By Jeannie Guzman
(Warning: This social commentary contains religious, political and environmental satire. If you’re not up for it, please go read something else or leave me a nasty comment below to encourage me.)
Today, I was musing, “If only the EPA could have been around during the Inquisitions!” I know the thought verges on sheer insanity, but we only have one chance to live our second childhood. Right? During the Reformation of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, the Church was burdened with something similar to “A Regulatory War of Thought Control,” put upon Her by Protestant-leaning Germans and future crispy critters, like Galileo, who didn’t want to march in “goose-step” with the Church’s fundamentally flawed, absolutist form of thinking. Those critics of the Church, often called, “heretics,” knew their fate was that of being cooked in their own juicy fat, in the unquenchable fires of the Inquisitions, if they didn’t change their damned skeptically cynical, apostate attitudes and become “instantly religious!” It was the Catholic Church, “Über Allis” or nothing but hell on this earth in this life, and a fate worse than an eternity in a Catholic school, run by nuns with rulers or Christian Brothers with fists and belts, in the next life!
Galileo was no dummy. He, like most grown men, was probably petrified at the thought of an eternity, eon after eon, seated at a small, cramped desk in a Catholic School, where he wouldn’t be able to exercise his talents for math, science and “critical thinking!” Also, he didn’t want to spend any part of eternity learning how to “diagram sentences” or answer “Catechism Questions!” As one of the greatest minds the Inquisition had ever tried to intimidate or control, he saw the proverbial writing on the wall and recanted the contents of his scientific papers and books (many of which were burned, without the proper EPA permits, filled out in triplicate)! Fortunately for Galileo, he recanted before his own bonfire was lit, and only his books went up in flames. For his punishment, he was simply sentenced to a life under house arrest and forbidden to share his earth-shaking insights with the rest of humanity, as long as he lived!
In the good old days of the 1500’s the Church’s agenda of “due process,” was like being judge and jury for the accused and quickly executing the Divine Inquisitor’s legal decisions, by burning heretics at the stake, before they could lodge complaints of “an unfair trial” or “Barbaric Torture,” with the International Geneva Convention. At this time in history, the authoritarian Church was unconcerned with the future avoidance of Scriptural, Legal and Environmental scrutiny in future centuries. Could She have foreseen the day, when “Burning Heretics at the Stake” would have grave consequences in the media, and She would risk the possibility of being humiliated and “made an example of” by the Environmental Protection Agency, as an internal, multi-“milione” dollar Corporation, which had few concerns about being “Environmentally Green,” much less the so called, “Sanctity of life!”
Just think of it, a greedy, inconsiderate, world-wide, money-making corporation that didn’t even care about the planet and its people, who weren’t of Her religious persuasion, much less “The People of God,” who were of Her own religious persuasion. After all, those “People of God” were “Just a bunch of Vatican II Hippies!” What about the above picture is painted in any shade of “Green,” for you? Now, a picture like this should cause the Church’s stock to go down in the eyes of the faithful, at least those of a Democratic, tree-hugging variety, who have loving grandparents, who were treated by the Hierarchy of the Catholic Church as, “Those damned People of God, Hippies!” Why they actually had the audacity to think that God was a loving, heavenly Father, and Church should emulate Christ by being a loving and giving community of believers, equally created with members of the Magisterium! Of course many in the Hierarchy or the Magisterium would give lip service to the idea that we are all “created equal,” but by their imperious deportment it is evidenced that they think they are created “more equal” than others!
After Vatican II opened the Church’s “Environmentally Friendly Can of Religious Worms,” the next response by the bishops of the Church was inevitable: “What nonsense,” exclaimed the next round of post-Vatican II bishops! Shortly after Vatican II, the bishops of the world decided that Pope John XXIII had made a grave mistake in calling for a “fresh wind of the Holy Spirit” to come into the Catholic Church. They wondered “Why” the Holy Spirit wanted to come into the Catholic Church, anyway? They didn’t need Him! They didn’t ask Him to come! They didn’t invite Him! After all, they had the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on Earth! Serioiusly, what need did they have for the Holy Spirit? The bishops decided that Catholic life should return to the “normal” security of the 1500’s, without the Holy Spirit, back in the days, when the Medieval Hierarchy and Papacy were in total control, “The People of God” kept their mouths shut, and it was like “The Catholic Church Über Alles,” all over, again!
