Auditioning To Be The Next Universal Face of Apostasy
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Setting: Paul the Sick Audience Hall, State of Occupied Vatican.
The Event: Auditions to be the Next Universal Face of Apostasy.
8:00 a.m. Zen Meditation.
8:45 a.m. Male gymnasts.
9:30 a.m. Circus acts.
10:00 a.m. Rock concert. (Optional workshops on Zen meditation and massage therapy available. Breakout sessions after each.)
11:00 a.m. African Folk Dancing.
11:30 a.m. Outgoing Universal Public Face of Apostasy Performs a Medley of Liberace's Greatest Hits (sequined coat provided by Gammarelli's of Rome and candelabra provided courtesy of the Liberace Estate)
12:00 noon. Auditions Begin
4:30 p.m. Jim Nabors Sings "My Cup Runneth Over With Love."
Yesterday's Record of Proceedings:
Master of Ceremonies: "Step right up! Right this way, gentleman! Auditions are underway to be the next public face of apostasy. "Who wants to be first? Yes, is that Keith O'Brien? It is. Come this way, Keith, old boy, what do you have to say for yourself?"
Keith O'Brien: "My name is Keith O'Brien. I am from Edinburgh, Scotland. I am in favor of apostasy."
Master of Ceremonies: "Very good, Keith. You have memorized the first part of the Creed of Apostasy. Excellent. Ah, but what else do you have to say for yourself?"
Keith O'Brien: "I believe in blasphemy and sacrilege. I believe in the new ecclesiology, episcopal collegiality, ecumenism, religious liberty, separation of Church and State, diversity, tolerance, removing clerical celibacy as a norm in the West, especially for gay clergy such as me, evolutionism, feminism, statism, redistributionism, positivism, moral relativism, globalism, and every other part of our politically correct creed of apostasy."
Master of Ceremonies: "Well done, Keith, old boy. Superb. Now, can you provide a few newspaper clippings attesting to the positions you have stated above?"
Keith O'Brien (fumbles a bit and coughs): "I am afraid that I can't find anything that I brought with me. Can't you just take my word?"
Master of Ceremonies: "Well, Keith, old man, you were told to produce some evidentiary support for your unwavering commitment to apostasy. Perhaps the clerk here has something on file that he can read into the record."
Clerk: "Yes, Cardinal Master of Ceremonies. I have just been reading an article about Cardinal O'Brien in The New York Times.
Master of Ceremonies: "You mean you were reading that Cardinal O'Brien of Edinburgh, Scotland, while auditioning to be the next universal public face of apostasy?"
Clerk (sheepishly): "Well, Cardinal Master it is an interesting article. May I read it into the record?"
Master of Ceremonies: "All right, all right, if it is that interesting, I guess we should have it read into the record."
Keith O'Brien: "Objection! Objection! I object! That is a biased article. I quit. I resign." (Leaves in a huff.)
Master of Ceremonies (having looked at the article, shouting as Keith O'Brien walks out of the Paul the Sick Audience Hall): "We don't have any kind of objection to what you did, Keith, old boy. After all, there is a grand tradition of that here in the Occupy Vatican Moment, the Seat of Universal Apostasy. I mean, we did have "Blessed" Paul The Sick running around the Apostolic Palace. It's the fact that we're getting bad press right (Victim Of His Own Obliviousness) now. Awfully bad timing, old chap. Terribly sorry, you know. Oh well, let us proceed with the reading of the article nonetheless."
Clerk (clearing his voice): "Cardinal Master and all here present, here is a reading into the record of an article from yesterday's edition of The New York Times:
most senior Roman Catholic cleric announced his resignation on Monday, a
day after being accused of “inappropriate acts” with priests, saying he
would not attend the conclave to elect a new pope.
The cleric, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, said that he had submitted his resignation months ago, and that the Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI had accepted it on Feb. 18. However, the timing of the announcement — a
day after news reports of alleged abuse appeared in Britain — suggested
that the Vatican had encouraged the cardinal to stay away from the
“Everybody’s been struck by how quickly Rome responded,” said Austen
Ivereigh, director of the British church advocacy group Catholic Voices.
