In case anybody missed "Meet the Press," here is a condensed version of last Sunday's installment:
MR. RUSSERT: So, baby, whassup with this Catholic stuff, eh? Women priests? Gay sex lesbian? Bad outmoded, past antiquated yeah what? Gimme your juice now!
REV. THOMAS BOLIN: The Church is always conscious of her divine mission, and of the need for continuity in teaching. Pope Benedict is a sign of that awareness, because he will continue the mission of John Paul II, which was to bring the perspective of Catholic orthodoxy into the world.
MR. RUSSERT: Purges, eh?
THOMAS CAHILL: A truly Christian Church has nothing to do with Christianity, for to have anything to do with Christianity one must define it, and all definitions are exclusivist and intellectually violent to people who don't fall within the definition. Jesus never judged anybody, and He never will.
MR. RUSSERT: Sister Aquin, you got bazooms, are you pissed at Pope?
SR. MARY AQUIN O'NEILL: As a Christian, I try not to make definitions and I'm trying, with all the love and courage I can muster, to think of this Pope as though he were a Christian. I can only hope that he'll give me the same respect.
MR. RUSSERT: Pope prays to Great Thumb. Roman Catholicism declared itself the only Church. Contradiction, or free steak knives?
FR. BOHLIN: What John Paul tried to do was recognize the commonality of goodness, truth, and beauty in the human experience, and reach out to other religions on that basis, recognizing all the while that Jesus Christ is the only source and end of all goodness, truth, and beauty.
MR. RUSSERT: Yeah whatever. Buddhists saved, right?
FR. BOHLIN: Uh . . . .
MR. RUSSERT: Or Church eats self, neh? Old Church, non-Catholics burn Hell, new Church says all religions good, whassup?
FR. BOHLIN: Oh God, why didst thou not give us a Bible made of bumper stickers?
MR. RUSSERT: Fessio, you show fascist, hate part of Church. Tell why hate Hans Kung.
FR. FESSIO: I've let this carnival of mental defects go on long enough. Look, let me explain this. We respect Buddhists because they're made in the image of God. We realize their religion is a human creation which nonetheless bears some marks of the Gospel insofar as the humans who created Buddhism were striving for truth, beauty, and goodness. We don't accept their faith as divinely revealed because it's not. What is divinely revealed is the Gospel, and the fullness of that Gospel resides in the Catholic Church under the stewardship of her Vicar, the Pope. He can't change the Gospel any more than you or I can. He will instead try to present it again to a world made weary by war and disagreement and try to re-Christianize our culture so that we can live authentic lives of free happiness under God. Do you want me to spell anything, Tim?
MR. RUSSERT: Nope. Gotta staff. Sister, you still got bosoms -- pissed at Pope, right?
SISTER O'NEIL: I'm glad we can talk about the truth. I've been so frightened lately. The truth is ineffable. Save Christianity from male-centrism.
MR. RUSSERT: Gonna buy goodies now, ya! Watch the pretty people, buy things this instant!! More stitches, less riches! Ending's better than mending. Credit, go get your credit!! . . . . . Cahill, nobody believes this Catholicism crap entirely, too many ridiculous ideas. Say more?
MR. CAHILL: Abolish the papacy. There never was a papacy. Destroy the Roman monster before your children are raped by priests!!!
MR. RUSSERT: Married priests do jig-jig at home, eh? Not bother Billy and Betsy, right?
MR. BOTTUM: Anglicans, Lutherans -- all the Churches with married and female priests still experience sexual scandals. I don't think that's the root of the problem. It's interesting to see how the consciousness of liberalism has centered on the groin. But this Pope is far less enthusiastic about capitalism than John Paul II, but he's still being called a reactionary because he won't let people wear condoms.
MR. DIONNE. I have to disagree with comments about Christianity being indefinable and ineffable. It's not, it's right there in the Nicene Creed. What I don't like is anybody dividing the Christian community by trying to explain the Creed, as though we have to have a single, common understanding of what it means. The Church is going to lose a lot of ground if it insists on narrowing our understanding that way, particularly among women who want to be ordained.
MR. RUSSERT: Condoms, sex, birth control, all groin things -- Church can change choppy quick now, right?
FR. FESSIO: No.
MR. RUSSERT: Why no? Why? Why right now you tell!
FR. FESSIO: Look, ladies and gentlemen, if you're really interested you ought to make a serious effort and spend some hours reading about these issues and the Church's teaching about them. We can't do this with soundbites because God didn't give us a Bible made of bumper-stickers.
MR. RUSSERT: Hey, Bub, WHOLE HOUR HERE less commercial. I cram whole big semester of journalism in hour! So say again, condoms, sex, birth control, all groin things -- Church can change right? Not right? You tell why now!
FR. FESSIO: Those are things the Church has always taught, although their definition has become clearer over the centuries. There must be unity of understanding, for only that unity expresses the divine unity between Christ and his bride, the Church, a unity of heart and life. Ordaining women can't express that unity, because the priest is to represent Christ in the prefigurement of the divine marriage known to the Church.
MR. RUSSERT: Oho! Sr. O'Neill, you still got ‘em, pissed at Pope, right?
SISTER O'NEILL: The sacraments are dying because there's a shortage of priests. But I'm conflicted about ordaining women because that somehow suggests that the priesthood is a special part of Christianity. It's more important that everyone be a priest and a layman, all at the same altar. I want voting, consensus, and popularity within the Church.
MR. RUSSERT: Bohlin, no more sacra juju?
FR. BOHLIN. No. The laity are the battlefront of the Church, both in their aspect of struggling to realize the Gospel and to evangelize others. The shortage of priests will be cured by faithful Catholics living and winning this struggle in their homes and families.
MR. RUSSERT: Pope gonna subvert democracy, right?
MR. BOTTUM: Not at all. It's just that Catholics in politics must remain faithful to Catholic teaching if they're to remain Catholics. Whether they choose to remain in politics is up to them, but in order to call themselves Catholics they must be faithful to the Church's teaching.
MR. RUSSERT: Pope gonna subvert democracy, right?
MR. DIONNE: Oh, it's very problematic. There's the risk of a backlash, and most American Catholics don't validate Church teaching on this issue. The Church accepts abortion rights in Europe. The Church risks being out of touch if it makes abortion a central issue on par with capital-gains tax deductions for the resale of oil commodities.
MR. RUSSERT: Nobody gonna love you if don't buy stuff. Here's stuff to buy, buy now, buy now nownownow!!!! Back after you buy, you buy, fall in love with things now, buy buy buy!!! . . . . .
MR. RUSSERT: Back. Playing video now . . . watch most American Catholics don't buy abortion crap from Church. You buy things now, though, go buy!!! . . . .
MR. RUSSERT: Seeya!