Monday, April 07, 2008

Friendly Tips For Pope Benedict On His Upcoming Trip

Interoffice Memo
From: The Ironic Catholic
To: The Vicar of Christ, His Holiness Benedict XVI
Subject: Your Upcoming Visit to the United States

Dear Holy Father,
Welcome to our country! Alas, unlike every other diocese in the United States, I have no prepared YouTube welcome for you. As every grade-schooler sings at one point, I have no gift to bring, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum. But I will give you what I have: helpful tips for navigating strange things that could happen in this Brave New World across the pond, and a few ways you can help us beyond the obvious teaching and pastoral role you have.

  1. If a political candidate for president greets you and challenges you to a game of bowling, I would gracefully decline according to the dignity of your office. That is, unless you're a secret phenomenon in bowling, in which case, crush them like grapes. Trust me, they all need the humility.
  2. It's probably best that you not turn on the TV. Or the radio.
  3. Could you bless the New York subway system? Goodness knows it needs something.
  4. Your itinerary is probably packed, but a public Bible Bowl with Billy Graham would be awesome.
  5. You're in America, and nothing says "America" like sports with grease. Try to sneak your way into a baseball game. Yes, I know you'll be celebrating Mass in Yankee Stadium, but it isn't the same. And be sure to order a hot dog with nachos and Fanta.
  6. If that doesn't work, just hop in to an ordinary daily mass at some point. No big liturgical reason; I'd just like to see the reaction of the presiding priest.
  7. If you see an ad for American Idol, it's a TV show, not apostasy. Well, actually....
  8. Someone will try to get you to do an evangelical play on the famous "New York, New York" song: "Start spreading the good news--I'm leaving today--I want to share a part in God! New York, New York!" Resist him.
  9. You know, if East Coast Catholics seem too "out there," come visit Minnesota. The 10,000 lakes are melting and the snow's almost gone. You can stay at my house; I'll try to keep the kids quiet. Oh, and could you come speak to my theology classes?
  10. If someone identifies him or herself as a blogger, bless them. If they mention my blog, please let me plead my case before excommunication. Thanks!

I hope these tips are a help to you. Blessings on your travel and don't drink the water.

In the peace of the Risen One, your faithful sister in Christ,

(not my baptismal or confirmation name) I want to wake up in the directory that never sleeps!


Anonymous said...

No, no, no, don't tell him to drink American Fanta! He'll be so disappointed in our version of it when he's used to the good Roman stuff.

BlessedMom said...

This gave me a good laugh, THANKS!

Laurie said...

This made me laugh. Especially the part about east coast Catholics. My diocese is offering a reiki class next month. Catholic...diocese...reiki....does not compute.

New York City tap water comes from a reservoir in the Hudson Valley, near Woodstock. So it has a hippie aftertaste. Like a lot of Masses here.

Laurie said...


Do the concessions at Yankee Stadium open during a Mass? People surely get there early, but nachos are a crappy way to break one's eucharistic fast.

Irenaeus said...

Great. Now I've spit coffee all over our new iMac. "Crush them like grapes" -- you're killing me!

Tanveer Iqbal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Cat said...

nice :)

Intrepid Mother of the Front Pew Crew said...

Love #2; #4 would be awesome; and I would love to be there in person for #6.

After he visits your home (be sure to let him watch the home videos of your young theologians), and has wowed your students with his theological knowledge, the Pope really ought to come to College Station, Texas. He would return to the Vatican with great confidence in the future of Catholic America.

Allen's Brain said...

#11. Crash a non-RC service some Sunday morning and really freak 'em out.

#12. When you go on Letterman, it is suggested that you don't call for a resurrection of the Inquisition on your top ten list of things you plan to do as the new pope. On second thought, it's Letterman. Go for it.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Allen--is that an invitation to your community? Are you going to present him The Gospel of Melvin?


Mac McLernon said...

IC, this made me laugh so much I scared the cat.

Ray from MN said...


You wuz robbed in the Catholic Blog Awards voting.

The winner occasionally might have something, visually funny.

But day in and day out, you are so much funnier than your competition that your defeat ain't funny.

I think we're going to have to start a Holy Spam Campaign to familiarize Catholic blogsters with your work. Maybe like the "Red State Update" campaign.

Allen's Brain said...

Sure! Send him my way!
I think I can get Melvin into the Apocrypha at least!

The Ironic Catholic said...

Ray--Spam? Like our museum? ...But thanks for the kind words.

Allen, you go, man. Granted, Catholics don't have an apocrypha, but maybe "Melvin" can break that ground.

Everyone else--sorry about the coffee stained keyboards, scared kitties, and lack of Papal itinerary to Texas. ;)

PraiseDivineMercy said...

IC: Remember all that fuss about the Gospel of Thomas? It's apocryphal. All the books not included in the early councils are it.

The Ironic Catholic said...

It's apocryphal but not part of the apocrypha (as Prots define certain books in the Catholic canon but not Luther's list)...if that makes sense. But yeah, Melvin is apocryphal alright!

Allen's Brain said...

Maybe I can just press for Espressus of Java's canonization, instead.