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, January 22, 2007

Ad limina per aspera

+ As well-informed Catholics know, bishops are required to make pilgrimage to the Holy See every five years, in order to report on the State of their Diocese.

+Flying Buttress readers may not be as well-informed as they think, however, for this week we have an exclusive report on a new twist to these ad limina visits.

+It seems that Pope Benedict, faithful to his theme of firmly but gently rebuilding the Church, has come up with a method whereby disobedient American bishops will be challenged to come out from behind their thin smokescreen of orthodoxy, look directly into the mirror of their unsavory dissent, and lay their cards on the table. Since these visits will be of a slightly different character than for faithful bishops, the Holy See has decided to call them ad hominem visits.

+The Flying Buttress has learned which bishops will comprise the first group of ad hominem pilgrims. They are: Roger Mahony, Harry Flynn, Tod Brown, Robert Lynch, Thomas Kelly, and, of course, our very own Daniel Pilarczyk. The theme used to identify this first group will be “It takes a village to distribute Communion.”

+Before coming to Rome, however, the Holy Father is requiring a new kind of discipline for this group: a whirlwind global tour of sites and visits to personalities long revered by dissenters, thus generously providing a last hurrah of self-indulgent utopian foolishness before coming to grips with reality. Their itinerary will be as follows:

NEW YORK CITY: join an annual meeting of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), to hear Sr. Elizabeth Johnson of Fordham University speak about: multi-culturalism and religious plurality, women's ordination and the call to women's holiness, the location of the image of Christ in the male body rather than in the whole person being made christomorphic by entering into the dying and rising of Christ, subversive feminine breakthroughs against clerical routine and apathy, the inclusive meaning of holy community, women who dare to exercise their wits in a patriarchal world, eco-feminism as the zeitgeist of Creator Spiritology, the many egalitarian meals of Jesus' radical social gospel, and other pressing theological issues of the day.

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA: attend a performance of the Vagina Monologues at Notre Dame University with Fr. Richard McBrien. At intermission, discuss:

· "Did Jesus intend to found a Church?" (McBrien answers: "It depends on what you mean by 'found.' Was the Church lost? Had it disappeared in the great cataclysm which sank the continent of Atlantis? What were the true origins of this church? Did Jesus model his teachings on the horizontal collectivism of the Mayan civilization?")

· "Did Jesus expect the end to come soon?" (McBrien answers: "It depends on what you mean by 'end.' If he is the Alpha and the Omega, then there is no such thing as end or beginning, and all the Universe is simply a Fourth Dimensional existential continuum.")

· "Should the Catholic Church adopt the motto 'E Pluribus Unum'?" (McBrien answers: "Although Latin is still, unfortunately, the official language of the Church, this does not mean that the Church can unilaterally decide on a new motto. After all, a consensus needs to be hammered out amongst Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants, without offending Jews and Muslims.")

DALLAS, TEXAS: Speak to Charles Curran's seminar, "Healing the Out of Touch Church," at Southern Methodist University. Share your expertise on the latest techniques for the deconstruction, dismantling, and utter trashing of Magisterial teaching, especially those techniques based on the moral platforms of liberation, civil rights and social justice, egalitarianism, compassion, and the most profound genital self-interest. Discuss, with concrete examples, the arcane art of Marxist redefinition as applied to such concepts as morality (now "discrimination," "hate," or "homophobia"), traditional marriage (now "heterosexism"), hierarchy ("rigid clericalism"), Papal authority ("outmoded patriarchal oppression"), conscience ("the self-promulgated universe") and sin ("culture-specific purity taboos").

NICARAGUA: attend a "Peasant's Mass" celebrated by Fr. Fernando Cardenal, SJ, in a Nicaraguan village, and play the electric guitar as you scream "Won't Get Fooled Again" by the rock group The Who during the Offertory. Participate in a dialogue homily celebrating the radical social gospel of Jesus the Armed Revolutionary, Mary the Mother of all Revolutionaries and Social Workers (also armed), and Joseph the Patron Saint of the Oppressed Proletariat (armed only with a carpenter's plane, T-square and sandpaper). Spend the night in a grass hut in the jungle, at Father Cardenal's “Fé y Alegría” school, in order to be cognizant of the Bible's preferential option for poor lodgings.

DUBLIN, IRELAND: at this quiet stop on your pilgrimage, you will celebrate Mass at the birthplace of George Tyrell, SJ, as you reflect on the purely psychological effect of the sacrament of the Eucharist, the purely atmospheric effect of the liturgy, and the purely historico-literary effect of the Gospels. Inspired by the artifacts of so great a mystic, you will revel in the fervid religious sentiment that wells up within your heart, reject all external sources of revelation and dogma, but of course be open to the constant evolution of your unique perspective in response to God Immanent, whose existence can be proven only by your personal Sacred Deposit of Intuition.

INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA: a visit to the tomb of Karl Rahner, SJ. In keeping with the nature of Rahner's theology, this visit is strictly optional. Should you choose to include this stop in your itinerary, you will be paying your respects, not in a materialistic or fiscal sense, but in a communal and ontological sense. You will be asked to write an essay reflecting upon and summarizing the economic immanence of the Trinity, the beatific profit margin inherent in the transcendental seeds of grace (preferably mustard seeds), the salvific human capital potential of the anonymous Christian, and the sublime mystagogical theology of kitchen utensils.

All things being equal, which of course they never are, though certainly they must be, this visit will open your eyes to the primacy of the Christian common era encounter with God, and how that encounter is reflected in the mediation of the saving grace of God as it applies to pre-Christian religions. These are not defensible teachings, however, but subtle hints to point you on your way toward the not necessarily true.

TUBINGEN, GERMANY: for your final appointment, you have been granted an audience with Hans Kung at his Foundation for a Global Ethic. However, this audience will not occur from a fixed, absolute standpoint, which is to say that both host and guests will be in constant circular motion during the session, in order to leave open the question as to who is the host and who are the guests. In fact, in a strictly objective sense, though such a sense is not possible, the audience may be said to be not taking place at all, since the perception of it will depend upon the nature of each individual guest/host, operating from within his own individual self-proclaimed and self-actualized universe, and employing multiple sources of valid knowledge, none of which can be used as a paradigm by anyone else (except as a scholarly footnote). Guests/hosts will be encouraged to supply their own sensory filters and reference points as tools to help verify their temporal orientation, for example, a box lunch.

Miscellanea CATHOLICA

+According to our Dayton, Ohio correspondent Geraldo de Torquemada, there’s a lot more to the story of Fr. Gaeke, the Cincinnati priest busted on cocaine charges, than meets the eye. It seems that Father is the heir to the Shook, Inc. family fortune, a Dayton construction firm, and is worth tens of millions of dollars. Rumor has it that he has bequeathed his entire fortune to the Cincinnati Archdiocese. Could this be why Archbishop Pilarczyk has looked the other way regarding Gaeke’s drug abuse and homosexual indiscretions, and granted him a “medical leave” for a less-than-critical case of diabetes? Anything is possible in the sordid Pilarczyk domicile.

+Archbishop Wuerl, who apparently cannot be nicknamed “Braveheart,” has once again sidestepped the issue of pro-abortion politicians receiving Holy Communion, this time with Nancy Pelosi.

+January 22 is a Day of Penance in every United States diocese, for the violence of abortion. The Priests for Life Prayer to End Abortion may be found here.

+The Flying Buttress would like to express our deepest gratitude to The Most Reverend Roger Foys, Bishop of Covington, for the profound, intricate beauty, the solemn sacrificial mystery, and the sublime formative grace of the 1962 Missal offered each week at St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Torquemada's Top Ten

+Word has reached our inquisitors’ ears that the Cincinnati Archdiocese is strapped for cash, and will be taking a bigger share of collection plate offerings from its parishes. In response to this crisis (and always eager to help), our ever-resourceful Flying Buttress staff, whose performance evaluations were downgraded recently for watching too much David Letterman, now offers our:

Top Ten Ways to Increase Ca$h Reserves At the Archdiocese of Cincinnati

10. Cancel the Lay Pastoral Ministry Program, which staffs parishes with protestantized, ecumenized and secularized social justice airheads, and increase the staffing of the Vocations Office. Destroy the mindset of staffing priestless parishes with laity.

9. Cut the budget of Catholic Social Action Office in half, or eliminate it altogether, and establish a Respect Life Office.

8. Expand the faith formation pages of The (Occasionally) Catholic Telegraph, place the paper under the editorship of a priest or religious with an orthodox track record, and review the contents of each issue prior to publication.1

7. Remove the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist “National Conference for Community and Justice” (NCCJ – now calling itself “Bridges”) from your storefront and lease this space to a fine Catholic bookstore. While you’re thinking about your building, give the exterior some prominent signs of Catholic identity.

6. Anticipate Pope Benedict’s universal indult NOW for the 1962 Missal. Allow the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter to establish a parish home and operate freely within the Archdiocese.