The public in the 1500’s had every right to be critical! After all, “Public Health” was at stake! (No pun intended!) Environmentally, the idea of burning heretics at the stake was no laughing matter. Did the Church even try to meet clean air standards for ozone and heavy metal particulates? Duh? Did the Church ever fill out Environmental Impact Statements, before She burned hundreds of reprobate heretics at the stake? Talk about being “Environmentally Unfriendly!” Did the Church ever consider that the consequences of burning people at the stake would contribute to ground level ozone (smog) and make asthmatics and older people with breathing problems, sick? I rather doubt it! Sure, in Her defense, She claims to have burned thousands at the stake without ever depleting the supply of “Fossil Fuels,” and making “fracking” and “tertiary recovery” of our natural resources unnecessary, but these arguments miss the point!
My guess is that somewhere in Her Top-Secret Archives in the Vatican Library, one of her esteemed Canon Lawyers, with the brain power of someone like Pope Pius XII (who designed the Reichskonkordat with Hitler), also designed the dubious, “Dottrina del Vaticano di Compenza Ambientale” or the “Vatican Doctrine of Environmental Competence.” Why? Well, it makes as much sense as designing the very real and genuine 1982 Top-Secret Vatican Document called, “Crimen Sollicitationis!” “Crimen What?” one might ask? “What in the Hell is that!” Fair question, and this is why it was a Top-Secret, Vatican Document, punishable by immediate excommunication in this life, if the contents of “Crimes of Solicitation” were ever made public, and THEN, if that wasn’t enough, being further penalized by being damned to eternity in Hell, which BTW is a hell of a long time, in a parallel dimension, in perpetuity.
(I imagine for a bishop, the alternative of spending an eternity in Hell for exposing Church secrets was almost enough to make one not consider the moral imperative of protecting innocent children from Pedophile Priests by being a “whistle-blower.” A bishop couldn’t risk doing so without the security of an old fistful of pre-signed, plenary indulgences, dating from the 1500’s. In addition, if one chooses to buck the Church by revealing Papal Secrets, he had better plan a rather drab, alternate lifestyle, complete with less than plush living accommodations, a less colorful brocade wardrobe, fewer cooks and cleaning nuns, something to drive which is more economical than a Mercedez, and fewer trinkets to wear around his neck. The two-tiered hat and crook will need to go, unless he plans to herd sheep, and in that event, they won’t care what he wears on his head! Well, maybe real men would rise above the temptation to be silent and protect their derrieres from the flames of hell, by choosing to protect innocent children instead, but how long has it been since bishops, decked out in their Belgian lace, Gucci or Prada shoes and brocade vestments were accused of being “real men?”)
“Crimen” told every bishop around the world how they should handle cases of Priest Pedophilia and intimidate those who were molested, raped or sodomized by Pedophile Priests with genuine, bona fide threats of excommunication. It further spelled out how to protect Pedophile Priests, who were not required to take an oath that they would tell the truth in any internal Church investigation, which of course was for “internal, paper-shuffling purposes ONLY,” never intended to be handed in and graded by nuns or investigated by any police department, anywhere, on the face of the earth. Only the victim of the Pedophile Priest was required to tell the truth in the investigation! Now, you know why the fictional doctrine called, “The Vatican Doctrine of Environmental Incompetence,” makes as much sense as the very real Vatican Directive, which was sent to every bishop on the planet, called, “Crimen Sollicitationis!” I am not making this up! If you don’t believe me, Google, “Crimen Sollicitationis English Version” Caveat Emptor: Before you do, get a box of Kleenex.