“Clearly Rome saw that there was sufficient substance to the
allegations. They would not have told him to stand down unless they
thought there was something worth investigating.”
The move leaves Britain without a voting cardinal in the conclave, and
is bound to raise questions about other cardinals. It comes amid a
campaign by some critics to urge Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles
not to attend the conclave because of his role in moving priests
accused of abuse to other parishes.
It also comes just days after the Vatican Secretariat of State issued a
harsh statement against recent news media reports, including ones
alleging a gay sex scandal inside the Vatican. It said that cardinals
should not be affected by external pressures when they vote for the next
pope. About 115 cardinals are expected to be at the gathering. Cardinal
Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former archbishop of Westminster, will
attend the meetings in Rome before the conclave, according to Mr.
Ivereigh, the cardinal’s former spokesman, but he is past the voting age
cutoff of 80 years.
Vatican watchers said that Cardinal O’Brien’s decision not to attend the conclave was rare.
“It’s quite unprecedented,” said Sandro Magister, a Vatican expert with
the Italian weekly L’Espresso. “He made it clear that his resignation
came under the pressure of the accusations. His certainly isn’t a
frequent case and hasn’t happened in conclaves in recent memory.”
On Monday, Benedict changed the laws governing the conclave to allow
cardinals to move up the start date before the traditional 15-to-20-day
waiting period after the papacy is vacant. He also met with three
cardinals who had conducted a secret investigation into a scandal over
leaked documents and ruled that the contents of their report would be
known only to his successor, not to the cardinals entering the conclave.
Cardinal O’Brien’s announcement came a day after The Observer reported that four men had made complaints to the pope’s diplomatic
representative in Britain, Antonio Mennini, the week before Pope
Benedict XVI announced on Feb. 11 that he would be stepping down as of Feb. 28.
The Observer said that the accusations, which dated back to the 1980s, had been forwarded to the Vatican.
Last week, Cardinal O’Brien drew different headlines, telling the BBC
that the next pope should consider abandoning the church’s insistence on
priestly celibacy, and suggesting that it might be time for the papal
conclave to choose a pontiff from Africa or Asia, where church
membership has been growing even as it has fallen across Europe and
On Monday, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, played
down the connection between the media reports and Cardinal O’Brien’s
resignation, which the pope accepted under a norm of church law that
says he had reached the normal retirement age of 75.
A statement issued
by the media office of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland said
Cardinal O’Brien had informed the pope some time ago of his intention to
resign as archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh as his 75th birthday
approached on March 17, but that no date had been set.
The cardinal said in the statement, “The Holy Father has now decided
that my resignation will take effect today, 25 February 2013.”
“Looking back over my years of ministry: For any good I have been able
to do, I thank God,” he said. “For any failures, I apologize to all whom
I have offended.”
“I also ask God’s blessing on my brother cardinals who will soon gather
in Rome,” the statement said, adding: “I will not join them for this
conclave in person. I do not wish media attention in Rome to be focused
on me — but rather on Pope Benedict XVI and on his successor.” (British "Cardinal"
Resigns; Accused of ‘Inappropriate Acts’.)
Master of Ceremonies: "Too bad for Keith. He's been a good apostate. Let's have a round of applause for his apostate courage!" (Pause for applause.) Thank you, fellow auditioners You are all delightfully good sports. One down, only one hundred sixteen left to go."
The master of ceremonies whispers off microphone to the clerk, "That blame idiot Mahony is not going to be here today, is he? Yes, yes, yes, he's just a superb apostate. He is, though, a bloomin' idiot to not get off the bloody stage." The clerk assures him that Roger Michael Mahony is not on the schedule for this day as the outgoing universal public face of apostasy's Liberace concert went on for ninety minutes after he stopped in between pieces to recall Has Urs von Balthasar as the the most cultured man of the Twentieth Century.
Master of Ceremonies: "Sorry for the brief delay. Keith's exit required me to consult with my clerk. We have time for two more auditioners in session today before we retire to the Borgo Pio to the spend the rest of the day stabbing each other in the back. Remember, we must enjoy ourselves. This may be Lent, but signs of outward penance belong to a different era in the history Church."
