Dec 032013

Pablo says good-bye

Flashback to 1969 First it was the St. Christopher medal scandal of 1969 when the Catholic Church removed St. Christopher's Feast Day (July 25th) from the General Roman Calendar.  Travelers around the globe were suddenly afraid to fly, drive or even visit nearby neighbors on foot.  The Patron Saint of Transportation and Traveling had been grounded. Riots broke out at airports, bus and train stations, car rental places and even rickshaw kiosks, as stranded commuters demanded ticket refunds and free hotel rooms for the rest of their lives.  Sanitation crews were working 24-hour shifts cleaning up the millions of discarded medals littering the tarmacs of every major airport from Anchorage to Kazakhstan. Five hundred deaths were attributed to what is now called "The Saint Christopher Medal Day Massacre".  Stand-by passengers seen kissing lucky rabbits feet stampeded reservation desks to upgrade their seats leaving a trail of mostly Catholic bodies in their wake.  Jews and gentiles alike were arrested for stealing the gold and silver discarded medals, leaving the plastic and ceramic ones for baggage handlers and TSA cavity inspectors. A long retired airline reservation clerk for Allegheny Airlines remembers that fateful day.  "It was my 43rd birthday and I was supposed to have had the day off but ten reservation clerks called in sick that morning." The night desk clerk at the Trailways Bus Terminal in Toledo, Ohio recalled a similar yet different experience. "I thought the Saint Christopher medal only pertained to air travel." A pedi-cab operator named after his grandfather Rick Shaw remembers the story his grandmother told him when Vatican II announced the terrible news.  "We were still living in Tokyo when the Pope announced the news.  We are still living in Tokyo." Now here's the catch.  Saint Christopher was never de-sainted!  It was just a calendar thing!  Here's the official report:  During the 1960s, the Catholic Church was undergoing several major reforms. One of these involved a review and revision to the Calendar of Saints, which ultimately resulted in the elimination of the feast days of several popular saints. Saint Chris wasn't the only one to lose his calendar status.   Saint Valentine (patron saint of bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, love, plague, young people) and Saint Barbara (patron saint of sudden death) also lost their calendar feast days.   Does that mean beekeepers, epileptics, fainters and SIDS victims no longer have a saint to pray to?  No.  All it means is Catholics with these afflictions don't have a special day on which to celebrate.  The crucifix recall appears to be a little more complicated. Flash-forward to 2013 Priests, nuns and really old Catholics around the globe have been devastated by the news.  Many are planning rallies and kneel-ins to protest what they call a conspiracy by Christians to de-pope the Vatican and takeover all of the major religious holidays.  No longer able to rely on their rosaries to cast spells on Lutherans, Jews, Protestants and the other 18 major religions in the world, they are taking to the streets and it's getting ugly. Thousands of protestors gathered in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City carrying signs and shouting out epithets to the new pope.  An elderly Italian woman bearing a sign in the shape of a St. Christopher medal with the words "WHO'S NEXT?" was trampled by a group of activist nuns lugging a banner in the form of a cross and throwing their wedding bands at the pope's balcony while shouting, "quis deinde?" In Boston, Massachusetts, home of the largest population of Catholics and Celtic's fans, gathered at Fleet Center (home arena of the Celtics) to pray for a crucifix fix.  Conspiracy believerists reattached their defective crucifixes to rosaries and marched into the stadium singing "Lift High the Cross".  Beer concessions had to be opened due to a shortage of Holy Water and to keep people in the stadium in case there was a High Mass. Cardinal Levada, the highest-ranking cardinal in America, was the guest speaker.  Known for his tolerance of homosexual culture in the Church, several thousand Irish Catholics high on "Holy Beer" started booing him as he approached the podium.  Levada appeared unflappable as he made the sign of the cross and began his sermon.  "I believe Walmart, the world's largest homophobic discount store and purchaser of religious paraphernalia, is behind this blasphemous attempt to discredit our greatest symbol of redemption.  Is it coincidence that 92% of all rosaries and religious Pez dispensers are manufactured in China?  Is it a fluke that 100% of the clasps which secure the holy plastic crucifix to the string of prayer beads failed after only one use?" Levada went on to explain that the Stations of the Cross around the world had to be shut down due to the backup of sinners having to pickup their defective crucifixes at each of the fourteen stations.  The uttering of the words  "Jesus Christ " at each station took on new meaning and not in a good way.  After an hour and a half of citing faith shaking examples of attempts by outsiders (non-Catholics) to discredit the Church's most revered symbol of sacrifice and redemption the cardinal summed up the cross crisis by handing out little faith cards with these promising words: "So give this cross recall a little bit of time to play out.  Much like the recall of  "Meatless Fridays" and "Folk Masses" this 'rood' story will also have a happy ending.  Until then, don't throw away those