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!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Faith-Sharing With Barney and Friends

BARNEY: And a great big good morning, boys and girls! Today is the day you’ve been waiting for - it’s Faith-Sharing Day! Whoo-hoo! Today we’re going to share with each other how we feel about our Catholic faith! Say, why don’t we introduce ourselves to the folks at home by telling them what we want to be when we grow up? Danny, why don’t you go first?

DANNY: OK, Barney! My name is Danny, and when I grow up I want to be a bishop, ‘cause that’s my favorite chess piece! I like to plan my sneaky moves so I can take out those other bishops, and the King and Queen too!

BARNEY: Way to use your imagination, Danny! What about you, Carl?

CARL: Hi everyone! I’m Carl, and when I grow up I want to be an auxiliary bishop so’s I can hang out with my best friend Danny here!

BARNEY: Why Carl, what a caring thing to say! And next we have Trish!

TRISH: Hi Barney, my name is Trish, and when I grow up I want to run a Catholic newspaper that gives people a chance to dialog about how it feels to be Catholic!

BARNEY: Isn’t that wonderful, and so grown up! And last but not least, we have Tommy.

TOMMY: Thanks Barney! When I grow up I want to consecrate myself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

BARNEY: Whoa! Now hold on there, Tommy, let’s not get so serious just yet! We’ve barely got started! OK, boys and girls, it’s time to sing our Faith-Sharing Song! Whoo-hoo!

ALL (singing):

I respect you, You respect me, We’re an inclusive family With a great big hug, pass the peace from me to you - Whatever works for you is cool.

Tolerance for you, Tolerance for me, It’s just like group therapy With a great big hug, lots of caring sharing too, I’m OK and so are you.

BARNEY: Wonderful, boys and girls! Now the first thing we’re going to do today is to use our imagination! I want each of you to try to complete this sentence:

“This week I shared my faith by…”

TRISH: Oh, I’ve got one! “This week I shared my faith by sending my offering to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals!

BARNEY: Why Trish, what a generous thing to do!

DANNY: Hmm…how about this: “This week I shared MY faith by giving some of my lunch to this kid at school. Nobody likes him because everybody thinks he’s gay! And then I let him beat me at chess!

BARNEY: Well Danny, that was not only sharing, but compassionate too!

CARL: Hey, I shared my lunch with that gay kid too! He reminds me of that commercial that says “Different is good!”

BARNEY: Why of course different is good, Carl! In this group we respect and honor each other’s diversity. You know, everyone uses their imagination in different ways - don’t they Tommy?

TOMMY: Gee Barney, doesn’t the Church teach us that being gay is a sin?

BARNEY: Now Tommy, we’re not here to judge each other, or to discuss Church doctrines! So, how did you share your faith this week?

TOMMY: Well, um, I loaned my Baltimore Catechism to a Muslim kid at school, and I think he really liked it!

BARNEY: Tommy! Haven’t you learned that we must never try to impose our beliefs on others? That’s called triumphalism! Boys and girls, can you say “triumphalism”?

ALL: Tri-UMPH-al-ism!

BARNEY: Very good! And now it’s time for Scripture Sharing! Who wants to read today’s Scripture?

DANNY: Ooh! Ooh! I will! OK, this is the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 2, verse 18: And the disciples of John and the Pharisees used to fast. And they come and say to him: Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast; but thy disciples do not fast?”

BARNEY: Thank you, Danny! Now who can tell me what they think this means?

TRISH: Oh, this reminds me of a story my Dad used to tell about my Grandpa. Back in the 60s Grandpa was upset when the bishops ended that old Church law that said you couldn’t ever eat meat on Fridays.

BARNEY: Very interesting, Trish! And how did your Dad feel about that?

TRISH: He didn’t care, and he said Grandpa was just being an old Pharisee!

DANNY: Well, I think this Scripture shows what a radical Jesus was! He broke all those Jewish rules and just went around healing people, because he felt sorry for them.

CARL: Yeah, it’s important to feel sorry for people who are different! In fact, Jesus was the best example of how “different is good”! I think his motto should have been “No rules, just whatever!”

BARNEY: Tommy, you’ve been awfully quiet - would you like to share your opinion about this passage?

TOMMY: Well, I think it shows the difference between people who keep the Law but forget God, and people who put God first, like Jesus. Christians obey God’s laws because we want to show God our love and gratitude for His love, not because we signed a contract or something. I think it has to do with the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Cov-

BARNEY: Tommy, thank you for sharing, but it’s important that no one monopolizes our conversation, or acts like they are the expert! I’m going to have to stop you right there! And now, boys and girls, it’s time to sing our closing song! ALL (singing):

If you're Catholic (and we mean no disrespect) If you're Catholic and you know it genuflect. If you're Catholic and you know it and you really want to show it, If you're Catholic come and sing in this Collect. If you've sinned and you know it that’s OK. Just join our little group and when we pray, You will find that we empower Self-esteem in just one hour - Every sin of yours will all be washed away. If you're Catholic come and sip the Cabernet, Our Lord’s eternal love for us is no cliché. Have a seat around our table, Progressive minds we will enable… Now it’s time to close and get to the buffet!

BARNEY: That was super, boys and girls! And that’s all our time for today! Next week we have a special treat for you - since Jesus wants us to be fishers of persons, we’re going to meet at Red Lobster! Thanks for watching, kids at home, and God Bless!



Danny: the future Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk Carl: the future Auxiliary Bishop Carl K. Moeddel Trish: the future Catholic Telegraph Editor Tricia Hempel Tommy: the future reviled Flying Buttress Publisher Tomas de Torquemada


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