Please read today’s archbishop-penned missive to the Catholic faithful (link found at the bottom of this page) so that what follows appears ironic and mildly humorous.
GAY PEOPLE’S CONFERENCE
A LETTER ON CATHOLICISM
(to be read to the gay faithful wherever they may be on Sunday. Probably IKEA)
10/11 March 2012
A Letter on Catholicism from Me (a gay man who is not President or Vice-President of anything but who lives in England and has been to Wales. Twice)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Gayness,
The Catholic Church will this weekend bring out its very highest horse (it has several), mount it and tell its faithful followers that the sacred institution of marriage should not be open to the gays.
Today I want to put before you my vision of Catholicism and the light it casts on the importance of religion for our society today.
The roots of the institution of the Catholic church lie in the Bible, a best-selling book written some two to three thousand years ago in the Middle East. Begun by Peter (AKA The Rock), a close follower of Jesus ‘The Son of God’ Christ, the Catholic church has been based in Rome for donkeys years and is run by Peter’s quasi-descendants, the Popes. There have been 265 popes, with Pope Benedict XVI being the latest incumbent. All Popes are chosen by God and, upon being chosen, cease to be normal human beings and immediately gain super-powers, including the power to elevate dead people to sainthood (beatification) and the power to do no wrong (infallibility, when speaking ex cathedra). Popes are often beyond pension age when chosen. This is so they can fully appreciate the official mode of papal transport, the pope mobile, a sort of bullet-proof old people’s mobility scooter.
The day-to-day business of the Catholic church (performing masses, hearing confessions, condemning people it doesn’t like) is carried out by archbishops, bishops and priests. Priests are like vicars, pastors, rabbis and imams, but Catholic. Each priest is responsible for a church, some for more than one. All priests are men, or are legally registered as such. Women are not allowed to become priests because they are inferior and because they are likely to be too nice to people the Catholic church does not like. Priests are not allowed to get married, and, consequently, are not allowed to have sex. This is called celibacy and all priests agree to remain celibate when they begin the job. This means that the majority of Catholic priests in the world have never been in a romantic relationship of any kind and have never had sex. This is absolutely fine, however, because all Catholic priests are married to the Church and, consequently, have no sexual desires or urges, which, if constantly repressed in non-priestly people like us, would cause lasting psychological and emotional harm. Despite not being allowed to marry or have sexual relations, priests and the Catholic church are in charge of marriage. The Catholic church decides who is and who isn’t allowed to marry (definitely not gays, a bit iffy for divorcees) and celibate, never-to-be-allowed-to-be-married-themselves Catholic priests perform the ceremonies (although they sometimes franchise these ceremonies out to other Christian denominations and world religions, and, in worst case scenarios, the State).
Bishops are like priests, only closer to God and with fancier dresses. They have two main jobs: to write letters about people the Church does not like and to cover up bad things done by priests. Like the Popes, they are also often quite old, but, unlike the Pontiff, they don’t get a company car. Arch
bishops are normal bishops who display a tendency to be playfully roguish or mischievous
The Catholic church is big on venerating old stuff that once had something to do with Jesus ‘The Son of God’ Christ or people who were closer to him than ordinary folk (saints). Consequently, the Catholic church has collected a number of crosses on which JC was crucified, but they are kept as tiny fragments of wood in sealed boxes all over the world so as to allow as many people as possible to benefit from their mystical powers. Stuff that belonged to some famous, dead Catholics or ‘saints’ (their heads, other body parts, socks) are also highly venerated, and every altar on which Mass is performed must contain something old that belonged to a beatified Catholic. It is important to note that these objects are venerated and not worshipped, as that would be idol worship, which is expressly forbidden by the Bible (along with treating others as second class citizens, believing yourself to be infallible and light-cream chinos).
The Catholic church firmly believes that marriage is a sacred institution and that, because, historically, it has always been exclusively between men and women, it can never change. The Catholic church is not big on change; it is still catching up to the idea that the condom (an invention at least 2000 years old) can be quite useful. The Catholic church believes that God instigated the institution of marriage and that, consequently, gays and lesbians are not allowed to partake in it. This presupposes that God dislikes gays and lesbians and wishes them to live second-class lives, clothed in feelings of inferiority and guilt, two feelings that the Catholic church is keen for pretty much everyone in the world to experience pretty much all of the time.
The Catholic church believes that changing the legal definition of marriage would be a radical step towards equality, something it is not at all keen on. It believes that opening up marriage to gays and lesbians would reduce the act to “just the commitment of the two people involved”, which, although seemingly, to most clear-thinking humans, a very logical basis for a marriage, is not acceptable, because the Catholic church says so.
Some claim the Catholic church is out-of-touch and full of weird beliefs and practices that do not sit right in our modern world, and that, as an employer that forces practically its entire workforce to remain celibate and unmarried for life, it has no place pontificating on what is right and wrong in the field of marriage – I’ll leave you to make your mind up about that.
But, gay brothers and sisters, let me leave you with this: we have a duty to gay people today, and to those who come after us, to do all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage – commitment, love and equality – is not kept from future gay-nerations (see what I did there?).
With every gay blessing.
Most Unreverend R
Gay man of London
N.B. There are many Catholics who believe that gays and lesbians are nice people and should be allowed to marry. Thanks for your support.