First of all, thanks to all who offered kind words (and dinner recipes!) yesterday. I am doing much better today, and am grateful to be able to resume my normal activities.
Second, I had time to think about how to blog about this, and I've decided that humor would be the best approach. We've had plenty of serious stuff about this issue lately, and I think that the absurdity of what was done this weekend at St. Cecilia’s is best illustrated by highlighting it in a humorous way.
So, since I seldom do this, and since I want to make sure that easily-offended people know that the following news article is totally fake and that its resemblance to current events is completely coincidental, I would like to emphasize that this is merely humor, and not worth getting riled about:
In wake of successful Gay Pride Mass, pastor plans to celebrate "pride" in other sins
BOSTON--The phone keeps ringing in Father Sububi's office.
"No, no," the pastor of St. Cici's says with a frown. "The Fornicator's Pride Mass is next month, the Sunday after the Cohabitator's Pride Mass. Yes, I do realize that some people will want to come to both. That's fine. That's fine. See you then!"
In the wake of the recent and overwhelmingly successful Gay Pride Mass held at his parish, Father Sububi had a revelation.
"Seven hundred people," he says reflectively. "Do you know what a crowd of seven hundred can do for your collection basket? Especially when they're happy because you're affirming them, accepting them, and not bothering them with any petty reminders of, you know, the fact that their chosen lifestyle involves mortal sins and that they're possibly risking their souls?"
Father Sububi is not willing to go on the record as saying that sin doesn't exist, that Hell doesn't exist, or that the Church is wrong to say that both are very real. But his actions these days may be speaking louder than his words.
"We're doing the rest of the sexual sin pride Masses first," he says. "It seems logical. And straight people want to be affirmed in their fornication, in their adultery, in their porn habits, just as much as gays and lesbians do."
He admits that the Adultery Pride Mass posed a problem--not with his archbishop, who has made it clear that he won't interfere with the themed Masses at St. Cici's, but with the possibility of divorce attorneys or private investigators showing up to see who is there to admit to cheating on their marriages. "But we've solved that problem by making it a Masquerade Mass," Father Sububi says with a smile. "Our parish's chief liturgist suggested it, and everybody seems to like the idea of showing up in costume for that one."
Other "pride-in-our-sins" Masses will soon follow the sexual sin pride Masses, though some of them may be scheduled later than others.
"We really want to do a Dishonoring Our Parents Pride Mass, because we think it will be very popular with the youth of our parish," Father Sububi says. "But I want to schedule it for the next time we have the Prodigal Son reading on the liturgical calendar. The homily would work so well, as I teach the kids that they, too, can hate, diss, and rob their parents and their parents still have to take them back anyway, which is what the story of the Prodigal Son is all about."
In the meantime, Father Sububi has already contacted a local group to see about scheduling a Gluttony Pride Mass. "The story that week is about Lazarus and the rich man, and if I ignore the ending I can focus on all the great banqueting imagery," he says. "I'm really looking forward to the Gluttony Pride Mass, because if there's one thing gluttons know how to do, it's cook--so the potluck supper afterward should be amazing."
The phone rings again, and Father Sububi answers. "That date won't work for you either? Well, I'll have to get back to you," he says. "Sloth Pride," he comments, hanging up the phone. "It's hard to find an open Sunday evening that doesn't have a major sports event scheduled. Getting the slothful to take pride in their sloth isn't hard, but getting them to show up for anything is."
The Sloth Pride Mass isn't Father Sububi's biggest problem; nor, surprisingly enough, is the Anger Pride Mass--though Father Sububi admits that they will hire extra parking lot attendants and church ushers for that one. It's the Blasphemy Pride Mass that is causing the most trouble--mainly because the prideful blasphemers refuse to attend a Mass in an actual church building, and the archdiocese has yet to approve that the Blasphemy Pride Mass be held at the group's preferred location, the roof of an abandoned waste treatment facility. Again, Father Sububi refuses to go on record as saying that the archdiocese's stonewalling about the location is petty, but it is clear what he thinks.
"We have to do this," he says, tapping his fingers on his desk. "The Church used to be all about sin and salvation. They really pushed the notion that we could offend God by our actions. Now, of course, we know better. We have to learn to love ourselves in all our brokenness, and that means embracing our sins and being as proud of them as we are of our talents and our stock portfolios and everything else that's good about us. We don't offend God by our sins, and it's time we stopped being ashamed of them."
Does anything offend God?
"Maybe," Father Sububi admits. "I think He's pretty mad when we don't recycle. I mean, I'm not going to schedule a Trashing the Environment Pride Mass anytime soon. I have my limits."