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!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Tapeworm Letters, #3

"My dear Hollywood, While we are on the subject of the "Extraordinary Form," do indulge me in a little quiz. Do you know the real reason why the bishops and priests of our little network are so enamored of - even dependent on- the Missal of Paul VI? It has to do with acceptance and authority. Since I have protected you, and all my priests, from any knowledge of that detestable old Missal, you will not understand a comparison between the two forms, and you will have to trust my wisdom and judgment on the matter. The new Missal, under the guise of bestowing upon the people a greater role, a more active participation, and a clearer comprehension, completely revolutionizes and alters the traditional authority of the priest. Now, before you object to a loss which you didn't even know had afflicted you, let me remind you that it is not authority that our priests want, it is acceptance: acceptance of our way of life. After all, we don't wish to draw undue attention to our uniqueness, do we? And what better way to obtain acceptance than by diffusing your authority to the point where you are practically one of the assembly? What a godsend, to take so much attention off you and place it instead amongst all those busy bees: lectors, deacons, extraordinary ministers, Our Father hand-holders, petitioners and peace passers! Not only that, but what little attention that remains fixed on you is no longer as an authority figure, but as a master of ceremonies - and I don't mean a traditional one! My dearest Hollywood, the new Missal gives entirely new meaning to the term "Host"! And you know as well as I that, if nothing else, our brethren are riveting entertainers... No doubt you are wondering whether the slack of this lost authority is taken up elsewhere. I assure you that it is, and that is the other half of the equation. Don't think for one moment, however, that your lost authority is somehow distributed among the laity! Pah - Marxist rubbish! This is just a clever ruse, a feint towards populism, a master stroke by Bugnini and his Consilium! Besides, what would those ignorant sheep in the pews know about matters in which we are so highly trained? No, it is the bishop who takes up your lost authority. And yes, that makes your dependency on us, your fealty to us, greater than ever before. Both Missals demand fidelity: one to Tradition, the other to the Conciliar playbook, the scripts of the Spirit of Vatican II. But who writes and enforces those scripts? We do, and that makes us your masters! You see, you are the vassals, and we are the feudal lords. Fortunately for you, and for our brethren, I am a benevolent lord who always rewards correct behavior with great munificence. Cuius regio, eius religio. Now do you understand why we bishops cannot possibly admit the old Missal into our dioceses? Our priests lost acceptance and our bishops lose authority. Such losses would be devastating, a veritable anathema.
Your affectionate Shepherd, TAPEWORM"


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