Master of Ceremonies: "Will the Clerk Monsignor please select the next auditioner as things have gotten out of hand."
Clerk: "Master Cardinal, we some levity right now. . . ."
Master of Ceremonies: "I couldn't agree more! Yes, select someone from the auditioners who his going to give us a lot of good, old-fashioned belly-laughs."
Clerk: "Will the Master Clown and Court Jester of our Apostate Show Under the Big Top in the Big Apple come forth."
Timothy Michael Dolan happily recognizes the description of himself and races to the stage to take the center place he loves so much.
Timothy Dolan: "Master Cardinal, how are ya, my friend. It's really great to be here. Ya now, I've spent a lot of time in Rome over the years. I feel as though this is my home."
Master of Ceremonies: "Good to see 'ya,' too, Timmy, my lad. Looks like you've gained a gram or two while here." (Laughter erupts in the Paul the Sick Audience Hall as the assorted apostates check e-mail and text messages.)
Timothy Dolan: "Gram or two! Come on, Master Cardinal, I'm a porker. I love to eat. La Dolce Vita!" (More laughter abounds in the hall as several apostates play the electronic game Apostate Jeopardy! on their iPhones.)
Master of Ceremonies: "That's enough out there. Keep the volume of Apostate Jeopardy down low as I am doing. Oh, proceed, Timmy. . . ." (cut off by Dolan)
Timothy Dolan: "Proceed I will. You bet. Let's cut to the chase here. I'm one of the best apostates around. I big and lovable (more laughter). I am a happy bishop (more laughter; Dolan turns more serious). No, no, no I am really a happy bishop. I love what I do. I kiss babies, I wear short sleeves and don construction helmets at construction sites. I have praised the Anti-Defamation League. I have tried to find a good accommodation for our Islamic friends in New York after all that controversy about their prayer center near the World Trade Center. I go to ecumenical meetings. I backslap with the best of 'em. I'm a guy, but don't worry about all of that, I've done my fair share of protecting clerical abusers, too. Back in Milwaukee, you know. I was kind to Rembert Weakland, permitting him to speak in our cathedral in Milwaukee, where he receiving a standing ovation back in January of 2009. I'm one of the best card carrying Americanists around, second to none, I will have you know. And the Jews, not only those in the ADL, love me. They love me. I'll be a another JP2! I really would. You want an apostate? You got your guy."
Master of Ceremonies: "You know that you would be a serious candidate to be our next universal public face of apostasy if you were not an American. We're not quite ready for that sort of thing around here quite yet."
Timothy Dolan: "Look, I'll give you the proof. See these articles here (a stack of articles totaling nearly one hundred fifty pages is presented to the cardinal master of ceremonies, including Timmy's In The Well (Of Americanism, That Is), Making Everyone Happy Except God, Unhappy Is The "Happy" "Bishop", Whatever You Want, Ominous Offenders Offending Ominously, Memo To David Axelrod And Other Social Engineers, John Carroll's Caesar, Victims of Compromise, Taking A Figure Of Antichrist At His Worthless Words, Prisoners Of Their Own Apostasy, Timothy Dolan, Meet Timothy Dolan (And Friends), Still Celebrating Half A Century Of Apostasy, Candidate For Man Of The Year?, From John Carroll To James Gibbons To Timothy Dolan, To Help The Children, Fake, Phony, Sanctimonious Fraud, Happy As A Stuffed Clam With Himself, Impossible To Fight Moral Evils With Blasphemy And Error, Still Trying to Make Everyone Happy Except God Himself, Just Another Ordinary Outrage Permitted by a Conciliar "Ordinary" and Forty Years of Emboldening, Appeasing, and Enabling Killers, part two.)"
Master of Ceremonies: All well and good, Timmy. But you were called up here out of turn to entertain us. . . ."
Timothy Dolan: "But I thought Benedict did that a short while ago when he gave us that Liberace concert and symposium on Hans Urs von Balthasar."
