Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bergoglio is your kind of pope, he's such a happy pope...

Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed.
 -- Prophecy Of Isaias (Isaiah) 53:3-5
I was thinking about writing a post about the marketing of Bergoglio since he became pope.

It seems to me that he has had a "make over" since first appearing on the balcony. It seems as if he is not shown with glasses very often. I also think that the glasses he wears now are a different model that looks better in pictures. I wonder if he has a papal photographer because the shots and poses (yes poses) seem to be very deliberately chosen to make him look more "appealing".

It feels as if there is a whole PR campaign to make Bergoglio popular. His pictures always show him smiling -- "he's such a happy pope". And he's always waving to the crowds -- but never blessing the crowd. And there are balloons -- so many balloons. As if balloons were the new symbol of the papacy. How many pictures of past popes can you find with balloons in them?

And now Bergoglio has released "Evangelii Gaudium" which is translated into English as "The Joy of the Gospel". I beg to differ because I have noticed that usually when Bergoglio uses the word "joy", he really means "happiness". So I think it would be more appropriate to title this document "the happy gospel". A happy gospel for a happy pope and a happy church. A happy, hand clappy church which is more protestant than Catholic. This is Bergoglio's vision for the future.

And on that note and with the idea of creating a PR campaign to promote "the happy gospel", I'm reminded of a McDonald's commercial from the 60s which I think would fit right in with Bergoglio's "make over" of the church.

The Catholic Church is your kind of place. It's such a happy place. A happy slappy place.
Bergoglio is your kind of pope. He's such a happy pope. A hap-hap-happy pope.
The Gospel is your kind of faith. It's such a happy faith....

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BTW, this McDonald's commercial is a perfectly constructed form of propaganda. It uses all sorts of psychological manipulation. This used to be called witchcraft but has been perfected through experimentation by "scientists". You can see all sorts of flashing psychedelic images in this commercial while at the same time using a musical theme which elevates the levels of adrenalin in the system. The words are very affirmative. "McDonald's IS your kind of place." This is hypnotic suggestion. The use of the napkin as a bib is an element which is inserted to add "cognitive dissonance". It doesn't quite belong and it doesn't really make sense, but it forces you to stop and think precisely because it causes confusion in your mind. Adding this "dissonance" forces you to remember the commercial as your mind attempts to resolve this "dissonance".

I say this as a warning to be very careful and aware when watching this and other commercials and also as a warning not to watch it repeatedly.

Notice that Bergoglio uses the same techniques as in the McDonald's commercial. I think many people underestimate Bergoglio and think that he is a fool for saying things which are confusing and resonate in a "dissonant" way. But I think he is much more clever than people give him credit for.

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Here is Google's automatically generated transcript of this commercial. It seems apropo that somehow "and here's a plus" got translated into "hinduism". And "spill proof lids" became "spill proof lives".

Notice that this "credo" of the fast food giant begins with "McDonald's believes". "I believe"; "we believe"; "McDonald's believes"; "Bergoglio believes".

0:21 mcdonald's believes and including kids before they get to each other such good
0:25 food june mcdonald's famous french fries
0:28 crippled the creamy shoots queen bt cheeseburgers and hamburgers
0:33 icy cold soft drinks hinduism plus spill proof lives on all the bridges another
0:38 flight
0:38 reckons that are going to do
0:41 cleanliness extra care service that's mcdonald's a total value that unmatched
0:46 anywhere

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Actually, the exact opposite is true. The greatest joy of the Gospel is Christ's death on the cross because it redeemed our souls. Our example is Christ, the man of sorrows.

When I began to truly understand Catholic teaching by reading about the lives of the saints -- especially Therese of Lisieux -- I  began to understand that suffering has meaning. It was a great joy for Therese when she discovered that she had tuberculosis because she understood it as a gift from God which would allow her to suffer as Christ had suffered and to offer that suffering for the souls of poor sinners.

Happiness is fleeting. Joy is eternal.

The great teaching of the Church that I learned from Therese is that suffering can be a source of joy.

This is something that I never learned from the protestant church that I attended while growing up. This is one of the many great secrets of the Catholic Church which are handed down to us by the saints and past popes through our rich Catholic tradition.

Let's not make the mistake of throwing out that rich heritage in exchange for an empty "modern" interpretation of the gospel.

Does "modern man" not suffer? I dare say he does.

But fear not, Our Mother in Heaven is there to comfort us -- even at the hour of our death.

The joy of Catholics comes from knowing that God never abandons us and that he always loves us. Because we are His sheep. Because God is love.


  1. It makes you wonder if they serve McDonald's fries in Hell. Red -- the color of fire and traditionally the color of the devil -- is a favorite of advertisers because it catches the eye. Notice how red is overemphasized in Coke commercials. Maybe they serve Coke in Hell too.

    Often, the things we think make us "happy" are the same things which lead our souls to Hell. Which again points out that there is a huge distinction between "happiness" and joy.

  2. NOTE: I added a short section on how the McDonald's commercial uses "cognitive dissonance" and other manipulative psychological techniques. And I mention that Bergoglio also uses "dissonance".