5. Stop ordaining, protecting and hiding homosexual (er, uh, “pedophile”) priests; stop hiring homosexual personnel directors, and the homosexual criminals they hire, to run the Archdiocesan background check program

4. Institute Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in every parish in the Archdiocese.

3. Exterminate the theological termites at Xavier, Mt. St. Joseph, and the University of Dayton. Can you say “Mandatum”?

2. Tirelessly promote and defend Catholic orthodoxy and sacred tradition.

And the Number One way for the Cincinnati Archdiocese to Increase Ca$h Reserves is:

1. An immediate early retirement for Archbishop Pilarczyk!

NOTE: 1. The sagacious reader will recognize in items 10, 9, and 8 some of the actions taken by Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Miscellanea CATHOLICA

+Did Arlington, VA Bishop Paul Loverde really write the pastoral letter on pornography "Bought With a Price"? Could this be the same reputedly homosexual bishop who has all but laicized Fr. James Haley for exposing priests in the Diocese of Arlington whose computers were loaded with gay pornography? Tell us, Your Excellency, who do you think you're fooling?

Our Lord's New Civil Rights

+ The Flying Buttress has learned that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has leased office space to a new lay tenant. This lay apostolate bases their mission on the gadfly theology of Heidi Schlumpf ("For us and for our salvation") (predictably seconded by Xavier theologian Kenneth Overberg, SJ), who posits that a good and merciful God could not possibly have decreed the torture, suffering and death of Jesus. The group has taken the name "People for the Ethical Treatment of the Eucharist," or PETE.

+Developing Schlumpf’s theme, PETE proclaims that a just and compassionate God could not possibly want His Only Son to experience the pain and horror of being chewed and swallowed on a daily basis, millions of times the world over. "Since Jesus is present in the Eucharist," insists PETE President Dr. Meriwether Falafel, PhD, "that means the Eucharist has all the civil rights of an ordinary mortal person, and cannot be so casually and cruelly dispatched. In fact, the horrible fate of these martyred billions of our Eucharistic comrades is a global disgrace - a veritable holocaust."

+Perusing PETE literature in the Chancery brochure rack, our Flying Buttress staff identified several recurrent themes:

1. The Eucharist is not ours to confine. We must never keep the Eucharist locked up in a Tabernacle, as claustrophobic or even violent tendencies may result. The Eucharist must be stored in an open, comfortable and free space, with plenty of light and circulating fresh air for nourishment.

2. The Eucharist is not ours to eat. The Eucharist should be adored and admired, but never eaten. However, we recognize that this age-old tradition may be difficult to break, and may require an intermediate consciousness-raising step. Therefore, any Catholic who feels they must consume the Eucharist must complete our sensitivity training workshop entitled "Sensitive Sacrament, Compassionate Consumption." Upon completion of this workshop, the participant will receive a username and password, which will be checked against our database each time the Eucharist is received. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion will assume the additional office of Extraordinary Ministers of Eucharistic Security, and will ensure that no Eucharist is received without a correct username and password.

3. The Eucharist is not ours to exploit. The production of the Eucharist by so-called "Eucharist Farms" must cease immediately. These mass production bakeries have been caught time and time again maximizing profits by herding hundreds of thousands of Eucharists into tiny, inhumane storage spaces characterized by detention camp conditions of overcrowding and confinement. No Eucharist should have to tolerate the humiliation of being piled on top of other Eucharists, or jammed into tiny slots.

4. The Eucharist is not ours to use for experimentation or instruction. The Eucharist all too frequently suffers exacerbated pain and distress through routine procedures that are conducted improperly and cruelly. The most common abuse is to pour scalding hot water into the wheat and white flour mixture, mix the ingredients violently, and then crush them mercilessly under a rolling pin. To complete this degradation, Eucharists are scored deeply with a knife, causing agonizing pain.

5. Finally, here in the United States, each Eucharist is entitled, at a very minimum, to:

  • decent, safe and affordable housing;
  • comfortable, attractive and functional clothing;
  • gainful employment, with competitive benefits;
  • professional medical care;
  • convenient transportation;
  • a viable path to citizenship as legally documented Eucharistic-Americans.

"Only when these measures are embraced," says Dr. Falafel, "can all Eucharists be truly welcomed into our midst with a sense of justice and compassion, and be relieved of their martyrdom."

+PETE's platform has been met with high praise and immediate endorsement from Schlumpf and Overberg, as well as from the Society of Jesus, Call to Action, and the National Catholic Reporter.

Miscellanea CATHOLICA

+Speaking of Call to Action, this group has initiated a letter-writing campaign directed against Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz. If you would like to express your support of Bishop Bruskewitz in the face of Call to Action’s unrepentant arrogance and stupidity, write to:

The Most Rev. Fabian Bruskewitz Bishop of Lincoln Chancery Office PO Box 80328 Lincoln, NB 68501-0328