Master of Ceremonies: "I am still blinded by the light glistening off the sequins that our outgoing universal public face of apostasy wore so stunningly. I am still having difficulty seeing as a result. Anyhow, our jolly round fellow, we want you to entertain us. But on that yarmulke that you swapped your zucchetto for with the Jewish boy in New York recently. That's what we want to see. Some fun, some levity, some mirth, Timmy. You're good with this kind of thing. Look, you had a great routine at the Al Smith Dinner four months ago. Something like that, my boy."
Timothy Dolan: "Hey, I think that I can advance my audition and at the same time entertain you. I got the yarmulke right in my pocket. Let me put it. That'll show our Jewish friends that this apostate faith is one that can continue to receive their approval and support. (Dolan takes off his scarlet red zucchetto, replacing with the yarmulke). Look, it still fits! Look at this." (Thunderous applause erupts and chants of Dolan! Dolan! Dolan! begin spontaneously.)
Timothy Dolan: "I think I'm back in this game. Do you agree, master cardinal?"
Master of Ceremonies: "You could be right. I grant you that. You have a point. Well, go ahead, produce a bit of evidence in addition to the pile of junk from you just submitted that more than amply proves your qualifications as an apostate?
Timothy Dolan: "Got just the thing the doctor ordered. Hey, take a look at this:
Pass the hat, please.
It was a truly religious experience for
bar-mitzvah boy Jacob Feit Mann when he and Timothy Cardinal Dolan
swapped skullcaps — one black and the other red — yesterday at an Upper
West Side synagogue.
“I was just, like, ‘Wow! I’d better not lose this one!’ ” said the exuberant youth.
was sitting with his parents in the front row of the Lincoln Square
Synagogue, where Dolan had been invited to speak on relations between
Catholics and Jews.
But before Dolan spoke, Jacob read from the Jewish religious texts, as is tradition at a bar mitzvah.
G.N.Miller/New York Post
JACOB FEIT MANN Today this colorful boy is a man.
G.N.Miller/New York Post
TIMOTHY CARDINAL DOLAN Visiting synagogue yesterday.
After he stepped down, he went up to the cardinal and asked if they could switch kippahs —the Hebrew word for yarmulke — his black one for his eminence’s traditional red zucchetto.
Dolan replied, mischievously, “I think that might happen.”
the cardinal addressed the congregation, Jacob said, “He called me over
while he was speaking, and we switched skullcaps. That was fun.
“I thought it was really cool. I think I probably had the coolest bar mitzvah in my class.”
After swapping caps, Dolan kept Jacob’s yarmulke on throughout the rest of the service.
Dolan asked Jacob to autograph his, but the boy said he couldn’t because writing is forbidden on the Sabbath.
Dolan quipped it was OK for him because “it’s not my Sabbath until tomorrow.”
Dolan signed the inside of his red cap: “To Jacob, Tim. Cardinal Dolan 23/2/13.”
“When we switched, I asked if he wanted my clips [to secure the yarmulke],” Jacob recalled.
But the receding-haired cardinal “said he didn’t think he would be needing them.”
dad, Jordan Mann, added, “This is about the most exciting thing to
happen in a bar mitzvah in 500 years. I was happy Jacob could have this
His mother, Alison Feit, joked, “He no longer needs a topic for his college essay.”
Shaul Robinson quipped that Jacob and Dolan might meet in the future as
world religious leaders — Jacob as chief rabbi of Israel and Dolan as
the newest pope.
“Jake has a much better chance of becoming chief rabbi than I do of becoming pope,” Dolan said drolly.
the end of the ceremony, the cardinal wanted to return Jacob’s yarmulke but was asked instead to take it with him to Rome to vote for a new
pope next month.
“I guess it makes me feel kind of important. I think it’s awesome,” said the barmitzvah boy.
seems like a really great guy. I know he’ll make a great decision. I
hope maybe he thinks of me when he’s there and remembers that his
decision affects everyone, including Jacob Feit Mann.” (Dolan swaps caps with bar-mitzvah boy.)
