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, November 12, 2007

Whatever Floats Your Float

+In our last issue, our readers were introduced to what we’re calling the RHCCIA (Roamin’ Homosexual Catholic Church in America), the new schismatic American federation led by five formerly Roman Catholic bishops: Mahony, Wuerl, Niederauer, Pilarczyk and Flynn.

+The Flying Buttress, following this developing story, has learned that the RHCCIA, seeking to give itself a more tangible and visible public image, has accepted an invitation to enter a float in San Francisco’s next Gay Pride Parade.

+Former Archbishop George Niederauer, now an “Extraordinary Presider” 1 – (that is, a high-ranking RHCCIA prelate), speaking for the RHCCIA leadership, recently released the following statement to the National Catholic Reporter - who, we understand, is negotiating to become the exclusive in-house organ of this federation:

“The clergy of the RHCCIA feel it is of the utmost importance to engage in a defining act in order to confirm the validity of our separation from the Roman Catholic Church. In so doing, and in order to affirm the very founding principles of our new Church, we hope to assert our solidarity with those in our society who, like us, have taken such great strides toward establishing their own identity: the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and questioning communities.

Therefore, the RHCCIA has commissioned a float which will appear in our City’s hallmark event, the Gay Pride Parade. We consider this float to be the centerpiece of our commitment to those who have suffered discrimination for so long at the hands of the Church and of Western Civilization.”

+While the blueprint for this float is apparently a tightly kept secret, our West Coast correspondent “Airplane” Jefferson has uncovered one feature of its design: a plan to pipe a song through several loudspeakers on the float. In fact, the assiduous “Airplane” was even able to obtain the lyrics to this song - which, he speculates, will be sung to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair”:

Are you goin’ to the Gay Pride Parade - Roger, Dan, George, Harry and Don? We’ve had our fill of the Roman charade: Just give us the theme of Blessed Pope John.

Won’t you embrace our justice crusade - Roger, Dan, George, Harry and Don? It’s time to vest for this masquerade: Robes of black and flowing chiffon.

Sing to those faithful afraid to come out - Roger, Dan, George, Harry and Don! Our church subsists in your deepest doubt With dogma running hither and yon.

Are you climbin’ to the heights of Brokeback - Roger, Dan, George, Harry and Don? We’re now immune from Rome’s endless flak; Join us as we pass the baton!

1. “Extraordinary,” for short.

Miscellanea CATHOLICA

+Speaking of San Francisco...

+Father Tom Euteneuer responds like a true Catholic priest to the “self-outing” of Rev. Thomas Brennan, SJ in Philadelphia. Will Cardinal Rigali follow Fr. Tom’s example?

Monday, November 05, 2007

'Til "Conscience" Do Us Part

+A stunning development, the very schism long feared by Pope Benedict, may be in the works for the American conference of the Roman Catholic Church.

+The Flying Buttress has received word that a surprising number of American bishops, “progressives” all, have apparently grown impatient with the pace of the Masonic/modernist makeover of the post-Conciliar Church. As a result, they have been conducting high-level discussions about leaving the Church to form a new and independent federation.

+Rumored to be leading these schismatic deliberations are Their Excellencies Roger Mahony, Donald Wuerl, Daniel Pilarczyk, George Niederauer and Harry Flynn. Moreover, a disturbing yet persistent element of these reports is that this group - which may consist of as many as one-third of American bishops - is being advised behind the scenes by none other than William Levada.

+From what we understand, these august powwows have addressed two pressing concerns: one, how to justify the abandonment of the modernist principle of transforming the Church from within, and two, the development of a set of viable, ethical and coherent operating principles for promulgation. Apparently, the group is satisfied that the principles they have agreed upon – reportedly, there are eleven of them - speak to both their concerns. Their consensus is that these principles possess sufficient messianic and utopian magnetism as to immediately attract huge numbers of those disaffected with the Roman Catholic Church, creating an exodus which will cause its collapse:

Principle One

The overarching founding principle of the modern Church is individual conscience, joined together with other individual consciences to form a common conscience, shaped by the rigorous ideals and demands of social, environmental, and sexual justice, and fortified by the universal bonds of humanity.

Principle Two

We must look neither to the past, nor to nostalgia for the past, for hierarchical solutions with which to govern the modern Church. In order to create a workable, global font of justice, the modern Church must arise from the ashes of the past to fully embrace a collective and egalitarian present. Simply put, the modern Church is a collegial democracy, governed not by a pope, but by wise elected councils doing the will of the great congregation of the faithful.

