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!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Tapeworm Letters, #1

+The Flying Buttress will of course never divulge how the correspondence which we are about to publish fell into our hands. +There are two equal and interrelated tendencies into which traditional Catholics fall when evaluating liberal bishops. One is to impute their liberalism to homosexuality. The other is to attribute it to the "Spirit of Vatican II." +Liberal bishops themselves are equally amused by both. They chuckle with glee when their nebulous subterfuges, cloaked in the latter, somehow pass muster, and smirk privately but knowingly when the former charge is leveled against them. +Our readers are advised to remember that liberal bishops, of either persuasions, are liars. Whether mutilating the faith for their own ends, or even when dispensing their grubby confidences or tawdry advice to those of like mind, as these letters do, their offerings cannot be taken at face value, for the possibility of betrayal and exposure is always present, and the necessity of plausible denial is always at the back of their minds. +Finally, the identity of the author of these letters does not matter. He could be any one of the dozens of sexual, doctrinal and theological Pol Pot-ted perverts who are presently dripping their self-serving poison into the veins of the Church and leading the souls of the faithful to the slaughter. +We present the first in the series. "My dear Hollywood, I note with considerable amusement your anxiety over being assigned to a "conservative" parish. You seem to forget that I have spent countless hours doing my best to place certain "moles" in all my parishes, who quietly monitor the local presentation of the faith and who report back to me any potential or actual deviation from our Conciliar playbook. You see, my friend, in a Conciliar world, "conservative," as with everything else, is relative. You seem to fear that your little secret will be discovered; I assure you that it is safe with me and with our brethren - who, by the way, have long since moved past your tiresome novice drama. And no, I do not have the manpower to assign you a mentor to coach you in appearances! There is one principle by which we are obliged to live our double life, and that is this: "orthodoxy sells." This no doubt seems to create a glaring contradiction with my previous advice, but keep this in mind: like the rest of humanity, what we clergy preach is one thing; what we mean and what we practice is another! Yes, you must at all times appear to be orthodox. Yet, in keeping with the techniques used with such wonderful effect at the Second Vatican Council, the language in which you couch your orthodoxy is crucial. For example, how do you describe the Eucharist? Not, heaven forbid, as the Holy and Unbloody Sacrifice - no, refer to it as the "Memorial Meal," that which honors the "memory of Christ," or some such feel-good rhapsody. The poor fools in the pews will nod approvingly at the sound of your words and the soothing tone of your voice - those elements, after all, are what reaches them, not the rigid mechanistic zeal of Rome. Let us dwell on this last idea somewhat. The perennial question is, how do you make your parishioners feel? Guilty? Sinful? Ashamed? Or loved, comforted, assured? Do they feel a sense of belonging to a benevolent and accepting community, or do they squirm and shrivel up in the glaring spotlight of accusation, cowing before your pointed finger? You can live by these words: the people must like you. Once you win them over, they will become your allies, not only unwilling to imagine the possibility of any deviation on your part, but always ready to defend you in the face of any accusation. I conclude with a note of disappointment at your ingratitude. Have you forgotten that it was I who placed you in this parish? Has it once occurred to you the reason, that being the highest and most heartfelt personal esteem, ab imo pectore, in which I hold you? Have I not told you repeatedly that you have the makings of the greatest of all us great pretenders?
Your affectionate Shepherd, TAPEWORM"


Post a Comment

<< Home