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Along the Watchtower: Meditating on Bob Dylan and Pope Francis

"Let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late."

by
Jeanette Pryor

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March 14, 2013 - 7:30 am
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Seconds after the ”white-smoke alert” was sent, people who couldn’t or didn’t want to rush to the Vatican poured instead into the “Twitter Square.” As posts flooded the site, I couldn’t help thinking of these words from Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”:

There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke. But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate.

It was Fr. Robert Barron, the rector of the largest seminary in the United States and director of the New Evangeliziation, who got me listening to Dylan. The lyrics above describe perfectly the cacophony of sentiments expressed as the world waited to meet the new pope.

Many of us here feel life is but a joke.

There were the usual, tired Catholic-bashing Tweets. There were also honest, tragically justified condemnations of heinous human acts hidden under the cloak of religion badly lived. Women, angry the pope was not female, joined others who, like Piers Morgan, parasitically used the news to wave their arms for attention.

Genuinely sad, annoying, often understandable. And yet… they were there waiting too; instinctively grasping that beyond their cynicism, the Catholic pope is more than a punchline; somehow above the crime of being male, not truly synonymous with sex scandals.

But you and me, we’ve been through all that and this is not our fate.

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All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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This is the second article which you speak of your admiration for Fr. Robert Barron. Watch his youtube on misreading Genesis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVsbVAVSssc He states:"Adam. Now, don't read it literally. We're not talking about a literal figure. We're talking in theological poetry. Adam: the first human being . . ." Heterodoxy? To deny Adam was a literal figure goes against Pope Pius XII's encyclical, Humani Generis (12 August 1950). Interesting choice for your new hero Jeanette.
Regards.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thanks Jennifer. Great article
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No where in Jesus teachings did he teach the Roman Catholic sacraments.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gabe, the Roman Catholic justification of the Sacraments are well-known: Baptism of Jesus for baptism, Last Supper for the Eucharist, "If you forgive sins, they are forgiven them. If you hold them bound they are held bound" for Confession, Pentecost for Confirmation, etc. We don't really care that the Magisterium of GabeWinkler interprets Scripture differently because we reject your authority over these matters.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Great article which captured the true meaning of the events. I loved it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wow! That was good reading
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Before He died, Jesus Christ established a Church with a specific characteristic: it would be governed by a supreme authority. This leader would have a clearly defined job description: preserve twelve core teachings, instruct the disciples to practice love of God and neighbor by keeping the Ten Commandments, and hand down the seven sacraments — outward signs instituted to transmit the inner strength we all need to keep the commandments. The pope exists only to ensure that anyone who wants to know what Jesus taught can always find the essential message without alteration or perversion, along with the resulting morality and power to live it.

Allow me to disagree. The above is a Western Christian belief. It is not Orthodox.

My hope for the new pontiff is that he would break right and head east. His Orthodox brothers are waiting!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, the hour is certainly getting late. I hope this pope can spread the message, and I hope it's the right message.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
'Conspiratorial' is very polite. Whacked-out is closer.

Meanwhile, the latest crew of leftist god-builders nod approval at the prospect of St. Chavez pickled and on a pedestal, ready to receive the obeisance of party faithful. Yet some among us still wonder why St Peter's Square was busting at the seams with young people.
Oh, forgot...The Guardian disapproves and the NYT sniffs. Right.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What exactly do you mean by "I lived in a twisted universe where I believed the pope and the entire Roman Catholic Church had abandoned the faith at the time of Vatican II and were actively pursuing a plan to advance aglobal, Judeo-Masonic world government and a universal religion of man."?

"Global, Judeo-Masonic?" Sounds very conspiratorial to me. Jews and Masons out to control the world? Really?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
She has written about her experience. She relates exactly what she lived and has been blogging her return to faith, along with the rock music she loves.

Yes there are elements about a "global Judeo-Masonic" conspiracy. Read about Hutton Gibson, father of the actor. Read the rest of her blog. She has rejected this as had the mainstream church for decades now. Maybe it is just the last dregs of the long fight against communism.

Anyway for all that, Bob Dylan did this. Played along on my drums more times than I can remember.

Jeanette, this was a geat post. Maybe Dylan can be a bridge. This was the 23rd psalm to me. The two things I know by heart and can recite when life gets tough.

And all the lyrics to American Pie. All of them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Probably referring to some version of the One World Order conspiracy. But if you believe in the end of the Bible and the second coming, you know that sooner or later, some kind of New World Order will come to pass. It's just a matter of what kind of One World government it will be.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dylan also sang "Everything is Broken." I hope this new pontiff isn't.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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