to your reply.. Oh wait you won’t even have a reply it will just be some smart ass comment wrapped in a lot of I’m so educated rhetoric. Pfff….

  4. I don’t understand what the issue is. Are we supposed to be offended because the Pope blessed a bird? Or are we supposed to be offended because the bird happens to be owned by someone upon whose lifestyle we are passing judgment?

  5. I was offended by the parrot.

    • you are just parroting Jim

      • In all seriousness, there was very little attention paid to to the man who owned the parrot. This is about the parrot and the parrot alone. It seems like the Pope felt sorry for the doves and when he saw the parrot, he wanted to make sure he does not leave there without his blessing.

        • i disagree somewhat. if you look at the headlines that has captivated us, the parrot is associated with the owner, even those the Pope did not know anything about the owner.

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