Pope Makes Historic Ecumenical Bid to Woo Eastern Rite Catholics

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Rome (AP). His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has made a historic ecumenical bid to woo Eastern Rite Catholics and stop treating them as second class citizens. Eastern Rite Catholics are essentially Eastern Orthodox Christians who were received into full communion with the Catholic Church under an an agreement intended to let them to preserve their Orthodox liturgy and faith. In the centuries since this historic agreement, Eastern Rite Catholics have found themselves not exactly treated as first-class citizens by the Roman Catholic Church.

In the nineteenth century, the Eastern Rite Catholic priest Alexis Toth entered the U.S. and found that Archbishop Ireland rejected him as a Catholic, not recognizing his Orthodox rite nor even recognizing him or his bishop as clergy, but demanding Roman behavior and Roman rites, nor accepting that Toth quoted chapter and verse demonstrating that he was allowed to continue his traditional practices as an Eastern Rite Catholic priest. Alexis Toth, regarded today as a saint by the Orthodox Church, was a leader among those moving from being treated as second-class citizens by Rome to come home to the Orthodox Church.

Today, Eastern Rite Catholics enjoy somewhat better treatment, but it is a matter of some debate how much better today’s treatment really is. In Rome, priests are basically required to be celibate; in Orthodoxy, prospective priests are usually expected to be married before they are ordained to the priesthood, and Rome respects this by allowing married Eastern Rite Catholics to be ordained priests. However, given the state of U.S. Catholic church politics, Rome is very reluctant to let married men be ordained priest on U.S. soil: Eastern Rite Catholic bishops from the U.S. may only ordain married men to the priesthood if they have special, case-by-case permission to ordain that particular man, and this is actually an improvement: not long ago, Eastern Rite Catholics had to be flown be flown to another continent entirely if married men were to be ordained to the priesthood. This is how Rome allows Eastern Rite Catholics to preserve their Orthodox tradition and practices. (Rumor has it this is not the only rough point of how Rome treats its Eastern Rite Catholics today.)

But the Pope is very keen on restoring communion and seeing that all Eastern Orthodox become Eastern Rite Catholics, or rather restore communion with Rome, if that is really any different. Now that Anglicans have been offered full communion with Rome while keeping a great deal of their liturgy and faith, the Pope is now tackling the ambitious task of allowing Eastern Rite Catholics to keep their liturgy and faith as first-class members within the Roman communion. Some sources suggest the move may be intended to ease Eastern Orthodox apprehensions about being under papal authority implied in restoring communion with Rome.

At present, details remain sketchy about how the Pope intends to improve Eastern Rite Catholics’ standing. Perhaps only time will tell what it is like to be in full communion with Rome while preserving your tradition’s liturgy and faith.

Today, Florida Orange Juice. Tomorrow…

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Unvera Announces New Kool-Aid Line

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Unvera has announced a new line of poison Kool-Aid supplements intended to bring its distributors unique extracts of the most powerful plant toxins available to its research.

“So what makes your offering different from other MLM’s?” our reporter asked. “Relational marketing,” the Unvera distributor insisted, “Unvera puts things in the most flattering terms possible. We have a team approach that really sets us apart. And with us, you’re not just a cog in the wheel fueling profits for Unvera. You are the Jim Jones of your own cult, as we repeatedly insist, and we teach you to talk about “my cult”. You have the privilege to choose just what you want your cult‘s very own cult-ure to be. And we will push you along every step of the way unless you have excellent boundaries and know how to say ‘No’ and put your foot down. At Unvera, we are your religion!”

The reported asked, “I’ve heard your nutriceutical supplements are really something. But are the health effects worth a putting yourself in the hands of a pushy MLM, even with your new line of Kool-Aid?”

The Unvera distributor said, “At Unvera, we believe strongly in having multiple trickles of income, and it’s good financial sense. If you are good at sales, good enough that you can get a regular job, we’re talking three figures, maybe four. Do you have time for a quick online presentation tonight? I’d love to recruit you for my cult. And here, have a sample of our Kool-Aid!”

The reporter said, “There is an old mandate in the business world, ‘Revenue must exceed expenses’ and it seems that your multi-level marketing system is like most multi-level marketing jobs: it makes its money from its ‘distributors’ and is designed so that revenue exceeds expenses for the company and not for its, um, ‘sales’ distributors.”

The Unvera distributor said, “But you could be, just like every other Unvera distributor, the Jim Jones of your own cult.”

Our reporter said, “But I don’t want to be the Jim Jones of my own cult!”

The distributor’s jaw dropped, flabbergasted.

Jobs for Theologians

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HAFD University
Consolidated Department of Theology and Geology

Is looking for adjunct professors. The ideal candidate will possess excellent written and oral communication skills, have a strong teaching record, be flexible, and be open to exploring the relationship between igneous, sedimentary, and metapmorphic rocks as compared to faith, hope, and love as theological virtues.