Master of Ceremonies (after reading the article): "Well done, fellow Brother Apostate Dolan. I think we should all take out our memorial Raccoon Lodge caps and salute this masterful act of apostasy and obeisance to our masters, I mean, of course, our friends of the faith of Israel. (Apostates take out their raccoon hats and salute Timothy Dolan with raucous applause worthy of Brother Kramden and Brother Norton). Well done! Mazel Tov. Well done! You're in the running after all.
Timothy Dolan: "Thanks, master cardinal and Brother Apostate. Thanks a lot. Anything else."
Master of Ceremonies: "Not unless you can produce the Cheesehead Mitre. We want levity, Tim, levity. The master clerk wants to bring up Christoph Schonborn next, and he's not as entertaining as you are unless he's presiding over a clown liturgy."
Timothy Dolan: "Gotcha. I've it here. I can also put on the baseball caps of the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, the NYPD and FDNY." See? (Dolan sports each of the caps with great approval as an unidentifiable African cardinal demands to be heard).
African Cardinal: "Brother Apostate Dolan, you have done your cause well here. Your country is making great strides. Great strides indeed. A black president and now, quite amazingly, a black man is going to play Ironside. There could be an American apostate pope after all. Quite possible."
Timothy Dolan: "I got a few beefs with President Obama. He's a good guy, though, a really, really good guy. He's a lot of fun. I enjoy being around him. As for a black Ironside, though, I'm a big fan of Raymond Burr. He's the only Ironside. Nobody else. Actually, I'm kind of disappointed about the casting. I mean, look at me. I've got the girth to do an Ironside remake, don't I?" (Thunderous applause and shouts of Dolan! Dolan! Dolan! break out again.)
Master of Ceremonies. "There is no need to proceed further today. Anything else would be boring. Absolutely boring. Tell Christoph Schonborn he's got time go to Austria to get a massage from those Cistercian nuns of his. Well, I think that we have made some headway today. Actually, it does not make any difference which one of us chosen apostates gets to be the new universal public face of apostasy as each of us, my brother apostates, is what?"
Cardinals in Unison: "Apostates! Apostates! Apostates!"
Master of Ceremonies: "And what are we going to promote?"
Cardinals in Unison: "Apostasy! Apostasy! Apostasy!"
Master of Ceremonies: "I think we should adjourn for today. We are united as one in the new ecclesiology, the hermeneutic of continuity, the liturgical renewal, episcopal collegiality, ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue inter-religious prayer services, obeisance to our Talmudic masters, religious liberty, separation of Church and State, explicit classroom instruction in matters pertaining to the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, evolutionism, feminism, gay pride and all around doctrinal and moral relativism."
Master of Ceremonies: "Clerk! Please call for a motion to adjourn the proceedings for today. . . .
A voice calls out to be recognized. It belongs to William Levada (see, among many others,
Anathematized by His Own Words, No Need to be in Limbo Any Longer, Piracy, Conciliar Style, Red Carpet For A Modernist, Words Really Do Matter, Short And To The Catholic Point, and Surely He Jests), the retired prefect of the conciliar Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and former conciliar "archbishop" of Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco, California.
William Levada: "Master Cardinal! Master Cardinal! I demand to be recognize. Please, I have an urgent matter of social justice to bring to the attention of my brother apostates."
Master of Ceremonies: "It's Wild Bill Levada. What you want, Bill? What's your issue of social justice. We want to the Borgo Pio to get our bowls and bowls of pasta as we stab each other in the back after all of this delightful mirth and merriment. What do you want?"
William Levada: "Master Cardinal. There is a move afoot to bar our brother apostate, a man who is surpassed in apostasy, sacrilege and betrayal only by our beloved outgoing universal public face of apostasy who just gave us that Liberace concert and Von Balthasar symposium, from voting in our upcoming soiree for Liberace's, I mean, Benedict's successor from among our very ranks. The brother apostate of whom I speak is none other than Roger Michael Mahony, my friend, my fellow promoter of the gay agenda, a man who is, along with George "I love Brokeback Mountain" Niederauer and Tod Brown, among my very closest friends on this earth. He is a cardinal. It it is not right to bar him from voting for protector our abusers as we have all done the same thing. Are we going to bar ourselves? Roger Mahony must vote! This is a matter of social justice, of human rights, of dignity, of tolerance and diversity. I demand it."
