Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Fr. Dick Explains It All for You

Did you see NBC's "Today" program this morning? Father Richard McBrien was on, of course, to explain the new pontificate for us. But he was uncharacteristically surly -- and then suddenly he burst out in a rage over being "misquoted" in his embarrassing statement about then-Cardinal Ratzinger's homily on Monday. (In case you missed it, Father McBrien had said: "If Cardinal Ratzinger were really campaigning for pope, he would have given a far more conciliatory homily designed to appeal to the moderates as well as to the hard-liners among the cardinals.") Well, suddenly he told the co-hosts that, for fear of being misunderstood, he was swearing off ever talking to the media again. From now on, he said, he would only SING his sound bytes. And he had come prepared this morning to sing his take on Benedict's pontificate. Then a curtain parted, and -- I couldn't believe it -- there were the old St. Louis Jesuits at their instruments -- reconstituted for the occasion, three of them in leisure suits, one in clericals. As Father McBrien took the microphone, the guy at the piano started playing the opening chords to Al Stewart's "The Year of the Cat." Father closed his eyes and sang:
In a morning from the Dies Irae,
at a conclave where they turned back time,
he came chanting "Cum ecclesia sentire."
Then he slaughtered a mime.
He came out of the Sis-
tine in a vestment pris-
tine, looking papal in his pointy hat.
No need to ask for an explanation
'cause I'll tell you where we're at:
The Years of the Rat (dee dee dee, dee dee dee).
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