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, 9/6/05

The Flying Buttress +Dissecting dissent in the Cincinnati Archdiocese+

The Greenpeace of Christ Be With You

+When last we checked in with Cincinnati’s “thoughtful writer on the liturgy," Fr. Mick, Lawrence (or was that Lawrence, Mick?), he was promoting community activism, class identity, and synchronized movement in the previously fallow realm of usher-dom.

+Truth is, there are few modernist stones which Father has left unturned in his quest to make the Church compatible with (that is, acceptable to) political and secularist “enlightenment." Case in point: “Liturgy and Ecology in Dialogue" a book highly recommended for parish and diocesan environmental justice education and action.

+We’ll let the Introduction speak for itself: "The aim of this book is to explore those bidirectional links to see how both worship and ecological awareness can be improved by attention to both sides of the connection. We will examine how worship might help us develop a deeper awareness of ecological issues and also how a stronger ecological mind-set might help us improve our worship."

+After polling our professional editorial staff for their reaction to this Introduction (“Huh?" “Say what?" “Whatchew talkin’ ‘bout, Mick?"), our publisher decided to go outside the organization to find expert perspective. He sought out an individual who we believe to be superbly qualified to provide this service: Euell Gibbons, the Father of Modern Wild Foods and spokesman for Post Grape Nuts cereal.

+Although Mr. Gibbons died in 1975, we learned that he is still available to consult on environmental issues, so we obtained permission from psychic/medium John Edward, through his local agents Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk and Catholic Telegraph Editor Tricia Hempel, to “contact" him regarding this matter. Euell was only too happy to oblige, and in fact revealed that, unbeknownst to the general public, he had converted to orthodox Catholicism after his death.1

+Herewith several passages from “Liturgy and Ecology in Dialogue," with commentary and analysis by Mr. Gibbons.

FB: Euell, let’s get right to the heart of the matter: the extension of the concept of sin to the environment and to the earth itself. Here is a classic example of this: “Many of the human decisions and actions that degrade the environment are properly called sins. To pollute the air and water is a sin against the Creator and against all those who have a right to clean air and water. To contaminate the land with toxic chemicals is a sin against creation and against all those whose food comes from the land. To adopt farming practices that cause unnecessary erosion, to waste natural resources, to dump garbage in the oceans, and even to throw litter on the roadside and in the wilderness are all sinful actions. So, too, sins of omission harm the environment: not recycling, not making provision for toxic and radioactive waste, not disposing of household chemicals properly, not voting for laws that will protect the environment. Our society needs to face honestly the sinfulness of the many ways we damage the environment. We need to ask for forgiveness and resolve not to continue living in this sinful manner..."

EG: You know, it’s stuff like this which makes me want to repent for all those Grape Nuts commercials I did! This is nothing more than an attempt to adapt Catholicism to the UN Earth Charter. Are you familiar with that document?

FB: Yes, it’s an insidious effort to focus humanity’s religious yearnings on the earth, rather than upon God.2 Insidious because it masquerades as enlightened stewardship of the earth.

EG: Precisely. By enumerating these so-called sins against the earth, Fr. Mick has elevated the earth to equal status with God. But let us remind him that one can only sin against God, not against the earth. As the Catechism puts it in §1850, “Sin is an offense against God…" Now, who do you suppose could be behind this effort to make us so conscious of the earth as to make us lose sight of God? Or, to put it another way, to make earth a secular paradise which excludes God?

FB: Hmm….could it be…A CERTAIN FALLEN ANGEL?

EG: Bingo, Church Lady! Earth-worship, which this is, is not only paganism, it is a form of Satanism.

FB: But tell us, Euell, how do you respond to the claim that God’s creation should be reverenced equally with God Himself? For example, this statement: “The religious experience, properly understood, provides the best foundation for a lasting ecological awareness....The reverence we owe to God is linked to the reverence we show to the Creator's work."

EG: You know, this reminds me of the liberal effort, so successful in the creation of the Novus Ordo Mass, to turn our attention away from God and toward each other, in order to create a sense of “community." It is important to remember that one cannot perceive any of God’s creation clearly – mineral, plant, animal, or human - unless one is first focused completely on God Himself. And focusing on His creation is not an equivalent substitute – in fact, it can only entrap us in materialism and sin.

FB: Speaking of substitutes, Mick also acknowledges those who prefer to “worship” God in the woods rather than in church, saying that “many people can sense the presence of the Lord more easily in the midst of nature than in the midst of the worshiping assembly."

EG: Mick is apparently so carried away with his ridiculous thesis that he forgets something quite essential to the Catholic faith: the Mass is not “sensing the presence of the Lord." It is the Lord’s Holy Sacrifice, where we go to receive Him! While it is true that a priest could celebrate Mass in the woods, the woods most assuredly can not celebrate Mass by itself. That is, unless life was a Walt Disney movie…or a Grape Nuts commercial!

FB: Let’s move on to what we call the “Michael Jackson Syndrome" – the “we are the world" mentality, as hinted at by this: “Respect for the individual is important, but the individual is also part of a community, and in worship the community is the principle actor. An ecological mindset can help here if it teaches us that we are always linked to others in our environment and that we influence one another for good or for ill...."

EG: Where is the Catholic faith in all this? Nowhere! The principle actor in the Mass is not “the community," but Christ acting upon His faithful. As I said earlier, it does us no good to be “linked to others" if we are not first joined to God through the sacraments of the Church. Remember Jim Jones and the mass suicide by Kool-Aid?

FB: Finally, Euell, let’s talk about Mick’s prose. Do you find it accessible?

EG: You know, these liberal elites just don’t get it. Their style is so dry and intellectual, so pompously pontifical, you just have to wonder – do they want to communicate with real people, or are they just trying to impress their colleagues? I always say, in order to win over the masses, the language of hip fads and popular cultural icons is the best. For example, what would happen if Mick had presented his theories in song?

FB: You mean like this?

“Liturgy and Ecology" to be sung to the tune “Ebony and Ivory," by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

Liturgy and Ecology Live in interconnected harmony Side by side in my Brev-i-ar-y O Lord, why can’t we?

We all know that people are all linked With Green Mother Earth. There’s pollution in everyone. The dominant patterns of production and Consumption are ruining Our ecosystems.

Liturgy and Ecology Live in interconnected harmony Side by side in my Brev-i-ar-y O Lord, why can’t we?

Liturgy, Ecology, interconnected harmony Liturgy, Ecology, ooh.

But the woods are lovely, dark and deep, Much better than Church. The Catholic Church is outmoded. We need to adopt a new value system In order to survive Together alive.

Liturgy and Ecology Live in interconnected harmony Side by side in my Brev-i-ar-y O Lord, why can’t we?

Side by side in my Brev-i-ar-y O Lord, why can’t we ?

Liturgy, Ecology, interconnected harmony; Liturgy, Ecology, sustainable development; Liturgy, Ecology, global responsibility!

NOTES: 1. Despite the objections of his agents.

2. Dr. Jeanne Ferrari on the Earth Charter


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