Master of Ceremonies: "Calm down, Bill. Calm down. We've been through this earlier with Brother Apostate Keith O'Brien. The timing is terrible. And think of all that bad press. We do want to give a good public face to our apostasy as we choose its next universal public face."
William Levada: "No, a thousand times no. Think of how this man who has done so much for immigrant rights and social justice and universal health care and the increased power of the state and the erection of the Taj Mahony on the Hollywood Freeway and the protection he has given pro-abortion politicians and to the New Age Movement and the Los Angeles Education Congress and to gays, lesbians, transgender, transvestite, transspecies friends. Think of this. We will offend the LGBT community. This will be our Stonewall. No! Social justice for Roger Mahony. We must remember that there is a difference between being a clerical abuser and being gay. Gay is of God. 'By nature homosexuality is a not a predatory activity, it is an activity that the Catholic church does not condone. By
contrast, he said pedophile priests are violating the sanctity and
purity of young people" (this last part is adapted from Levada says fellow apostate Mahony should help elect new pope). Enough! Enough!" (A few brother apostates have committed conciliar apostasy by looking up Levada in the e-book section of Mrs. Randy Engel's Rite of Sodomy to see if he is really a big a protector of perverted clergymen as they have been, startled when they find the opposite of what Levada claimed about the nature of "gay love.")
Master of Ceremonies: "Bill, are you through? It's time to have our pasta and beer and wine and start stabbing each other in the back. This has taken long enough."
William Levada: "I make my final plea in Roger Michael Mahony's behalf. He's sent me money to pay for all the pasta and beer and wine in the Borgo Pio."
Master of Ceremonies: (pausing) Well, in that case, what's a little bad press among brother apostates. No, if there are not further objections. . . ."
William Levada: "I have an objection. . . ."
Master of Ceremonies: "But Bill. . . ."
William Levada: "Hear me out. I think that we must show a sign of respect for our gay brothers and sisters and for the oppressed in the world. We must show a public face of unity in the midst of diversity to rectify our past wrongs to Jews and Muslims and Protestants and women and gays. We must show the 'new blacks,' gays, that we are one with them in the cause of social justice that has motivated Roger Mahony's entire life work. I have brought with me from California a well-known actor and singer to unite us in song. Please let me introduce Mr. Jim Nabors."
Jim Nabors: "Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Lookin' at you fellas I sure do get a feelin' of bein' right at home. . . ."
Master of Ceremonies: "How was your honeymoon, Jim?"
Jim Nabors: "Go-l-ly, Master Cardinal. News sure does get around, doesn't it? Well, all I can say is that Stan is great guy. We're very happy."
Master of Ceremonies: "We're very happy for you, Jim, but we are also very tired and hungry. What are you going to sing for us before we depart to eat pasta, get drunk and stab each other in the back?"
Jim Nabors: Well, to summarize the mood here and your devotion to the causes that are nearest to my Baptist heart and to my recent nuptials, I'd like to sing "My Cup Runneth Over With Love."
The cardinals signify their approval by shouting, "Gol-l-ly!" repeatedly.
Program ends at 4:30 p.m., Rome time, as the apostates walk arm-in-arm and as their aide carry the knives in their attache cases.
Oh, just an afterword here.
Although this is satire and farce, it is not more farcical than believing that the apostates who are gathering now in Rome are anything other than apostates and that the man they "elect" will be anything other than an apostate.
Keep praying your Rosaries.
Give all of the difficulties of the moment to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We are in Lent. Suffer well. Suffer well for Christ the King as His consecrated slaves through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
(I am going to sleep. I am defiance of my neurologist's early-to-bed order once again as I was last night after trying, unsuccessfully, for about six hours to upload a video to You Tube. Penance is better than ever in 2013! Deo gratias!)