The Flying Buttress: What Inquisitors' Minds Want to Know

An archive for issues of The Flying Buttress newswire, whose purpose is to comment satirically on dissent within and relating to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Disclaimer: These publications are works of satirical fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental, but it all depends on what you mean by the word "is." May the Lord bless you and keep you!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Flying Buttress, 11/6/05

+Dissecting dissent in the Cincinnati Archdiocese+

The Post-Conciliar Book of Virtues

Chapter One: Tutu1 and the Beanstalk

Once upon a time, there lived an oppressed widow who had an only son named Tutu. Due to her Third World ethnicity, she had been marginalized by the European capitalist elite and forced to live in a run-down cottage next to a toxic waste dump. Since her son Tutu, a tolerant, caring, dreamy and sensitive lad, did not earn a living, the widow was forced to sell Sustainable, their family cow. Thinking her son could obtain cash or food stamps for Sustainable, she sent Tutu out to sell it. “Trust me, mother!” said Tutu. “I will make an ecologically responsible and socially just deal for Sustainable!” And off he went to market, bursting with self-esteem.

While riding the cow to market, Tutu encountered a Jesuit theologian. “Whither goeth such a clever young man?” asked the Jesuit. “Why, to market to sell my cow,” said Tutu. "It's lucky the Great Circle of Life, and good karma, have brought us together," said the Jesuit. "You may save yourself the trouble of going so far, though I affirm your right to do so. I will give you these magical beans for your cow.” “What do your beans do?” asked Tutu, clearly intrigued. “These are beans of liberation,” intoned the Jesuit in a beguiling voice. “Plant them, and you will be blessed with countless sincere, faithful and committed same-sex relationships – and, at the very least, tenure.” "Done!" cried Tutu, who was so delighted with the bargain that he ran all the way home to tell his mother of his thrift and diligence.

But the displeased widow, in a righteous and therapeutic display of emotion, cried "Off to bed with you!" Acting on legitimate impulses, she threw the beans out the window into the contaminated soil. So poor Tutu went to bed without any supper and cried himself to sleep, while his mother engaged in an outmoded religious practice involving beads. However, when he opened his shutters the next morning, he received quite a surprise, for where the beans had fallen there was a great beanstalk stretching up into the sky, as far as he could see.

Tutu climbed quickly out the window and up the beanstalk, so far up that his mother’s cottage seemed a mere speck below. Finally, he came to a new and beautiful country, and a great castle. As he stepped on the road to the castle, the Blessed Virgin Mary suddenly appeared before him. “The ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ still reigns in the Church,” she said. “You must go to the castle, ask the giant who lives there for the documents of Vatican II, and return to your home to teach those documents in the Light of Tradition. Above all, disregard the Jesuit’s blandishment, as it will destroy you.” Having thus spoken, she vanished.

The poor impressionable lad was dumbfounded that the Virgin Mary had appeared to him, and overwhelmed by the importance of his task. However, he could not personally relate to the end of her message. What harm could the Jesuit’s words do? What could be wrong with liberation? It was so tolerant, diverse, and inclusive! Nevertheless, possessed by a new sense of missionary zeal, he walked resolutely to the castle and knocked on the door. The ground shook as footsteps approached from within. The door creaked open and there appeared a towering giant with flowing silvery hair, clad in a white cassock. When he failed to notice the tiny Tutu below him, the giant spoke in a stern voice:

Fee, fi, fo, who knocks? I smell the blood of the heterodox! Let him who steps out of doctrinal line Be henceforth denied the bread and the wine!

Pardon me, sir,” said Tutu bravely, “I’m down here! My name is Tutu, and I’m here to fetch the documents of Vatican II!” The giant looked down, and spoke again. “Peace be with you, Tutu! I am Ben, the 16th heir of my father’s house. I’ve been expecting you – here are the documents you seek.” Ben handed Tutu a package so large that he could hardly carry it. “Thank you, Ben,” replied Tutu, relieved that his mission had been accomplished so easily. “I will return home and begin my task.”

With that, Tutu took his leave of this magical kingdom and climbed back down the beanstalk, intending to show the package to his mother, whom he was anxious to please. However, who should be waiting for him at the bottom of the beanstalk but the Jesuit theologian! “What have you there, my fine lad?” asked the affable Jesuit. “These are the documents of Vatican II, sir,” replied Tutu, now somewhat wary of this personage. “I’ve been instructed to interpret them in the Light of Tradition!” “Ah, but there are many traditions, my son,” offered the Jesuit with an air of wisdom. “Have you not heard of the exhilarating tradition of liberation?” “No sir, I have not,” replied Tutu, though he wondered if it had something to do with the beans. “Then let me teach you of this most virtuous tradition of all, my son! Lay your burdensome package down and come with me! Liberation always travels light!”

And off they went down the road, arm in arm, reveling in their feelings and sensations and living righteously ever after.

The Moral of the Story: Virtue is in the eye of the bean-holder.2

NOTES: 1. “Tutu": an apocryphal reference to Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, who permits liturgical dance by ballerinas during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

2. The moral, on the other hand, in the Light of Tradition: “If you think the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ has renewed the Church, you don’t know beans."


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