Friday, August 12, 2005

Back to the drawing board

Hello children,

I am sorry that I haven’t been musing lately. Believe me when I tell you that I would much rather be musing than working on this dag-nabbed encyclical, but thus is the vineyard in which the Good Lord desires his humble servant to labor in right now.

As you may have detected by my tone, my work on the encyclical has not been going too well. I had it nearly completed before I allowed my friends and advisors to look it over. They loved it immensely and had commented about how unique and brilliant it was, but they advised me that they thought it was too heavy and thought provoking for a pontiff’s first encyclical; that my first encyclical should be a little lighter and conventional.

One dear friend whose opinion I value greatly, suggested that I shelve it for now and issue it as my 25th encyclical, provided that nothing else becomes more pressing at that time. I know you are as curious as a cat, but this trusted friend’s name is not important to this musing, nevertheless I am referring to Cardinal Arinze. The only person who didn’t like it was my brother, George. He said it was a stupid idea, but I think he is just jealous that his little brother became pope before him. You know brothers!

I figured that since my fellow St. Blog’s parishioners are so loyal to the Holy See and take an above average interest in these things, that I would give you a little taste of my forthcoming 25th encyclical. I only ask that you be discreet and keep this among yourselves; this is one cat we don’t want let out of the bag. We wouldn’t want the folks at the National Catholic Reporter or America Magazine to get a head start on finding ways to dissent from it. So without further ado, here is the introduction:

Dignitatis Felidae

To the Bishops
Priests and Deacons
Men and Women religious
lay Faithful
and all People of Good Will
on the Dignity, Value and Inviolability
of Feline Life


Venerable Brothers, and dear Sons and Daughters
greetings and the Apostolic Blessing!

The splendor of creation shines forth in all the works of the Creator and, in a special way, in cats, created for man to give him companionship and affection.


And the Lord God having formed out of the ground all the beasts of the earth, and all the fowls of the air, brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: for whatsoever Adam called any living creature the same is its name (Gen 2:19 [D.R.]).

By allowing man to name the creatures, God gave man dominion over them. This gift of power given to man by God increases the dignity of man without detracting from the dignity of the lesser creatures. In fact, the dignity of man is intimately connected to the dignity he affords the lesser creatures, not the least of which is the domestic cat. When man fails to respect the dignity of the cat, he in turn diminishes his own dignity. Let us examine this sublime relationship between man and cat.

Pretty good stuff if I don’t say so myself. Unfortunately for you, you will have to wait a while to read it in its entirety. For now you will have to be content with twenty-four encyclicals of the tired old stuff like the collapse of the Church in Europe, Relativism, etc. Unfortunately for me, it’s back to the drawing board. I just don’t see how I can get an encyclical out before World Youth Day now. Please remember to pray for your Papa.