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Is looking for a full-time tenure track professor with interest in the high middle ages and theology from an elfin perspective; the ideal candidate will be fluent in relevant languages including Elvish, be able to convey what exactly the refinement of elfin culture means in theological discourse, and be comfortable lecturing outdoors under moonlight while wearing chainmail.

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Office of Internet Degrees

Is looking for adjunct professors and is scraping the bottom of the barrel. The ideal candidate will have an independent stream of income, a first-class PhD, and be excited to have a dead-end job while doing other people’s gruntwork.

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HAFD University
Office of Ecumenical Relations

Is looking for theologians willing to study the Archdruid of Canterbury. The ideal candidate will have a thorough grounding in the classic Christian tradition as expressed in the Anglican branch of the Church in dialogue and synthesis with contemporary expressions of bardic and druidic lore.

If interested, please fax CV along with letter of application and a sprig of mistletoe to (888) 555-1212 or visit our website at http://hafd.edu.


HAFD University
Office of Newer Classics’ Translations

Is looking for a scholar to produce a fresh translation of Einfuhrung das Christentum, a foundational Grundkurs by the Rev. Dr. Karl Rahner, SJ.

The ideal candidate will hold PhDs in disciplines including but not limited to Systematic Theology, Philosophy with attention to philosophical logic and philosophy of science, German, English, Linguistics, Cognitive Science/Psychology with analogies drawn from Human-Computer Interaction, Education, and A Partridge in a Pear Tree; and will have done prior work making translations of Rahner into English that do not leave the reader wishing for further English translation.

If interested, please fax CV along with letter of application to (888) 555-1212 or visit our website at http://hafd.edu.

Inclusive Language Greek Manuscript Discovered

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Buy Knights and Ladies, Women and Men on Amazon.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — There is a considerable buzz among New Testament scholars over the discovery of a near-complete Greek manuscript to the book of the Bible called Romans. The manuscript is similar to others, but is the first known manuscript to mirror the Today’s New International Version (TNIV) in its use of inclusive language.

There is a wide consensus among both conservative and liberal scholars that most Greek manuscripts use grammatically masculine words where the original author meant to include women as fully as men. This manuscript, referred to by scholars as R221819, is similar to other such manuscripts but uses inclusive language where applicable.

A portion of R221819, containing Romans 8:14-15...E ZHSESQE OSA GAR PNEUMATI QEOU AGONTAI TAUTA TEKNA QEOU ESTIN OU GAR ELABETE PNEUMA DOULEIAS PALIN EIS FOBON ALLA ELABETE PNEUMA TEKNOQEISAS EN W KRAZOMEN ABBA O PATHR AUT...

The book of Romans was first written in Greek and is considered foundational in its treatment of what it means to be a Christian. Chapter eight is well-known among people who read the Bible; its fourteenth and fifteenth verses are shown above. Huioi (“sons”) in verse 14 is replaced by a more inclusive tekna (“children”), and various word forms are adapted to a gender-neutral spelling. R221819 is thought to reflect the TNIV’s distinguishing features with considerable accuracy.

Kenneth Barker, one of the leading scholars involved with the TNIV, said, “I don’t think this is quite as big of a deal as people make. It’s just a minor change, like other textual variations, and simply clarifies the author’s intent.” He disclaims any greater significance to the discovery.

The progressive element of Christians for Biblical Equality has been jubilant. One scholar said, “This is a very important step in the right direction. I look forward to when a manuscript is found where the patriarchal Theos is replaced by the more neutral Theon. It really only means changing a couple of the case endings plus the spelling of the word that means ‘God.’ Theon would remain in the second declension. It is just a small change, but it would help Christians reach out effectively to those on the margins of society.” After all, if one clarification helps, why not another?

Your Fast Track to Becoming a Bishop!

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Dear Valued Orthodox;

Have you ever thought about being a bishop? Have you thought how special that office would be?

Have you thought it was beyond you?

It doesn’t need to be. Being a bishop is very easy, if only you know how.

How is it possible? Well, really, there’s a method that’s right at your fingertips. And it’s almost two thousand years old.

Jesus didn’t start out with a Church under him. What he did instead was start with twelve disciples, who in turn discipled others. When he set the ball in motion, it grew and grew and grew.

Would you like to be a bishop? Let me explain how it’s done. Then you’ll see how many people you can have under you. All you have to do is edit the following list, then send it out to twelve people and the contact person at the bottom of the list. That’s it! See, you have a list:


Write your name and email in the slot immediately above your rank, pushing others down to make room. For instance, if you’re a layman, you put your name in the ‘reader’ slot, push everyone down, making the ‘bishop’ the ‘contact bishop’ below the list.

