Last week, my assistant, Monsignor Spompinare, brought me a letter from a General JC Christian. It was truly one of the greatest moments of my papacy. I'm very excited by his offer to honor me in the manner of the warriors of ancient Sparta. Monsignor Spompinare is fluffing my mitre in anticipation even as I write these words.
The General also wrote about other things--things that trouble me as the Pope. He is kindly allowing me to address them in this letter.
First, there is this business with Fr. Gabino Olaso Zabala. The General tells me that some Americans object to his beatification on the grounds that he was a torturer. They call him that because he tortured other Filipino priests who were disloyal to the Spanish king. But that is where they are wrong. One cannot be a torturer unless one identifies oneself as a torturer. In other words, a regular person can commit thousands of acts of torture and still not be a torturer if he doesn't embrace the accompanying lifestyle (wearing dark shades and fascistic looking uniforms, reading Little Green Footballs and Michelle Malkin, etc.).
It's a lot like being a Nazi in that respect. A young, ultra-conservative future pope with terrific fashion sense could join the Hitler Youth, inform on his fellow seminarians, and be an anti-Semite (or more accurately, a person who hates Jews but isn't an anti-Semite) and still not be a Nazi as long as he only wore his Hitler Jungend uniform to meetings, book burnings, and pograms.
And that's the same answer I'll give for the other problem the General brought up in his letter: the Stenico scandal. For those of you aren't familiar with it, Monsignor Tommaso Stenico is a Vatican priest who is accused of being a homosexual. Monsignor Stenico denies it, saying that he was merely boning guys to identify "those who damage the image of the Church with homosexual activity."
I understand that. Back when I was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (you might know it as the Inquisition), I was constantly conducting the same kind of investigation--five or six of them concurrently on a good night when the Navy was in town. And I still try to squeeze in a few each week now that I'm the Holy Father. Some of your Republican politicians, men like Larry Craig, Lindsey Graham, and David Dreier, conduct similar investigations. We are not homosexuals, because we don't think of ourselves as being such. And I'm sure it's true for Monsignor Stenico as well. But to be certain, I've placed him on suspension until I can thoroughly investigate his case myself.
Heterosexually yours in Christ
Benedict PP. XVI, Pont. Max., Episcopus Ecclesiae Catholicae
A tip of the old mitre to Pastor Dan.