(Jumping forward to today!) Now, with the above being said as a basis for argument about putting International Environmental Regulations on Benito Mussolini’s beautifully designed, “Sovereign State,” which calls itself, “The Vatican,” let’s look at another serious problem that the EPA would have with the Vatican as it pertains to the Priest Pedophilia Scandal: that of expensive, unnecessary and complex paper-pushing, over at Pope Benedict’s old haunt, known as the CDF, or “The Congregation for the Doctrines of Faith!” I’m sure that you understand why it wasn’t called the CDFM, or “The Congregation for the Doctrines of Faith and Morals” for an obvious reason! The CDF Department of the Vatican, formerly “The Divine Office of the Inquisition,” excelled in “paper-pushing,” and elevated it to an Art-form, by requiring Archdiocese all over the world to open their Secret Archives and make duplicate documents, pertaining to the files and the investigations of Pedophile Priests. When documents hit the desks of the Inquisitors at the CDF, they again had to be circulated, probably in numbers ranging somewhere between triplicate and “milione”-plicate, only be shredded at a later date and tossed into landfills or drownded in oceans, in the event of an impending criminal trial involving the Church, anywhere in the world. The shredding of documents, in this magnitude, would poison the environment, fresh waterways and precious, irreplaceable wildlife, in addition to killing rain-forests and fish! (Just imagine the multitude of documents which would need to be shredded if the Vatican were called to answer for Her “Crimes Against Humanity” at the Hague!) (When you say “Milione”-plicate, try to have fun with it and say it musically, like an Italian would. I LOVE this word!)
Furthermore, for the purpose of preserving trees and the production of much needed oxygen on this planet, the EPA should require all documents coming out of the Vatican to be typed, single-space, in English, because it takes twice as many words, twice as much paper and kills twice as many trees to say things in Latin! Almost everyone understands English. Few people understand Latin. Perhaps the Church only uses Latin to obfuscate, befuddle and muddle issues, which would “Bring Scandal to the Holy Roman Catholic Church,” if “The People of God” were to really read, understand and digest them. Crimen Sollicitationis is a good example, which would fill “The People of God,” with complete and total outrage, if the contents were actually understood in English or any language, other than Latin!
The Church should be forced or required to write an Environmental Impact Statement on the last item about “Paper shredding in “milione”-plicate,” and submit it to every archdiocese around the world in triplicate, before May 1st, 2012! Oh, Damn! It’s too late! Well, FINE HER! Make her an example of a corporation, that the former regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under the Obama Administration wanted “to crucify!” Yes, that was a poor, blasphemous choice of words, but they didn’t come out of me! They came out of Al Amendariz’s mouth, and that is probably why he is called, “the former” regional administrator of the EPA. (Thank you, Mr. President for your religious sensitivity on this issue. The US Council of Catholic Bishops will bless you for it, but still will probably tell members of their Archdioceses to vote the Republican ticket! Well, that’s what you get for trying!) Now, with that out of the way, dare I even bring up the Priest Pedophilia Scandal (again)? Oh, what the Hell, I’m only going to live once! I’m only going to enjoy my second childhood, only once. Why not?
Now, I forgot what I was going to say! That “senior moment” is going to be followed by this thought before I go to bed with my broken rosary, my Saint Jude’s “Most Improved Bowlers Trophy,” my AK-47 and my feral cat, who is called, St. Izzy (Isidore) de Seville (the Patron St. of the Internet)! Due to the tireless prayers of St. Izzy de Seville, the killing billions of tons of trees is unnecessary, because now, nothing needs to be written down on paper. It can just be published all over the world thru the Internet! He is a true, dead, Vatican Environmentalist, and unlike many others he actually deserves sainthood. You owe the Internet to him and his ceaseless intercession, and NOT to Al Gore, who just took credit for the Internet for purposes of getting your vote! Besides, “St. Al Gore, Patron Saint of the Internet,” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as St. Izzy de Seville! *For an original prayer to St. Izzy, to be said when your Internet Provider crashers, please send $5.00US to Jeannie Guzman at the address provided below. This prayer doesn’t contain any cuss-words. If you wish a degree in Theology, like mine, please send me two, high-fiber cereal box-tops and $10.00 for a Masters in Divinity or 12, high-fiber cereal box-tops and $20.00 for the terminal degree, the PhD in Divinity!
