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.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Pope Speaks (Israeli Edit)

(If the Pope spoke as some of his Israeli/Jewish critics apparently think he should speak.)

In the predawn hours in the Vatican apartments, Pope Benedict's secretary, Father Shultz, knocks on the doors to the pontiff's bedroom and enters.

"Holy Father?" he says cheerfully. "Good morning. It's 5:30."

"Mmm. Ah." the pope mumbles. "As a member of the German race that slaughtered six million Jews in the concentration camps and now needs forgiveness, good morning."

"The papal kitchens will have coffee and oatmeal ready after Mass. Father X and several members of the staff will meet you in the chapel for the Mass."

The Pope stands up, stretches and looks out the window at the twinkling lights of Rome. He suddenly falls to his knees and bangs his head on the floor.

"Six million Jews can not enjoy the beauty of this morning because the Nazis murdered them in the camps, but this unworthy reluctant member of the Hitler Youth who will go to the chapel to say Mass and beg forgiveness of the God of Israel, says thank you," he laments as he forcefully slaps his cheek several times.

"Very good, you holiness. Oh, and Cardinal X asked me to tell you the final report on your visit to the Holy Land is ready."

The Pope picks up a knotted cord from his night table and begins to scourge himself vigorously, saying as he does so, "This abject representative of the Church that did not speak loudly enough and save more Jews from the murders perpetrated on six million members of God's Chosen People by the Nazis in concentration camps while the world turn its head will look over that report after breakfast so that he will see if he was sufficiently contrite and must make further atonement for the sins of his Church and his people."

"Speaking of that," Father Shultz says brightly, "some representatives of Native American groups from the United States have asked for an audience so they can reprimand you for not apologizing enough for the Spanish missions. They brought along clubs and tomahawks so you can walk a gauntlet in retribution."



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