As we’ve heard from the news reports, Pope Benedict has spoken about the sexual abuse scandals and admitted that the situation has been handled badly. Boy, ain’t he right! The Holy Father also mentioned that he would work to keep pedophiles out of the priesthood. Well, those are hopeful words. At least we know the Pope is on board in trying to remedy the situation. Now it’s just a matter of convincing many of the bishops (and priests too) to listen to their Pope. We know that’s not always the case (Motu who? Gregorian, what was that, Ratz? Oh, by “Latin” you must be meaning “English” with a mambo beat – hit it, sister!). Relativism is so often applied to the Pope’s own mandates – ironic, isn’t it, considering that combating the R-word has been from the start of his papacy, one of Benedict’s major tasks. We experienced that with the Motu Proprio, as many of the American bishops and priests were utterly dumbfounded by the wording of the document and started immediately analyzing the thing for loop holes in order to slow its implementation. Only a few weeks ago I received an email from one of the Motu watch dogs in this diocese that outlined the particulars of the Latin verbiage and how it could be changed and adapted to fit the expectations of the fearful un-Latined red sashes. I was most intrigued how the Latin was contorted to conform to the nutty English rendition the committees were working from. To quote Orwell: “Pigs may not sleep in beds….with sheets”. Talk about reverse translation! That’s ok. It’s all relative, Holy Father. We all know you say one thing, but after we crank your words through our handy-dandy liturgist mill, why, you come out saying just what we want to hear! Ok. Enough of that. Back to business. Sex.
From the words I heard and read in the media, I got the notion that the Pope really did mean what he said. That’s certainly good news for those of us who are waiting for the other (Prada) shoe to drop in regards to the sex scandals. We’re really tired of hearing about the cover-up’s and the explaining-away’s. If the Holy Father really wants to clean house, and I believe he does, I would suggest he listen to some of the over-sexed sermons we faithful have to endure time and again. I’ve heard some sermons in my day that have left me so hot and bothered, desperately rummaging through my Dooney and Bourke for an estrogen tab because of all the depraved sex the priest was telling us about and which we must avoid – and which I’ve been missing out on. “Damn, this stuff is better than porn,” I’ve thought, crossing myself at the sermon’s final blessing. The guy said in his opening remarks he was going to turn up the heat, but I didn’t think he meant to give me hot flashes! Isn’t someone getting confused between the Gospels and the script of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”? Christ said, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock…”, not “Thou art a cock in frock on a rock.” In Baton Rouge, the Louisiana law-makers are discussing a bill that would call for castration of male second-time sex offenders. I like that idea. The fact that the matter is even being discussed sends a strong message of “enough is enough, already!”. Yeah, yeah, I know. Castration removes otherwise healthy organs, the removal of which would be considered sinful. Sinful? For just one example: I’m reminded of the Arizona priest who redefined the slang term “boom box” to mean “confessional”. Let’s retire Cole Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave” as the seminary alma mater. Let’s make the sermon time a time for instruction instead of a time for priestly window shopping and projection upon the congregation of secret sexual proclivity. So now we are faced with an ethical dilemma: is it more sinful for father to doink the crucifer before Mass, or for father to be relocated to the soprano section of the prison choir? I advocate castration and relocation over plying and denying.