A reader sends along this absolutely authentic and true news piece:
VATICAN CITY: Fans of American football the world over have voiced their views over the game-clinching call at the end of the Green Bay – Seattle game held last night in the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field. After the debacle on the Hail Mary play on Monday Night Football, Pope Benedict XVI was reported to be visibly upset. Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi (no relation to the legendary Packer coach) of the Vatican press office, noted that he hadn’t seen His Holiness this livid since he’d learned of the attempted ordination of several women on a riverboat in Austria in 2002.
The Pontiff wasted no time in tweeting his disgust with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: @BennyXVI “As a matter of justice, we must condemn this fiasco in the strongest possible terms. It is an offense against all that is true, good, and beautiful.” The Commissioner was not available for comment, but was expected to address the Holy Father’s remarks in a press conference later today.
Packer Head Coach Mike McCarthy, a Catholic, was grateful for Pope Benedict’s support, remarking that “the pain of this loss is mitigated somewhat, knowing that we have the prayers and concern of His Holiness. He has been a Packer fan all the way back to the ‘Glory Years’, and the team has been studying some of his most recent encyclicals. Spe Salvi, in particular, gives us hope that this nasty officiating business will be resolved very soon.”
It is not known yet whether the Church will impose any canonical sanctions on the NFL, considering the gravity of the offense, and the public nature of the scandal. “It is well known that recent popes have graciously given a pass to the copyright infringement by the NFL using the term ‘Hail Mary’, but this is really pushing the envelope,” remarked Lombardi. “If nothing else, however, it does demonstrate the power of Our Lady’s intercession, and the eternal truth spoken to her by the Angel Gabriel that ‘nothing is impossible with God.’”
Thing is, there are any number of Catholics who imagine the pope is going to get this granular about all sorts of local stuff in their diocese that, frankly, it’s our job to figure out.
Though, personally, I do think he needs to step in and deal with “Anthem” and “City of God”. Also, that leak in the south wall. And we need an encyclical explaining that thing about the Nephilim in Genesis 6 and telling us what that verse means. Also, what is the official Catholic way to eat a Reese’s? And who is the official favorite Catholic Beatle? Otherwise, why do we even *have* a hierarchical Magisterial Church?