Thursday, August 25, 2005

Religious Consumerism

Good day, Children.

I apologize for the sporadic musings, but being the Holy Roman Pontiff is no small chore. I have a lot of pressing issues to deal with, but haven’t been able do much toward resolving them, because I have been being assaulted by the Religious Consumerism that I had spoken of during World Youth Day.

Apparently those purveyors of unadulterated consumerism and greed were quite impressed by the success of WYD – Cologne. The pontifical phone line has been ringing off the hook with various offers to shamelessly market my humble self and/or the great Holy Roman Catholic Church.

Here are some of the ridiculous and offensive proposals that have come in:

The American network, CBS was first to call. They suggested a Catholic version of Survivor called Survivor-Los Angeles. Their idea is to film a bunch of young men in a seminary that is located in a liberal diocese, then see if any of them can survive without becoming a heretic; whoever makes it through formation with their orthodoxy in tact becomes the winner, if no one makes it, then the least heretical person wins. Shocked by the mere suggestion, I rejected them outright.

Bravo called with an offer to do a show called Queer Eye for the Sacred Guy. Their idea was to send in some homosexual men to update various parishes. One man would be responsible for redecorating the parish by removing all of the “passé art” and functional furniture, like pews and kneelers - then replacing them with cushioned or bean bag chairs. A fashion advisor would design some flashy pastel or rainbow colored vestments that are as he said, “modernly classic, yet playful, and just scream, ‘Hug me, I’m the father you always wanted’”.

Another gentleman would focus on the priest’s appearance. Offering him tips on shaving, bath gels, hair dyes and “ready-to-go hairstyles that say, ‘I’m not all business’”. The priest would then receive pointers on how to “reinvent himself into the mod-guy who everyone is just dying to be around.” He would be instructed on how to not offend anybody’s sensibilities and how to keep the focus of the homily on himself. To these folks, I just said, “No thank you. You are suggesting nothing new, we’ve been seeing these very things played out for forty years; the only difference is, there hasn’t been a camera crew chronicling it.”

MTV wants to do a Real World -The Vatican, starring the likes of Cardinals Martini and Mahony, Bishops Lynch and Clark, along with myself and Archbishop Burke. They are even trying to secure the SSPX’s Bishop Williamson to mix things up a bit more. I simply told them that the real world is not something to attain, that they should focus on our Lord and His Kingdom.

Fox has an idea for a spin-off of the Simple Life. They want to take an Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Sister and an Adrian Dominican and send them down to live with Mother Angelica’s Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration. I actually thought about that one for a moment, but I had to tell them that while it could only be edifying for the dissenting duo, it would be like imposing on those wonderful and humble Poor Clares a severe penance at best, or a horrible cancer at worst. I just couldn’t allow it to happen.

NBC offered to have a series called The Last Homilist Standing. I reminded them of how poorly they managed the Last Comic Standing and in a moment of clarity, they withdrew the offer on their own.

CTND (Catholic Television of Detroit) called with a suggestion called Vocation Swap. Their idea is to have an IHM nun spend the weekend as a priest, doing priestly duties, while the priest spends the same time protesting outside of nuclear power facilities and promoting a new kind of ancient spirituality that possesses a radical feminist agenda. My reply: No way, Jose, but thanks for reaffirming that you definitely need Abp. Burke over there in Motown!

Another producer from NBC called and wants me to star in a show called The Acolyte. The idea is to have a group of young men and women vie for the position to be the server at my Masses. I would give them difficult tasks to do, like memorizing the De Profundis or the Rite of Exorcism in Latin, designing a new miter for me, and finding innovative ways to remove table altars and restore beautiful high altars. At the end of every show, I would have to pick some one and say something like, "Little Sally; you’re excommunicated!" I just told them that I am not qualified to have this show, because I don’t have a hideous wig to wear.

Then he had the nerve to suggest a show called Fear of God Factor where a bunch Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist would have to do things like approach the altar without genuflecting, retrieve the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle, self communicate, and numerous other perilous deeds. I just hung up on the guy...but not before anathematizing him and all he produces!

Fox wanted to do a show called Average Peter. They would find a group of young schismatic men and introduce them to a “new pope’ who was just elected by Internet conclave, but who in reality is just a non-practicing Unitarian” and let the contestants vie for the new pontiff’s blessing and gain a plenary indulgence. I said, “I’m sorry, that’s just a little too real.”

I’m sure that is not all of the offers I had, but you get the idea. So you see, children; the Religious Consumerism is alive and well and ever-present. Be solicitous that you do not fall into the allure of its empty promises. It is indeed just another deception of the infernal enemy.