The Curt Jester has learned new and startling information. We all had a laugh at the Secret Archives of the Vatican going online this year and all of the conspiracy theories concerning it over the years. But I started to wonder why now? What is the sudden reason for this decision. We had also noticed a trend over the last two thousand years and especially within the last fifty of the Vatican releasing documents that annoyed both the ultra left and ultra right. Document after document released would upset the theological apple carts of one group or another. Were these two seemingly unrelated events actually related?
We released orthodox spybots onto the Secret Archives and discovered a back door into the Top Secret Classified Vatican Archives. From there we pieced together information on a hereunto totally unknown Vatican Congregation. We were intrigued by the initials CPOCP that kept popping up in the initial proposals for both Papal documents and documents from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. What was this group and why was it kept secret we pondered and were the Secret Archives published to throw people off from the real archives and this shadowy congregation?
We not only discovered the name of this congregation but also the Cardinal who runs it. We pieced together information we found on the sinus condition of papal painter Leonardo Da Vinci, known as “The Da Vinci Cold”, and a mysterious personal prelature. The name of this congregation can now be revealed to the world as the “Congregation for Pissing Off Church Pundits.” Threatening to bring this whole thing to light with the information we knew the prefect of this congregation has agreed to an anonymous interview. In the interest of trying to uncover and explain the mission of this hush-hush congregation we agreed.
CJ: What is the mission of CPOCP?
CPOCP: Actually we are Biblically based and take our guidance from Luke 12:51:
Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
So we work effortlessly to produce documents that will just generally annoy people. We will start with a general proposal on a subject destined to aggravate and outline the general direction of the proposed document. We believe that “No pundit should be left behind” so we try to maintain equilibrium in the documents we release. For example we released DOMINUS IESUS which upset those who were practically syncretists and then ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE which put so-called traditionalist in a angry snit.
How do you come up with your proposals?
CPOCP: When I first was appointed to this congregation I had all sorts of wild ideas for documents to publish. I read all of our previous proposals and noticed a common thread. I found I didn’t have to come up with imaginative or innovative ideas, all we had to do was to propose documents that were consistent with church teaching and people would be divided and irritated. There is nothing like actual church teaching to divide and nettle church pundits.
CJ: What do you consider some of your greatest achievements?
CPOCP: When we are able to bother pundits on both sides we are really proud of our work. One idea which started out as “Proposal #34389 to both affirm the sanctity of life from conception and the evil of abortion and question the death penalty under any circumstance philosophy” I am especially pleased with. The Pope edited the title down to EVANGELIUM VITAE, the Gospel of Life. In one document we managed to get two groups that are polar opposites to dissent to the teachings in it. Another classic example is HUMANAE VITAE. We built a campaign that released information of some panels that hinted that the church would change it opinion on contraception and then released this encyclical that maintained and supported traditional church teaching. The 1960’s was an ideal time to pull off this theological bait and switch. We had them really fooled into believing the possibility of a theological U-turn and then sucker-punched them with this encyclical.
CJ: What do you consider one of your failures?
CPOCP: Vatican II was designed to both rankle the rigorists and provoke the progressives. This document was beautifully crafted to do both and while it had some effect the problem was that neither of these groups actually read any of these documents from Vatican II. Vatican II was spirited away into some amorphous entity that was falsely represented. We feel that only if progressives had read the documents then they would have been properly peeved.
CJ: What are some ideas that initially didn’t look promising?
CPOCP: This one Spanish priest came to me with an idea of an organization that would preach the necessity of personal holiness and the sanctifying power of work. I told Josemaria that this just was not very controversial and wouldn’t generate any heat. Well he went ahead and started Opus Dei and proved me wrong. They have been in the center of attention and conspiracy theories ever since. I should have remembered that all it takes is to promote some aspect of Catholic teaching and then there will automatically be controversy.
CJ: What are your plans for the future?
CPOCP: Well we just came off the smash hits of Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons released just a week before the Episcopalians confirmed an openly gay bishop and we are possibly going to endorse genetically modified groups so we have irritated thousands possibly million of people. For the future documents on fornication and the churches teaching on the permanence of marriage should be in the works. We find that documents in regard to sexuality have the most controversial bang for the buck. We will just stick to the tried and true basics in generating dissension.
CJ: Thank you for your time and efforts.