Da Vinci And His Code; Another Problem For The Catholic Church
Boy, it seems that the Catholic Church, (as if it needed more problems), is having a very tough time dealing with the latest big screen blockbuster, "The Da Vinci Code". The movie, unfortunately for the church, did very well, selling $232 million worth of tickets worldwide, including $77 million domestically last weekend, (its opening). Catholics and other Christians in many countries have denounced the movie. Father Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, a Catholic values advocacy group, is organizing a boycott of the film, which he says promotes Satanism. Even the Vatican is putting its two cents in.
Will watching the movie cause some Catholics to question their faith and ultimately abandon the Church and add to the problem of waning Catholic participation in the Eucharist and other sacraments? Will it add to the dramatic decline in vocations to the priesthood in the past three decades.? If so, what can be done about it? Well, the Atheologist has a few suggestions for the Church which may help undo some of the damage, they are:
(1) Bring back those old fashioned "penguin suits" for nuns. Folks oughta be able to take one look at your holy ladies and know they're not just Plain Janes whose mamas never taught 'em about makeup. And while you're at it, give them the go-ahead to start whacking uppity brats with rulers again.
(2) Start going medieval on those pedophile priests. Drag up all the old torture devices from the Spanish Inquisition, like the rack and the Iron Maiden, from the Vatican basement dust 'em off -- and wipe that scum off the face of the Earth.
(3) Teach priests Irish accents. Anyone who's seen old-time movies with stars like the late, great Barry Fitzgerald as padres knows that heartwarming "top of the morning to you" stuff is essential.
(4) Replace all altar boys with altar girls -- ages 18 and up. That'll discourage boy-crazy fruitcakes from becoming priests. Shorten the altar girls robes to show a little thigh and I betcha that'll double church attendance in no time flat.
(5) Priests need better costumes -- so replace robes with black leather jackets. Make the outfits cool enough and I guarantee you, plenty of Italian youths will dream of getting ordained instead of becoming "made men."
(6) Let parishioners vote on saints by a show of hands. Mind you, sometimes you'll get goofy ones like "Saint Di" and maybe even "Saint Oprah" when Ol' Tubby is pushing up daisies. But let ordinary folks get in on the excitement and Mass will soon be as popular as American Idol.
(7) Impose term limits for popes. Why not retire when you're still healthy enough to speak, for crying out loud? (8) Make bishops take a vow of silence -- but let the monks talk. I reckon those brothers who've been studying books all their lives have some mighty sensible things to say. Meanwhile, yappy bishops can afford to hush up for a spell -- especially when it comes to telling Americans how to vote for President.(8) Instead of limiting the priest conducting mass to using, and drinking wine during the Eucharist, a good lager or stout along with a large selection of aperitifs, digestifs and liqueurs should be made available to those priests with a preference.
(9) How about handing out door prizes, but only to those who stay for the whole service.
(10) Start a punch card system and anyone who attends 10 Sunday masses in a row, is excused from contributing at the next service when the collection plate comes around. They can just throw their used up punch card into the basket.
(11) As Jesus performed miracles during his short time here on earth and since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, priests could perform magic tricks, (simple sleight of hand should suffice), during mass. Many in the congregation who now regularly fall asleep during service, would have their eyes glued to the altar trying to figure out how Father Mackenzie did it. And it’s not out of the question that this would influence the little ones in the congregation into considering the priesthood as a viable option for their vocations.
If just a handful of these suggestions were put into practice the Atheologist is sure that the Catholic Church could steal faithful away from those, "less fun", religions and maybe snag an Atheist or two in the process.
Now the Atheologist is off to see what Bat Boy is up to.