Today Father James Martin and our own Max Lindenman have created some biting satire (I might call Fr. Martin’s piece more of a parody) and I think both of them will tickle your funnybone while also biting the ankle — all with the result of getting you thinking, as they certainly did me.
First up, Fr. Martin does a brilliant (and brilliantly balanced) job of recreating the sort of exchanges all-too common to the combox, the FB page, the Direct Messages and so forth — we Catholics are a fearsome, fractious bunch, and the scoldings — from right to left and left to right and all places in between — seem to never end:
Me: You’re misunderstanding me. Of course I believe in the divinity of Christ. And the Resurrection.
Father, forgive me for pointing this out, but I couldn’t help noticing in your last comment that you said you believed in the divinity of Christ. What about his humanity? As you surely know (or at least I hope Jesuits are still taught this, as I was in Catholic school) that several ecumenical councils spoke definitively about his humanity (Ephesus, in 431 A.D. for example). I trust that you understand what that means, Father. This means that Jesus was a flesh-and-blood human being (Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 464). I feel obliged to ask: Do you believe him to be divine but not human? That is a heresy, as you know, Father, and I greatly fear for the church if priests are permitted spread such serious theological errors. It is, I would like to humbly remind you, the heresy of Docetism, (Nicea, 325 A.D., Catechism No. 465) where Jesus was not seen as a human being, but God simply “playacting” (as my dear theology professor used to tell our class) at being human. Surely you’re not suggesting that, are you, Father? Are you a Docetist? (Or, worse, a Monophysite?) Please send me your email address and I will forward you all the references to the councils so that you may read them, study them, and pray over them. I will do you the favor of awaiting an answer before I begin any formal canonical action against you.
Me: Look, I believe in both the divinity and humanity of Christ. I was only saying that I love Jesus. Can we perhaps move on?
I haven’t followed this thread and I don’t know what you posted about, but did you REALLY say that in your last comment? Move on??? Do you realize what it MEANS for a priest to tell a layperson like me to “move on”? Do you know how sick and TIRED we are of priests like you telling me what to do? I’ll move on when I want to move on!!! It’s this kind of clerical ARROGANCE that gave rise to the sexual abuse scandal. Is that what you want, Martin, a return to sexual abuse?!! And what’s with the “Look,” at the beginning of your snotty comeback? What’s THAT supposed to mean? Frankly I find that incredibly insulting. Who do you think you are? I don’t think you can ever fathom the anger that people like me have for priests like you. I used to like the Jesuits once, back when they cared about the poor. Now all you do is cater to the WEALTHY in your schools!! LOOK—as you might say to me–I studied theology too, am a lifelong Catholic (no matter WHAT any priest or bishop tells me), and don’t need to be told to “look” at anything. By ANY priest!!! I see very clearly, thank you. I see what the church is up to. Read the papers!!! It’s all about squashing the laity. Have you ever even HEARD of Vatican II???? For those of you as angry as I am, and SICK of being treated like dirt by the clergy, write to Martin’s superiors. Friend me on Facebook and I’ll give you all the addresses, which I got online at www.ImDisgustedwiththeChurch.com. Better yet, stop buying his books.
Yes, read it all, it’s very funny, and — as my Auntie Lillie used to say, “it’s funny because it’s true!” To our collective shame.
Then go check out Max, who having noticed the depth of interest and astonishing furor arisen over the what I’ve taken to calling Battle of the Blessings and decided to go extreme commando on the issue via an “anonymous priest” of his own devising. It’s a bit of a mirror for anyone who has ever woken up in the mood to just kick a puppy:
Kids. Can’t stand ‘em. Monsters of ego, every one. You know how you can tell a kid from a leech? That’s a trick question: you can’t. Well, actually, you can. If a leech gets hold of you, you can burn it off with a Bic lighter. Try that with a kid, and sure as you’re born, the little bastard will scream and cry like a Templar at the stake. Then he’ll tell his parents and you’ll get a nasty letter from your vicar general.
Small wonder nobody wants to have ‘em anymore. They’re plumb useless. In the old days, you could put ‘em to work — small hands were made for cleaning out machinery. You could send one off to the army, to be a drummer, or to the navy, to be a powder monkey. If the kid was a girl, you could marry it off, although I’m sure those dowries tended to eat into the old retirement fund. I’m not sure I completely hold with that dothead practice of eighty-sixing girl children, but then, every man of affairs has to cut down on his overhead somehow. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
So, I take it upon myself, as a pastor and catechist, to strip these little maggots of any illusions about the world, specifically, about their own significance in it. Whenever one tells me, “Good morning, Father,” I’ll ask, “What have you done for me lately?” Or I’ll say, “You want it to be a good morning? Wash my car. That’d be good.” And then, to drive home the point — because, God knows, this is an ignorant generation — I’ll flip the bird.
The wrist rocket is pretty focused, but there is some collateral damage. check it out.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com