Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dissenting Enigma machine found!

The D-Enigma machine

Earlier today the Cardinal Newman Society announced that they had been able to capture an Enigma Machine from a dissenting Catholic group.

The Enigma machine, used by dissenting groups to code their communiqu├ęs and public statements, is commonly known as the D-Enigma.

A spokesman for the Cardinal Newman Society would not comment on exactly how his group came into possession of the machine, but it is understood that a dissenting group may have accidentally left the machine in a Diocesan Centre after one of their weekly meetings.

The D-Enigma machine is almost identical to the famous Enigma machine used by the Germans during World War II and it is being used by dissenting groups to encode and decode their public statements about the Church and theology.

A basic dissenting message or teaching is typed up using the D-Enigma machine, which encodes the original message. When an encoded message is typed into the D-Enigma machine it is decoded to supply a copy of the original message content.

Some examples of actual messages that have been coded and decoded by the Cardinal Newman Society using the D-Enigma machine are…

Original coded Message:
“The Church needs to focus on addressing issues of injustice”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:
“We want married, gay, and women priests”

Original coded Message:
“We need a pastoral plan that focuses on the horizontal, as well as the vertical aspects of faith”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:
“We need to stop talking about divinity and salvation, and start focusing on feelings and hosting more wine and cheese evenings in the parish”

Original coded Message:
“It’s a conscience issue”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:
“Whatever you do, don’t listen to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church!”

Original coded Message:
“We are Church”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:
“We are Catholics who really want to be liberal Anglicans.”

Original coded Message:
“That’s not my model of Church”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:
“I don’t like obeying the teachings of the Holy Spirit given through the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, so I’m going to make myself into my own personal Magisterium.”

Original coded Message:
“God is found in the sacrament of the ordinary”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:
“I don’t believe in the divine, unless it’s new age”

Original coded Message:
“The Church hierarchy needs to listen more to the stories of its people”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:
“We need to have more wine and cheese evenings to talk about our feelings and all the Church teachings we don’t like.”

Original coded Message:
“The Church hierarchy are obsessed with sex and genital issues”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:
“I hate Humane Vitae, Evangelium Vitae, and Theology of the Body.”

Original coded Message:
“The Church is not adhering to the Spirit of Vatican II”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:
“The actual documents of Vatican II don’t support my position so I’m going to appeal to something intangible like the feelings and emotions of dissenters who went to Vatican II and then later misrepresented it in the public arena.”

The interior mechanism of the D-Enigama

The D-Enigma in its case

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Pope apoints five new Bishops

Earlier this month the Vatican announced that the Pope had finalised the appointment of five new Bishops to various dioceses around the world.

The new appointments have raised the ire of some within the Church, but most Catholics appear to be very happy with the new Bishops, and one well known Catholic commentator has even praised the Pope for his boldness in addressing current pastoral concerns.

Below are the details of the five new Bishops.

Bishop Chuck Norris:

Many will be familiar with Bishop Chuck Norris’ earlier career as a one man military machine specialising in bringing down Marxist empires, which is why most commentators feel that he is the ideal man to deal with the Catholic schools within his new diocese.

He was recently overheard telling a group of dissenting theologians to “shut up, wise up, and sit the heck down because they were making the diocese look untidy”.

He is also the only Bishop known to have a round house kick as part of his pastoral plan.

Bishop Han Solo:

You’d better sort out the parking arrangements in your diocese, because your next Bishop could be arriving in the Millennium Falcon!

Bishop Han Solo is often referred to as the “Augustine of space” because of the fact that he was a selfish pleasure seeking sinner who later in life converted and became a selfless warrior in the fight against the evil galactic Empire led by Darth Vader.

When asked about his new role as Bishop he replied; “ well it ain’t like dusting crops kid”.

Co-Adjudicator Bishop Chewbacca the Wookie:

Bishop Chewbacca the Wookie has been appointed as Co-Adjudicator Bishop with Bishop Han Solo.

Bishop Chewbacca is popular with many in Catholic youth ministry circles, but it has often been suggested that his homilies are a little bit hard to understand. Despite this, he is known as a no nonsense Bishop of action who doesn’t mess around when it comes to theological dissent.

When Bishop Han Solo was asked what’s so different about having a Wookie as your Diocesan Bishop; Solo replied “well; a regular Bishop won’t rip your arms off if you challenge the Magisterium of the Catholic Church”.

Bishop Dutch Schaeffer:

Many people thought that Dutch Schaeffer had gone into retirement after taking on, and beating, the Predator alien in a South American jungle, but it turns out that he was actually in the seminary.

