Distinctly Catholic Goes Onion

by Michael Sean Winters

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Time for a bit of levity. I herein offer my Onion-style news stories that you won’t read about in 2016 but you kind of wish you could.

Pope Francis Names 13 Cardinals as Additional Chaplains to the Knights of Malta.

(Vatican City) In a surprise move, Pope Francis named thirteen cardinals to join Cardinal Raymond Burke as chaplains to the Knights of Malta. The thirteen cardinals named jointly signed a letter to the pope at the start of last year’s Synod on the Family, questioning the integrity of the process and the composition of the drafting committee for the synod’s final report.

“The Knights and Dames of Malta do such good work,” said the pope in a prepared statement. “And they have lots of Masses and dinners. Cardinal Burke said he needed the help. And these cardinals have shown that they know how to work together.”

No word yet on who will replace the thirteen cardinals in the posts they are vacating.

GOP Presidential Candidates Drop Out of Race En Masse.

(Washington) All the current contenders for the GOP presidential nomination announced they were abandoning their bids. In a joint statement, the candidates said, “Who are we kidding. Our party is nuts and none of us can beat Hillary.”

Donald Trump announced he would be going to volunteer at the Kino Institute in Nogales, Arizona, helping Mexican immigrants. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said he is in negotiations with the Mixed Martial Arts federation to become one of their premier fighters. Mike Huckabee is expected to join the Human Rights Campaign Fund as a policy advisor. Carly Fiorina said she plans to return to Hewlett Packard as CEO.

In a related development, Sen. Bernie Sanders announced he was abandoning his bid for the Democratic nomination and resigning from the U.S. Senate in order to become a managing partner at Bain Capital. When asked if she was abandoning the race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “I beg your pardon.”

Acton Institute Unearths New Version of Beatitudes.

(Grand Rapids) Acton Institute President Fr. Robert Sirico announced that a previously undisclosed archeological project undertaken by the libertarian group has unearthed an ancient papyrus with texts of key Bible passages. “Bless are the poor in spirit, but even more blessed are the rich in purse,” reads one line in the ancient text, requiring a different understanding of the Beatitudes than what has governed Christian moral teaching for two millennia. The papyrus also contains a far different version of the Magnificat, in which “the poor are sent away empty, because they are used to it, and the rich will be filled with even more good things, as they should, because God wants us to be successful.”

“We just knew that there had to be something missing in the texts as we had received them over the centuries,” Fr. Sirico told a press conference announcing the find. “We were especially pleased to find these new texts in a fifth Gospel, according to Ayn Rand, amongst the ancient documents.”

Biblical scholars and theologians said that the new discoveries would make their jobs much easier. “We can all ask for money from the Koch Foundation now,” said a statement from the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Cardinal O’Malley Joins Dominicans.

(Boston) Cardinal Sean O’Malley surprised church officials when he announced at New Year’s Mass that he had left the Capuchin order and had joined the Dominicans instead. After Mass, O’Malley greeted parishioners at Holy Cross Cathedral wearing his new white habit.

“You know, I have been a bishop since 1984, and people tell us bishops what they think we want to hear, not what we need to hear,” O’Malley told reporters. “Finally, a friend told me that brown was not my color. Who knew? Turns out that white makes me look thinner.”

In a related development, O’Malley announced he would be forming an inquisition to investigate the theologians at Jesuit-run Boston College.

“Downton Abbey” Fans Protest Plot Change.

(Washington) Irate fans of the popular series “Downton Abbey” gathered outside NPR offices in Washington, D.C. to protest a key plot change in the drama. In the final shows of last season, cousin Rose met and married the son of a prominent Jewish family. In the new season, the Earl of Grantham’s family grows increasingly inquisitive about the connection and moves to a kibbutz in Israel.

Julian Fallows, creator of the series, defended the plot twist. “I know that fans will miss the luxurious backdrop of Downton, and the fabulous clothes. But, really, the climactic scene when the Granthams sit around a campfire reading Herzl makes for some riveting television,” Fallows said. “And, Dame Maggie Smith’s quips are even better in Yiddish.”


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