In the Inquisitions of the past and the Priest Pedophilia Scandal of the present, there were literally reams of notes taken by priests, and tons upon tons of paper used by priests called, “Note-takers,” many of whom were promoted to Inquisitors themselves. Today, “note-takers” aren’t promoted to Inquisitors as such, because today, the position of Note-taker and Inquisitor has merged. Now, the conscientious, note-taker-Inquisitor is promoted to esteemed positions and given title, honor and glory in the “Magisterium” of the Church, IF he keeps his mouth shut, helps the Church to “Avoid Scandal” and doesn’t report how the Church covers up for Her precious Pedopohile Priests.
The above facts were clearly evident in the case of Cardinal Sean Brady of Ireland, a self-proclaimed “Note-taker,” in the Church’s investigation of one of the most notorious Pedophile Priests of all times, Fr. Brendan Smyth. As a simple prelate, Father Sean Brady was promoted for his skill of “keeping quiet,” or “the Mafia Art of Omerta,” and not insisting that known pedophiles be turned over to the police or “Garda” as they are called in Ireland. He was promoted over and over again, until he reached “The Heighth of his Total Incompetence,” as Primate of ALL Ireland, now Cardinal Sean Brady!
Tens of thousands of boys and girls were molested, raped and sodomized in Church schools, work-houses, orphanages and Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, and as Primate of all Ireland, Brady should have called for investigations, years ago, but didn’t! It wasn’t as if he didn’t “know” about all of the Pedophile Priests in Ireland and the ones which were exported to the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia! He wasn’t living like a hermit or a troglodyte in cave! He was living like a Medieval Monarch or “Prince of the Church,” with access to the best computer money could buy and a data base of hundreds of Pedophile Priests and Pedophile members of religious orders like “The (Un)Christian Brothers!” (In fact it’s so bad, that if Al Gore were in the running for Primate of ALL Ireland, even though he didn’t “invent” the Internet, he’d probably be elected over Cardinal Sean Brady, and I don’t even know if Al Gore is a Catholic! In fact, I doubt if any one in Ireland would actually care! Sorry, Al, but you won’t get this job, either. Only the Pope has “the competence” to anoint a cardinal, like Cardinal Sean Brady! Now, that says a mouthful, doesn’t it?
Whether it was the “Note-takers” in the Inquisitions of the past, or the present-day “Note-takers” in today’s Priest Pedophilia Scandal, no criminal organization on earth, past or present, would have recorded, in minute detail, every word that came out of the mouths of their victims, with the exception of the Catholic Church. Think about it! The Mafia never did it. Not even the Communist did it! But the Roman Catholic Church did it during the trials of the Inquisitions and during Her “Internal Investigations,” in the present-day Priest Pedophilia Scandal! What was She trying to prove? Perhaps that She had “Justification” for Her “Crimes Against Humanity?” I don’t know. All I know is that it took a hell of a lot of paper and killed a hell of a lot of trees, but more importantly the Church “soul-raped” innocent children and condemned thousands of Christians and Jews to be burned at the stake for holding on to their religious convictions. For doing so, may She be directly answerable to the wrath of God Almighty! May the Church experience God’s “Dies Irae, Dies illa,” or “God’s Day of Judgment and Day of Wrath” for all eternity.
(The Requiem Mass, before Vatican II started out with the words “Dies Irae, Dies illa,” which always bothered me and frightened me as a child. As one is burying a loved one, they want to have the consolation of knowing that their loved one is at rest in Christ’s peace and love. The Church couldn’t even give us that. She had to frighten the hell out of us with visions of our loved one “burning in the flames” of a nonexistent place called, “Purgatory!” Of course, planting these satanically-spawned visions in the head of a grieving child or adult would make one want to buy “Masses for the Dead,” or simply leave the Church out of disgust. This, too, is a form of “Soul-rape” by the Church. First God takes our loved one, and then we are told that He sends them to a place of torture called, Purgatory! Instead of a God of Love, the Church presented the faithful only with a picture of a God of Wrath, and for this my sincere prayer is that the full wrath and vengeance of Almighty God will fall on Her, for All of Her Sins against Humanity, for all eternity!)
* When I speak of “The Church,” I want to make it clear that I am speaking of the Hierarchy of the Church, also known as the Magisterium. I am not including rank and file Catholics, my brothers and sisters in Christ, who love the Lord and who are trying to worship Him and practice their faith.