EXT. SWAMP - NIGHT
Moonlight streaks through moss-covered trees. Standing in the middle of a clearing is a black-domed structure that wouldn't look out of place as a church in the Archdiocese of LA. It is the secret hideout for the nefarious super-villain group SCHISM.
INT. SECRET HIDEOUT
People seated around a large round table in a dimly lit room. One person is standing - he's looking around the table, a scowl on his face. It's KING KUNG (aka Hans Kung), leader of SCHISM.
Okay people, we took a shellacking in yesterday's election. Anyone have any thoughts as to how this happened? REESE'S PIECES?
REESE'S PIECES (aka Tom Reese, SJ)
It was RAINBOW KID's fault. If he hadn't come out of the closet in support of Gerald, he would have won the election easily!
(jumps out of chair)
That's not fair! Commonweal assured me it was in the bag!
Okay, stop shouting. It screws up my hearing aid. And why is it so dim in here? Can someone please turn up the light? I can hardly see as it is.
We recently had the bulbs replaced with CFL's. It's important we be environmentally responsible in our evil bid to take over the Church.
Fine, whatever. But let's not point fingers at each other, okay? I want to have a constructive dialogue and figure out our next plan of action. GERALD, I'm sorry you didn't win. We had worked so hard to get into position to take over the USCCB, and our plans were thwarted.
(Shakes fist, looks to sky)
Darn you, JP2 bishops!!
These things happen. Perhaps this minor setback will allow me to return to Tucson and meddle with...
(rubs hands together mischievously)
...immigration reform. Muwahahahahaha!!
Great idea! That's keeping things positive. COSMIC GIRL, you wanted to say something?
COSMIC GIRL (aka Joan Chittister)
I sense that the problem was our messaging. Too few people understand that they are Church, and in being and living Church, they can create their own reality and invoke the Spirit of Unification, thus raising their consciousness sufficiently in order to overcome the shackles of hierarchy and be free to love.
(aside to person next to him)
I don't even understand that, and I'm a Jesuit!
M'kay. Messaging. Right. Anybody else? MCBRAIN?
MCBRAIN (aka Richard McBrien)
Richard, let it go. He's dead.
I blame...the German Shepherd!!
Listen, we've experienced some setbacks in recent years. World Youth Days. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. Summorum Pontificum. The motu proprio. Anglicanorum coetibus.
Voice in back
Dude! Can you,like y'know, use English and stuff? We're like, whoa, what language is that dude speakin, like, y'know?
Who is that? SOUR PATCH KIDS?
S.P.K. (aka YouthGen from Call-to-Action)
Yeah, dude. Like, what are you talkin' about?
Another setback has been the new English translation, and I thought the "What If We Just Said Wait" campaign would have stopped it dead in its tracks. Alas, we were thwarted. Still, we have some successes to be proud of from the past 40+ years: The LIVE CURRANT's masterful 'P.O.B.' Politician Abortion Equivocator Policy .
LIVE CURRANT (aka Charles Curran)
(rises from chair slightly and bows)
Thank you, thank you. Let me also remind you that I nearly single-handedly dismantled the Humanae Vitae Missile. Muwahahahahaha!!
Yes, that was brilliant. And we have more Catholics cohabiting, contracepting, aborting, supporting gay marriage and divorcing than at any time in history. All great achievements. But we are in danger of losing it all. GERALD's defeat could signal the unraveling of the Seamless Garment.
Gasp!! Not the Seamless Garment!!
The great Seamless Garment that encompasses all of reality is becoming threadbare, permitting the darkness of orthodoxy to stream into our pathways of consciousness, disrupting the flow of cosmic energy that...
Yes, yes, COSMIC GIRL. It's bad. We all know that. Now the question is - what do we do about it? How do we spin this defeat to the public? We need talking points.
The Catholic-Paper-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named wields too much power! We could say that the fundamentalist rabid right wing Catholic bloggers influenced the vote!
Yes! Yes! EX-cellent!
We should say that it's time for the bishops to resist listening to the laity.
But we've been complaining for years that the bishops haven't been listening to the laity.
Well, they should stop listening to the wrong sort of laity, then!
We could say that Dolan's election is virtually meaningless because the USCCB, as a body, really has no authoritative power and thus is incapable of rendering any doctrinal statements that the laity are bound to obey.
What? What'd I say?
Guards! Take the RAINBOW KID to the Marty Haugen Reorientation Room! Immediately!
Okay, we all know he's right, but let's face it. If we publicly admitted that the USCCB is just theatre, then when we take it over someday, our own statements could be used against us. But we have talking points now. Yes, this has been a dark day for SCHISM, but I predict brighter days in our future, and for the future of our Church. So do not despair! For, lo, let me remind you of our most ambitious, devious, nefarious scheme yet!
(He pushes a button on the tabletop)
Behold! I give you....the American Catholic Council!!!
(standing and rubbing their hands with glee)
Fade to black.