Principle Three

The modern Church, rooted in the ever-changing present, can successfully adapt to its time only by remaining responsive to the needs of the community it serves. All its signs, symbols and sacraments must reflect that eternal responsiveness.

Principle Four

As such, the inclusive and responsive modern Church can no longer identify itself as “the Bride of Christ.” Henceforth the modern Church, desirous of partaking fully of all the joys and sorrows of its faithful, shall be known as “the partner of humanity.”

Principle Five

The modern Church does not have the answers to every modern dilemma. These answers can only be produced by the community of the faithful, who will arrive at them through a process of communal discernment guided by an intuitively formed conscience and goodwill toward all.

Principle Six

The development of the liturgy of the modern Church shall be guided by Principles One and Two, be implemented through Principles Three and Five, and facilitate Principles Seven, Eight, Nine and Eleven. The keystone of all liturgical development shall be “sincere, faithful and committed consensual dynamic participation.”

Principal Seven

The priest has no special status or privilege in the Church or in society: he is a collaborator with the laity, their servant, brother and presider, and a facilitator of the Universal Priesthood of Believers. He represents Christ only as he succeeds in representing humanity, and in so doing, is empowered to lead the faithful into a new garden of social enlightenment.

Principle Eight

We believe it is counterproductive to place unreasonable demands upon priestly vocations in a world already suffering from undue stress. Therefore, in order to make vocations more attractive to the modern mentality, and for the good of the modern Church, the requirement of celibacy is hereby abolished.

Principle Nine

The Church’s ancient taboo on the ordination of women and homosexuals is clearly outdated, offensive and discriminatory. The modern Church, upon whom the mantle of justice must rest, opens its priesthood to all who may desire it.

Principle Ten

In Roman Catholic parishes, wherever there is a stable group of faithful who reject all liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to leave the parish, so that they may be welcomed into a parish aligned with our new federation of churches, and celebrate the Communal Meal according to the liturgy to be developed using Principle Six.

Principle Eleven

The modern Church will not discriminate against any of its members or catechumens because of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, or sin. The modern Church will ensure that all its members achieve universal salvation regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or sin. The modern Church is an Equal Opportunity Redeemer.


+To date, the thorniest issue facing this group is, surprisingly, the issue of names. What to call this Manifesto of operating principles? More importantly, what to call this new Federation? The Flying Buttress, whose own operating principle - “Romanita, no! Vox Populita, si!” – nicely captures our predilection for getting to the bottom line, has a few suggestions:

Titles for “The Manifesto”:

1. “Our Disorders Were Burning Within Us.”

2. “Copulo ergo sum” (from one of our readers, “The General”).

Names for the New Federation:

1. Federatio Sensuous Catholicus (FSC).

2. The Roamin’ Homosexual Catholic Church in America (RHCCIA).

Miscellanea CATHOLICA

+Both Franciscan University at Steubenville and Ave Maria University – yes, you read that right - have denied large numbers of students (155 at Franciscan) petitioning for Mass in the Extraordinary Form, whereas similar groups at Notre Dame and Georgetown have been accommodated. Fr. John Zuhsldorf is keeping a watchful eye on Franciscan on his blog.

+How’s attendance at Notre Dame’s Extraordinary Form? See for yourself!

Where There's Smoke...

+ We’re all familiar with the near-apocryphal tales of the end of Paul VI’s reign. Wandering distractedly through the halls of the Vatican, he was given to chanting the Nicene Creed and wailing that the “smoke of Satan” had entered the Church. Whether he meant this figuratively, or he had belatedly learned of the enthronement ritual performed on 6/29/63, we cannot say.

+Ironically, it was the allegedly homosexual Montini himself who opened many of the Church’s doors and windows to said smoke, by allowing himself to be manipulated by Bugnini. Some have suggested that this manipulation was really sexual blackmail, though we can neither confirm or refute this theory. The tragic success of Bugnini’s Revolution hinged upon, and owed much to, this manipulation.