Then send the updated list to the new contact bishop, who will make arrangements for tonsures, ordinations, and consecrations.

Reader: Lawrence Town, lite@fastmail.fm
Subdeacon: Sdn. John Clough, jfc92847@aol.com
Deacon: Fr. Dn. John Cloud, john@johncloud.com
Priest: Fr. Andrew Costello, costello@pobox.com
Bishop: His Grace ANTHYMUS, anthymus@auth.gr

Contact Bishop (for tonsures/ordinations/consecrations): THOMAS, orthodoxthomas@x.com

Needs monastic tonsure (check one): [ ] Yes / [ ] No.


That’s it! What happens now is that you will have twelve people below you, and if each of them has twelve people below them, then the number of people will shoot up, growing at a geometric rate like an intelligent computer in a bad science fiction movie! Just look at this chart, if you’re a layman now, and I say now, because you don’t need to be a layman for long!

Your Rank Followers
Reader 12
Subdeacon 156
Deacon 1,884
Priest 22,620
Bishop 271,452

That’s more than a quarter of a million followers when you’re a bishop! And best of all, the opportunity doesn’t stop there. As your own followers become deacons and then priests, you become an archbishop and a metropolitan. The sky is the limit!

It really works! I was a layman who found out this opportunity only three weeks ago, and now I’m His All Holiness THOMAS, The Patriarch of Xanadu! Think about it! All you have to do is a little editing, and then forward this email! Can you afford to wait?

Do it now!

Cordially Yours,
X His Holiness THOMAS, the Patriarch of Xanadu

A Fully Functional Windows 95 Emulator That Runs Right in Your Browser

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As the author, I have been told I have a very subtle sense of humor.

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A Customer Experience Survey

We are presently conducting a survey to see how we can improve our services. This survey should only take five minutes to complete and is meant to help us improve your experience. You are some of our best clientele, and our entire line of business is built on customers like you.

1: How many times have you been thrown into a dumpster?
0-99
100-999
1000-9999
10000-99999
I throw myself in the dumpster every time I have the chance.

2: How long has it been since you were last thrown into a dumpster?
A few days.
Several hours.
A few minutes.
I just got out of a dumpster.
I’m still in the dumpster.

3: Roughly how many cubic feet of space were in the last dumpster you were thrown into?
20
200
500
1000
The dumpster had room for several dumpsters.

4: We are experimenting with special tourist packages. Which of the following cities would you most like to visit as a dumpster tourist?
Beijing
Cairo
Mexico City
New York City
Paris

Please answer the following four questions on a scale of 1 (worst) to 5 (best).

5: How would you rate the quality of the rubbish or other dumpster contents you were thrown into?
1
2
3
4
5

6: How would you rate the surprise factor when you were being taken to the dumpster?
1
2
3
4
5

7: How would you overall rate your last dumpster experience(s)?
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5

8: How would you overall rate your satisfaction regarding dumpsters?
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9: Do you have any suggestions for how we might improve our dumpsters and services?

10: Do you have any other suggestions for how we might pick on you?

In addition to responding on-web, please print out a copy to put someplace where it will end up in the dumpster. You’ll be joining the printout shortly.

Submit

Now there’s a devoted survey taker!

Archdruid of Canterbury Visits Orthodox Patriarch

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The Archdruid of Canterbury appeared as head of a delegation to His Holiness THOMAS, Patriarch of Xanadu.

The Archdruid bore solemn greetings and ecumenical best wishes. He presented gifts, including an oak and holly icon, portraying St. Francis of Assisi as the pioneer of “I-Thou” existentialism. The icon was “not made by hands” (“all done by paw,” in the memorable words of Paddington Bear).

The Druidic leader spoke of the Orthodox Church with the most solemn reverence. “The Orthodox Church is not only Oriental and exotic, but has the most hauntingly beautiful liturgy achieves has what we are trying to engineer in our liturgical reform, and the Orthodox Church would make the perfect partner for the most dynamic and progressive forces that keep the C of E a living spiritual power in this world. St. Alban and St. Sergius are Anglican saints, but they are first and foremost Orthodox saints, and are only Anglican saints because they are Orthodox saints. I have personally blended the most excellent traditions of Druidic Bard and occupant of the See of Canterbury. We would be most deeply honoured if the existing profound (if invisible) bond uniting Orthodox, Anglican, and Druid were made explicit.”

After the Druid spoke for an hour, he paused in thought a moment, turned to His Holiness THOMAS and said, “But I fear I have done too much talking, while you have said nothing. Isn’t there anything you’d like to say? Don’t you have questions we could speak to?”

The Patriarch coughed, sat in silence for a moment, and began to squirm. “Have you considered pursuing ecumenical relations with the African majority in your own communion? I’ve dealt with some of them and they’re really quite solid people, with good heads on their shoulders.”

The Archdruid made no reply.