Most commentators feel that his proven track record in rooting out and dealing with an evil Predator that can camouflage itself and hide in our midst will result in him being a Bishop who is keenly attentive to the Catechesis Office in his new diocese.

He was also well known in the seminary for the catchphrase “I’ll be back”, which most of his classmates are sure will keep many religious sisters in his new diocese on their game.

Bishop John McLean:

In the early nineties John McLean single-handedly took back the Nakitomi Towers from a group of deranged terrorists who were holding the building hostage.

It is believed that his impressive and heroic bravery during the Nakitomi siege will make him an excellent asset in most Diocesan Office Buildings, which are plagued by liturgical and theological terrorists.

It is also rumoured that Bishop John McLean has plans to institute a new online correspondence course for Catholic clergy entitled; “Time to cowboy the heck up and start acting like a real priest.”

To date there has been no official word from the Vatican about which five Dioceses the new Bishops will be appointed to.

Monday, March 06, 2006

If the Gather Hymn Book was a...

Many people will be aware of the fact that the Gather Hymn Books are responsible for bringing us the the songs of Haugen, Hass, and co.

But have you ever asked yourself; "what if the Gather Hymn book was something else?"

If the Gather Hymn Book was an animal it would be...

Or it maybe...

If the Gather Hymn Book was a Star Wars character it would be...

If the Gather Hymn Book was a hair style it would be...

Or maybe...

If the Gather Hymn Book was a vehicle it would be...

Or maybe one of these...

If the Gather Hymn Book was food it would be...

If the Gather Hymn Book was an album cover it would be...

Or maybe this...

If the Gather Hymn Book was a movie it would be...

If the Gather Hymn Book was a pet it would be...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The ten step Marty Haugen song writing program

Step one:

Make sure that you write your Marty Haugen song in the right environment and setting. It will really help if you put on a Barbara Streisand or an Andrew Lloyd Webber CD; the inspiration they give will really boost your song writing ability.

Many Marty Haugen wannabes claim that they personally find Kermit the Frog singing Rainbow Connection a real inspiration in their efforts to follow in the song writing footsteps of the Master.

Step two:

Think about things like your favourite pet. If you don’t have a pet, then think of Lassie or Barney the Dinosaur.

Step three:

Choose a song structure from the following options:

1. Verse, chorus, verse
2. Chorus, verse, chorus
3. Verse, chorus, verse, bridge

Step four:

Choose and complete a song title from the following options:

1. Gather...
2. Justice is...
3. Make us...
4. Happy...
5. Lovely, lovely...
6. People of...

Step five:

Find your favourite cute furry soft toy. Give it a big cuddle and hum your favourite Blue’s Clues song to it. This will help to keep your song writing focus and inspiration going.

Step six:

Choose the appropriate time signature for your song from the following choices:

1. 4/4 Jingle timing
2. 3/4 Waltz timing

Step seven:

Pick an instrument to write your song on from the following options:

1. Folk guitar
2. Casio keyboard
3. Folk guitar and Casio keyboard

Step eight:

Write a tune. It needs to have a happy feel – think 1980’s show tune, or 1970’s elevator music.

Make sure your melody is easily sung by finding a child and trying the tune out on them, if it takes them more than two attempts to grasp the melody then the tune is too complex and needs to be reworked.

If you chose option 3 at step three then you need to make sure that your bridge has a completely different melody to the rest of the song – this helps to keep things lively.

Step nine:

Write the lyrics to your song.

For a song to be a true Haugen classic it needs to incorporate some or all of the following words and phrases:

Justice, community, gathering, eat at the table, communion of hope, peace, injustice, bread, singing people, new song, light, open our minds, you love our failures, weakness.

Do not consult the Catechism or any other official Church documents during the lyric writing process, it will just complicate your lyrics and taint them with an official hierarchical flavour which doesn't work for Haugen songs.

Step ten:

Test your song by doing the following:

1. Play your song on a Church organ, preferably in your Diocesan Cathedral. If it sounds good played on the organ then you need to start over. If this happens you might want to spend more time listening to Rainbow Connection before beginning the writing process.

2. Find a group of at least ten children and get them to sing your song. If it sounds the same with them yelling/singing it as it did when you finished writing it then you could be on to a winner.

3. Try it out at your local rest home. If the most tone deaf residents have no problems remembering your song after hearing it only once then you definitely have a hit on your hands.

An aspiring Marty Haugen song writer tests his latest composition