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!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Moral Theologians Decoded

+Our readers may be familiar with the new USCCB website and documentary “Jesus Decoded,” whose purpose is to refute the lies, distortions, and misrepresentations contained in “The DaVinci Code.”

+Our sources are reporting another new, if relatively unknown development in this burgeoning cottage industry. We’re referring to a second website response to Dan Brown’s wild claims, crafted by an influential group of moral theologians from the theology departments of Xavier University and the University of Dayton. This group of theologians, known to many of their colleagues as “Magisterium II,” is calling their website “Jesus Nuanced.”

+ Magisterium II spokespersons Drs. Paul Knitter and Terrence Tilley recently issued a brief joint statement, which we quote in its entirety, defining the goals of “Jesus Nuanced”:

“The contributing scholars and theologians of “Jesus Nuanced” have a long history of professional and moral consensus on issues vital to the Church. Our latest efforts are motivated by a sincere and growing concern about the upsurge of rigid, clericalist, authoritarian, and pre-Vatican II orthodoxy in response to Dan Brown’s controversial work. We find that the views which have been presented to refute the “DaVinci Code” require balance, dialogue, and historical perspective. With that in mind, we have presented the collective work of our fellow faculty, which we trust will be judged on its own merits and met with open minds. The future of a just and sustainable Church depends upon it.”

+The Flying Buttress is pleased to outline the major controversies of “The DaVinci Code,” (DVC) each followed by the response of Magisterium II (MII):

DVC: Jesus was viewed as a man and not as God until the fourth century, when he was deified by the emperor Constantine.

MII: That the emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicea is certainly proof enough of his extraordinary influence upon early Christianity. Those who attempt to refute this by saying that an all-powerful Roman Emperor would hardly be one to create a divine figure even more powerful than himself have missed the point: Constantine, due to a flawed relationship with his older brother in childhood, felt that he was in need of a strong Elder Brother archetype. Thus the emergence of the divine Jesus to fulfill this role. Had Constantine been closer to his mother, and more conversant with the “pagan” goddess-worship of the era, he might have been less inclined to create this vicarious patriarchal extension, and more inclined to give Mary Magdalene her proper due.

DVC: It was not Peter to whom Christ gave directions with which to establish the Christian Church. It was Mary Magdalene.

MII: All of us know that it is highly unlikely that a man would ever stop to ask for directions. In the ancient cultures of the Middle East, it would have been the women, oppressed and marginalized as they were, who performed such menial tasks. Furthermore, the Gnostic Gospel The Wise Sayings of Barrabas records that Jesus’ words of foundation could not have been delivered to Peter, for what he really said was “Upon this stock I will build my Church.” This is a clear reference to the children he had fathered with his wife, Mary Magdalene (but see below).

DVC: Jesus was not celibate, but married Mary Magdalene and produced children, whose descendants gave rise to a prominent royal family line that still survives in Europe.

MII: The Essene sect to which Jesus and Mary Magdalene belonged were in the forefront of the communal movement of the era, an alternative lifestyle which featured multiple conjugal relationships. Thus it is likely that Jesus was not only married, but married to several women, and probably sired children with all of them. The Holy Grail may therefore be more widespread in Europe than previously considered, even by such careful scholars as Dan Brown. Moreover, the true etymological meaning of the name “Merovingian,” the line of French kings said to be descendants of Jesus, is “Peace, Love and Beads,” a clear reference to the Essenes.

DVC: Mary Magdalene is to be worshipped as a goddess, and a secret society known as the Priory of Sion still keeps that truth alive today.

MII: A careful examination of “The Last Supper” reveals that the initials “CTA” can, with a little effort, be made out in the stonework at the top of the painting. These initials refer of course to Call to Action, and demonstrate not only the ancient heritage of that faithful and committed group but the intriguing possibility of Leonardo’s membership in it. This causes us to posit a strong link – perhaps a complete identity - between Call to Action and the Priory of Sion, and opens up entirely new vistas when considering their pioneering work in the empowerment of women in the Church.

DVC: The Bible was codified by a pagan Roman emperor.

MII: Readers of James Carroll’s “Constantine’s Sword” will undoubtedly understand that Constantine was “an exclusionary universalist who imposed his will on the Church.” Few are aware, however, that Constantine’s mother Helena played an even greater role, behind the scenes, in the codification of the Christian canon, by comparing the evangelists’ original manuscripts to handwritten notes on the Shroud of Turin. She was not, however, responsible for the Nicene Creed, another product of Constantine’s patriarchy, which was sneeringly referred to by Greek and Roman pagan priestesses as the “Nicene Screed.”

DVC: In DaVinci’s “Last Supper,” the figure of the Beloved Apostle John is really Mary Magdalene.

MII: In exposing this veiled truth, Dan Brown points directly to the fact that some of the Disciples may have struggled with transgender issues, thus demonstrating once again the truly radical nature of Jesus’ social mission. In fact, were one to ponder this painting while listening to the Beatles’ tune “Revolution No. 9” played backwards (ED. NOTE: This may require 33 LP/turntable technology), one would immediately be struck by the message “John is Mary,” which is clearly audible in the background.

DVC: The Church has suppressed this information for centuries, even to the extent of assassinating the descendants of Christ to keep his bloodline from continuing.

MII: When the Secret Vatican Archives are finally opened, the public will at last learn the true circumstances of Jesus’ life and mission, as well as the whereabouts of Judge Crater, Amelia Earhart, and Osama bin Laden. It is incumbent upon the present Pope to facilitate this release of information in the near future, if he wishes to preserve the credibility of the Church.

+The creators of “Jesus Nuanced” also count Fr. Richard McBrien of Notre Dame among their advisors. His endorsement, featured on the home page, characterizes their responses as “substantially faithful to the spirit of Magisterium II.”

+Finally, our readers may be curious as to why we have not included a link to the “Jesus Nuanced” website in this issue. Several computer viruses have been reported as being operative on this site, including the Melissa virus, the Love Bug virus, and the Trojan Horse Dissenter virus. With that in mind, we feel it best to advise our readers to avoid this site entirely.

Odds and Ends

+If you disagree with the USCCB, and the Cincinnati Archdiocese, about pending legislation concerning illegal aliens, has a petition for you to sign in support of the House Sensenbrenner bill rather than the Senate Specter bill. Click here.

+Read about the Dan O’Connell Society in Minneapolis, and their method of exposing the misdeeds of priests who abuse minors, here.


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