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!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Tapeworm Letters, #6

"My Dear Hollywood, I should have warned you that it was only a matter of time before one of your resident tradition-hankerers objected to our diocesan Safe Environment program. Thank heaven it is only one - you must act swiftly and decisively in order to keep this person isolated. Do not let this virus spread, under any circumstances! You know as well as I how much care and effort we have invested in commissioning and refining a program which not only shifts the burden of suspicion, accusation and guilt away from our little network, but succeeds in placing the consequences of scandal onto the laity and, to top it all off, conditions youth to become our future recruits! Brilliant! Therefore, for some doddering old fool to question the program because because she saw an article about that CMA rant which questions its appropriateness, or because she heard about some lowbrow group in Tucson who hurled those interminable polemics at Billy Skylstad, is unacceptable. What unmitigated impudence! Does their chutzpah never end? Carthago delenda est! But I digress. Your response to this effrontery should take its theme from that very care and effort I just cited. I suggest you dwell at great length on all the collegial hard work that has gone into this curriculum, the meetings, the studies, the professionally credentialed and highly respected psychologists, the reports - all the result, you add, of the deepest and most heartfelt concern for the "victims," and especially of our universal desire to respond quickly to the shame inflicted on the Church! But this is not merely a private and personal initiative on your part - once again it involves the pulpit, and thus calls for considerable passion, the most animated emotional affect, and a thinly-veiled sense of outrage that such exhaustive efforts could be questioned. In fact, to suggest that this person has crossed the threshold of sanity, and perhaps resembles one's crazy aunt living in the attic, would not be out of the question. I leave that to your instincts. As an insurance policy, one preliminary step is advisable before you launch into any righteous invective: request that your parish Education Commission review this person's complaint (as summarized by you, that is, with appropriate spin) and issue an opinion in your parish newsletter affirming that the curriculum is indeed the very best thing "for the children." (In advising this step, it goes without saying that you have already tested the fidelity of your Commission members to our Conciliar playbook, and found none of them wanting). And finally, if you sense that none of these attempts at marginalization are working, and having by then, one would fervently hope, realized the importance of this issue to our very survival, you have the ace up your sleeve: invoke the USCCB charter. Imagine - a national network of bureaucrats in service to our cause!
Your affectionate shepherd, TAPEWORM"


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