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!

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Flying Buttress, 5/16/05

The Flying Buttress
+Dissecting dissent in the Cincinnati Archdiocese+

Tutu’s NDE (A Tridentine Carol)

+TUTU (on the telephone): Yes, let me speak to Father Ray please – at once!

+LARGER: Hello?

+TUTU: Ray? Oh, thank goodness you’re there!

+LARGER: Your Excellency! Why aren’t you at the Cathedral this morning?

+TUTU: Oh, Ray, I’ve had the most frightening nightmare! I’m too spooked to leave the apartment!

+LARGER: What in the world happened, Dan?

+TUTU: Well, I was sitting in my study before the fireplace late last night, preparing to eat my porridge peacefully, when suddenly I heard such an unearthly chanting and ghastly ringing of chimes, the sound of which has never before fallen upon human ears. A voice kept crying out “Tutu!" “Tutu!" At first I thought it was my cuckoo clock, but then…

+LARGER: What? What?

+TUTU: Then, I saw him!

+LARGER: Who? Who?

+TUTU: The ghost of Pope Pius XII!

+LARGER: Are you certain? Why would Pius XII appear to you?

+TUTU: That wasn’t the half of it! Not only did he appear, but he spoke!

+LARGER: My word! What did he say?

+TUTU: I’ll never forget it as long as I live! He said “I am the spirit of pre-Vatican II! It is not too late to change, Daniel! Come with me, and remember your heritage!"

+LARGER: Uh-oh! Then what happened?

+TUTU: Then a cloud of incense billowed up, and he took me back to 1963, to St. Gregory Seminary. There I was, Ray, celebrating the Tridentine Mass!

+LARGER: Oh my God, Dan! How awful!

+TUTU: Indeed! You’re too young to remember all that humbug, but there it was: no altar girls, just boys (well, THAT part was pretty good, actually – heh, heh!); the Tabernacle right there on the high altar, disrupting our sense of community; people coming to the Communion rail and kneeling – the People of God, kneeling, for Pete’s sake!; placing the Host on their tongues – yuck!; my back turned to the congregation; all that boring chant….and the LATIN! God how I despised Latin!

+LARGER: What else do you remember?

+TUTU: Oh, everything was so hush-hush, as if there was some big mystery going on! And I’ll tell you what else - I had to incense the Gospel before I read it! Not only that, but I must have made the sign of the cross 40 times! Good grief! Isn’t once enough??

+LARGER: Did Pius XII say anything while you were watching yourself?

+TUTU: He said nothing – just kept looking into my eyes, as if he were trying to hypnotize me! In fact, I felt myself falling under some kind of eerie spell, so I kept repeating our mantra, “Spirit of Vatican II," over and over, to ward off his gaze.

+LARGER: He wasn’t there when you woke up, was he?

+TUTU: No, but I found this strange note under my pillow. It said “A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God…Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them." Any idea what that means?

+LARGER: Not a clue, Dan. Say, I think I’ve heard about these kinds of nightmares. I believe you’ve had what they call a Near-Orthodox Experience!

+TUTU: Bah! Humbug! Surely it was just a bit of undigested Host….

Notes: “Tutu”: An apocryphal reference to Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, who permits ballerinas performing liturgical dance during Mass.


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