The Times of Malta carries an article today with a title worthy of theonion.com – that famous online satirical paper that gave us great articles like God Wondering Whatever Happened To That Planet Where He Made All Those Monkeys. The Times article penned by Chris Peregin carried the title: Vatican wants to clamp down on fake apparitions*. Now that’s a good one for the papers. I can imagine the Vatican missive straight to heaven being opened by a perplexed Saint Peter. Benedict calls upon Peter to hold the saints and holies in reign and make sure that they are up to no tricks by conjuring a fake apparition here and a false appearance there.
Saint Demetrius is quickly told off, asked not to importune old women with a weak heart and requested to stop his habit of sudden appearances astride a horse with hooves cutting through the air. Henceforth stigmata will only be considered real if they come with the heavenly seal (vera kopja awtentikata) and women out in fields picking potatoes who hear strange messages in the air will be examined for dehydration and UV exposure before being allowed to rush to collect funds for the next sanctuary. TWFKAOL (you work that out… j’accuse stops at initials) was heard muttering that the new rules might restrict her travel plans to the south of France this summer while being slightly relieved of having to avoid Medjugorgje since the trips had begun to be stressful.
Taking advantage of the celebrations in his honour this year, the Saint formerly known as Saul of Tarsus is believed to be attending incognito a course in Digital Media Studies at the University of Hull under the auspices of Maltese blogger Toni Sant. Saul is intent on switching his new wave evangelisation programme to twitter. Twittervangelisation is expected to start in haste – and the heavenly cherubins are being enrolled to start a massive campaign under the supervision of “Heaven 2.0” CEO Steve Jobs who is expected to take up his post any time soon (this millenium – better later than sooner we guess).
It is rumoured that Pope Benedict’s special consultant on apparitions is J.K. Rowling – an expert in the magickal arts, particularly those of apparating, disapparating and expelliarimus as well as a dabbler in the art of plagiarising ideas from great authors. Nihil Obstat of course.
This has been j’accuse with tongue stuck firmly in cheek. Having irreverent thoughts so you don’t have to!
* In case you are wondering why I often do not link to Times articles it is because the link becomes redundant after a month or so and you would have to pay to read the archived article (and I’m in a grumpy mood).