View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, June 06, 2005

And the winner is....

A number of American Catholics are agitating for democracy in the Church.

(All right, some American Catholics I know are agitating.)

They can’t just settle for the European model of ignoring the rules when they’re inconvenient.

Of course, if there was a vote in the Universal Church, I suspect democracy would be voted down.

Darn that non-American Catholic majority.

But let’s say that somehow the Holy Spirit intervened and the Church did become a democracy.

The possibilities are endless.

We could vote on which commandments to retain. (The second is hard to keep anyway, and those coveting ones aren’t really necessary – as long as we keep our hands to ourselves.)

We could vote on bothersome moral issues. (It’s not really a sin if we love each other.)

We could pick our own parish priests. (Imagine the campaign promises: SHORTER SERMONS. BETTER TASTING ALTAR WINE. MORE CLOWN MASSES.)

But for my bingo money, best of all would be picking saints.

No more of those long investigations and miracle requirements.

Oh, we’d have to have some standards. Instead of a simple majority, maybe the saint would need to get 60 percent. Sort of like Congress and filibusters.

We also should grandfather the current saints, even if some of them never existed or got canonized because they had the right earthly connections.

There might be some universal saints such as Pope John Paul II or Mother Teresa. Even Protestants seem to like them.

But we should also allow nations or ethnic groups to elect saints of their own.

After all, what do Americans know about St. Sava (of Serbia), St. Paul Miki (of Japan), St. Paphnutius (of Egypt) or St. Gleb (of Russia)?

In the US, we’ve got some folks who might get in for religious reasons, like Dorothy Day.

But with the vote, we could get in some really interesting saints.

How about St. John Kennedy? (Okay, maybe Robert instead. He was a martyr, too, and those 11 kids suggest he followed at least one Church teaching.)

Or St. Ethel Kennedy (those 11 kids)?

Or St. Bing Crosby (he played great priests)?

Or St. Bela Lugosi (he knew a thing or two about rising from the dead)?

Moreover, we could decide not to limit ourselves to the dead. Some folks have already all but canonized Mel Gibson.

This would also be a way to bring back popular saints who got the boot because they didn’t exist, like St. Christopher.

We could even create some reality shows for EWTN. “Saint Search.” “The Really Great Race.” “American Saint.” “Extreme Holy Makeover.”

The shows could feature all sorts of contests. Dressing like a saint. Staging a miracle. Converting the most sinners.

And in the end, we could have a Donald-Trump-like figure (Mother Angelica?) pronouncing, “You’re canonized!”

As for me, there are a few saintly folks whose campaigns I’d volunteer with.

Day, Peter Maurin, Bishop Dennis Hickey, for example.

Then there’s Barb D.

Barb and I went to Catholic school together.

In junior high at St. Stephen’s School, she “blossomed” before any of the other girls.

And she blossomed magnificently.

Talk about persecution. She had to put up with looks, comments, jokes, passed notes, and drawings on the backboard that made the nuns blush.

The only thing worse than a junior high boy around a pretty girl is a politician around potential donors.

I don’t know if Barb was particularly holy, but she always seemed to be a nice person. At least she always treated me kindly, even after my acne kicked in.

And she certainly inspired prayers in a lot of junior high boys.

Heck, if Dante can canonize Beatrice, I’m going to push for Barb.


Blogger John B. said...

In my entire Catholic education by nuns, I never saw a nun blush. Usually punishment was handed out in such cases...


10:26 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

They were anonymous. Nobody's hands to rap with a ruler! - Lee

7:21 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home