Defensoratus de Priestum De-frolicum
It hath come to the attention of Us – the Holy See, holder of the keys of The Church, exalted representative on earth, (also known as “the Rock”) – that in one of the colonies of the New World there hath arisen a grave and embarrassing movement against Us.
That a nation only 250 years old hath deigned to judge the institution of The Church is an abomination before the angels and their Higher-Ups (actually, there’s only one Higher-Up, but He has several manifestations, which has caused no end of confusion over the centuries).
But We digress.
We therefore address the secular authorities of this renegade nation thus :
First, that thou hast brought unsubstantiated accusations against the meekest and most defenseless of thy servants – men* who hath brought to thy primitive New World jungles and cities the civilizing ways of the Holy Church including : weekly worship, promotion of cholesterol-low seafood on Fridays, and Bingo.
Men who often tell Us, with honest, clean-shaven faces, that they have no knowledge of the events of which children hath accused them.
Keep thou in mind that the Roman Curia hath spoken only recently (in the Papal Bull of Sixtus IV, promulgated in 1482) on the issue of Injustice, which finds that :
“faithful Christians have been imprisoned on the dubious evidence of enemies and slaves.”
We are aware that the above-mentioned Bull pertained to the Holy Inquisition, and We acknowledge further that The Church was, at the time, somewhat on the other side of the issue of Injustice, but - - - We find the reference applicable nevertheless, to this situation.
Secondly, We proclaim, on another serious and weighty aspect of this issue, that great damage is being done unto Our institution’s bank accounts. There is danger, thru the actions of thy veritable army – nay, horde – of barristers, that the keys to the Holy Church may soon (metaphorically speaking, as we often do in Europe) no longer fit the lock on the door of The Church. A Church so beaten and demeaned in value is it as to make the very angels weep.
We hold that thou err in thy unjust and (dare We say it? – greedy) focus on pillaging the coffers of the poor, humble Church, and, if thou persist, The Holy See may be forced to construct Church property by re-promulgating the Bull of Leo X - so recently retired since its elaboration in 1517 - for the sale of Indulgences. (There’s more metaphorical symbolism here if you New World cannibals search for it).
We must remind thee that this process works in only one direction. The Church may promulgate the exchange of thy soul’s salvation for thy purse’s emptying, but It tolerateth not wanton raids upon its meager funds by others. Such paradigm, We declare, applies to this situation.
The third and final aspect of this unjust treatment, which hath resulted in the de-frolicking of many priests and the resignation of some Bishops from their powerful and comfortable posts, involves the Inequitable application of thy secular laws.
Thou hast singled out Servants of The Church, it seems to Us, perhaps due to their easy identification by their multi-colored silk garments with interwoven gold threads, which stand in sharp distinction to the native dress of thy lay citizens (except perhaps, in the neon-lit streets of certain cities on the two coasts).
We remind thou of the pronouncements of one of Our most famous priests who, although Our predecessors at the Holy See may have disagreed with him from time to time, gives Us here some words which We find applicable in this situation :
‘There is no difference between clergy and laity’ - our servant reminded Pope Leo – ‘every Christian is made a priest by his baptism. Therefore, secular rulers should exercise their powers equally and fairly . . . without let or hindrance, regardless whether it be pope, bishop, or priest whom they affect - - -.’
Thus We command thee and thy minions of lawyers, judges, journalists, and paparattzi to relent from thy excessively harsh treatment of The Church’s clergy. Allow the priests and bishops equal treatment as you would apply to your poor (not including, however, that special process you reserve for those of the darker skin colors). We further declare that the reference to The Pope in the above quote shall be stricken, for the writer -Our servant Martin Luther - tended to prate a bit and get off into tangents, so his quote requires a little clean-up, but otherwise it applies, as We hereby declare, to this situation.
Promulgated in the year of Our Lord, 2002, We remain, your humble servant