+More recently, Pope Benedict XVI has uncovered a new dimension to this problem, and has made its elimination a top priority of his Papacy. It seems the smoke of Satan not only struck at the very highest levels and at the heart of the Church, it eventually wafted down into the bureaucracy of middle management, where it hovers thick and unchecked. In order to better isolate and exorcise this toxic presence, the Holy Father has given it a distinctive label:

“The Second-Hand Smoke of Satan”

+Benedict’s corrective solution to this phenomenon, which distinctly resembles that of Ex corde ecclesiae’smandatum,” is in keeping with the more precise and orderly Teutonic mind of Ratzinger and is clearly more detailed, providing specific measures for enforcement. In fact, the Holy Father has outlined an eleven-step process for the identification and removal of the Second-Hand Smoke of Satan:


The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith investigates and verifies the complaint. For example, a Diocesan Director of Religious Education (DDRE) is accused of active membership in Call to Action, Voice of the Faithful, or, in worst case scenarios, consorting with brothers of the Society of Jesus or the theology faculty of Xavier University. CDF will document the charge via a thorough examination of books, articles and lectures by the deviant bureaucrat, any extant memoranda to parish DRE’s, or the presence of a rainbow sash in the bureaucrat’s closet.


Continuing with our example, CDF issues a formal admonition to the deviant DDRE (now referred to as the DDDRE), copying the bishop, warning him that his heterodox or heretical activities have been exposed and verified. The DDDRE is given the opportunity to respond to the charges in writing. (If the deviant happens to be a bishop, a not uncommon occurrence here in the United States, then the Papal Nuncio and the president of the national conference are also copied.)


The third step in the corrective process, issued even before a response to “Admonatum” is received, is a personal exhortation to the DDDRE urging and encouraging him to return to full communion with the Holy Father and the Magisterium, and to abandon his unsavory activities. Unfortunately, rather than explain himself to the proper authority, the defendant at this stage often chooses defiance, asserting himself in the pages of the National Catholic Reporter, America magazine, or, if here in Cincinnati, via ample column space provided by The (Occasionally) Catholic Telegraph.


The standard CDF response to a defendant who seeks to distract from the issue at hand with inflammatory, self-serving publicity is to issue yet another warning, this one ominous in character, warning of disastrous consequences to the soul of the DDDRE – not to mention to his career - for non-repentance.


In the event of the DDDRE’s failure to respond to the charges, CDF issues a proclamation, published in LOsservatore Romano and Zenit, notifying the Catholic world that one of its own has gone astray. Proclamatum” is frequently met with jeers and protests heavily laced with the phrase “academic freedom.”


CDF issues yet another formal document to the defendant, reminding him of his obligations to the Church. The “Obligatum” is also posted on every parish bulletin board of the diocese in question, as well as the door of the bishop’s office. The danger of posting “Obligatum” in this manner, however, is that it can be frequently obscured by parish festival flyers, job postings, or “Safe Environment” procedures.


“Obligatum” is accompanied by a supporting document which lists the specific teachings of the Catechism that have been violated. “Postulatum,” as you might guess, also postulates the existence of objective truth and infallibility, often described by the deviant as the “dictatorship of objectivism.”

Step 8. DICTUM

Step 8 dictates to the offending party the specific authoritative pronouncements to which the defendant must agree, pronouncements which must replace any questionable assertions in the defendant’s writings. Defendants have been known to evade “Dictum” by responding “It depends on what you mean by ‘agree.’”


Step 9 is the CDF’s official and curt notice that the offending party has reached the end of his rope. It outlines the remedies to be applied to his case under Canon Law, as specified under the Decretum Gratiani. The citation of an obscure canonical collection is quite deliberate, as it is intended to cause the same kind of confusion and uncertainty in the mind of the deviant as the deviant has sowed in the minds of the faithful.


Finally, CDF’s patience having been exhausted, the DDDRE is notified that he has been removed from his post, and is prohibited from the further dissemination of any writings purporting to represent the Church or its teachings. This prohibition does not extend to any of the publications listed under Step 3, however, since none of them is Catholic.


In a concluding act of Catholic charity, the exiled educator (following our example, now the DDDRE-E) is reminded that Holy Mother Church, ever solicitous of the state of his soul, will always accept him back into the fold were he to decide to comply with the corrective process outlined above. However, it is rare that the Second-Hand Smoke of Satan, once having been inhaled, can ever be released from body and mind, except through the offices of an exorcist…

Miscellanea CATHOLICA

+What’s wrong with the revised Rite of Exorcism? A better question would be: what's right with it?

+How are the bishops responding to Summorum Pontificum? Consult or

+Why is the post-Conciliar Church more protestant than Catholic? Well, let's start at Square One...

+The Angelus Press is reporting donations of over $100,000 to their appeal for extra funds in response to overwhelming demand for the 1962 Missal. You can now donate to them on-line:

+The 90th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima would be a good time to start reading this book: