Note that this is the NIV Good News translation of Pope Benedict XVI's recent controversial message.
Hello all you Catholic bigwigs with me here today!
Here comes the birth of baby Jesus, and only this can give every family out there a really fab party.
Even we single blokes in the Catholic hierarchy come together and give each other cards and good hugs, man to man. Ooh lovely. I'll come to this plug stuff later.
So hello everyone and thanks for helping me, the next one in the line that started with Peter. That's the Peter, not any old Peter.
Thanks a lot too to Dean of Cardinals Angie Soddo Anussy who spoke for you and the workers here at Catholic HQ. He's always such good fun: I spoke to him on my mobile the other day and apparently he got an injury.
Well our party, that special gig, is really a continuation of when all those gathered around the Holy Family, coming together as Jesus first said, 'Hello World!'
The gig is so good because it's like a big gift; Paul wrote a letter to Titus about it and said: 'Apparantly God's grace gets up your nose like fumes off a bus and it's the opposite of horrible.' (Apparuit gratia Dei Salvatoris nostri omnibus hominibus) This then gets up the nose of all men (but not women, who just tag along behind their blokes and try and see again what's so whiffy). It's the mission of Peter and the lads down the ages to get the smell really rich, strong and welcoming, like a steaming Turkey on the table at Christmas.
OK. Let's get to business. Hasn't this been one wopper of a year for the Church! And there are a few anniversaries too. Fifty years ago, Pope Pius XII died. Fifty years ago, John XXIII became Pope. Encyclical Humanae Vitae came out forty years ago, but the author, Pope Paul VI, was dead ten years after he wrote that one. It must have been the subject matter that got to him.
We've discussed them enough already, so we'll talk about something else.
Back in June 28 I was with your Big Father Bart Simpson of Istanbul and some other notables, and we had a big birthday party for Paul: that's not any old Paul but the Paul - he would be 2000 years old had he lived. But even though he is long dead he still influences us today through his letters. His letters forward readers on to the died and apparition Christ.
What Paul says is that this Church is Christ's body and if you love Christ then you love this Church and all that is in it. So make sure you love this Church and just remember that I am the boss.
What else happened this year?
Well we had that World Youth Day. That had the sceptics going: I bet they didn't think we could muster up more than a handful of youths given what Catholicism stands for. Well we proved them wrong: we bunged them on planes and buses and Australia started to sink under the weight of marching feet. Like all young people they had a good time, and thanking us for the ride said told the world that they are Catholics. I'll say more about this.
We also had a nice time in the United States and France. We got our stall out in both places and put some lights on for the world. They shone on life as we know it and the press had to go on and on about sexual abuse again.
Oh yes and there were the Bishops who gathered for some Bible readings. I enjoyed that.
You take things for granted but you shouldn't, and we didn't: God replies to text messages. He'll shape our lives and we can ask for mercy, given what we get up to as clergy. He reaches parts that others cannot reach but you need to be awake when he does it. The reply message says, 'Come together: you're more than individuals.' It is personal, but you only get it when you get together, and it always is a bit different with each generation. So let's get together.
Now the Bible was written long ago in its own time, but it's amazing how it also speaks to us, because God chatters through this too.
And the Church too: it has Pentecost today, with lots of voices and dressing up and the Word of God covers the lot, and then some more for those who suffer all this stuff. When these Bishops gathered, Big Father Bart was very clever and showed another way to get messages to the Word of God. You can do it by taking pictures as well as sending texts, and boy was he clever how he did that. So that gathering ought to give us a filip, keeping the Bible up to date as God chatters through it to us using all its variety and the mobile too.
I did some visits this year and that was about God chattering now too. I make the Church visible, like putting a dog collar on and wandering up and down the high street waiting for someone at least to say, "Hello Vicar of Christ, how do you keep your gown so white? How do you avoid stains like you get when you end up spilling your rice pudding?"
This brings me back to those young people coming off the buses. It's wow man youth culture - or is it? Yeah, we even got more people there than at the Olympics: I bet none of those sneery journalists and secular types expected that! Now the police said, if these kids can't behave then we'll give them Anti Social Behaviour Orders and will lock 'em up, but I said to the Prime Minister, these are Catholics and if I tell them to behave they will. In the end the police went off shift because these Catholic kids drank sarsaparilla and made lots of sniggering remarks to each other about genitals and when to use them.
It reminds me when I talk to my priests, and about when not to use them. I'll have more to say on all this shortly.
No, they had a wonderful time, and the few police about had a dance, like they do at the Notting Hill Carnival in England, where they nicked our churches and monasteries. Good for public relations, it was, in Sydney. Everyone got outside of themselves, with drinking all that sarsaparilla.
Everyone said, it's like a big rock festival and I'm the big attraction. Typical isn't it that they should use youth culture like this and miss the big God above in the Australian sky. Even Catholics spoke like these secularists. No it's not - because the gathering leaves a God-shaped impression in the Outback, and they can't explain that one.
Nothing is the same again when Catholics get off the buses and start to smell that rich aroma of ripe humanity. Your Holy Mother accompanies these kids, keeping them in good order, in case she gets Cross, and so it was like a pilgrimage as they behaved themselves. We didn't hand out condoms either.
They encountered the one who died and made an apparition or two, so they thought about that and the Holy Mother who accompanied them when they met each other and Christ as they walked Via Crucis on the way to the Opera House. And I'm not the star: I just point to the star in the sky who twinkles down over Bethlehem at this time of year, though no astronomer says this.
We had a church service outdoors - we couldn't get them all in anywhere and we weren't going to ask that raving Protestant Anglican in Sydney for his place - and this was the big event when all our heavenly friends were present.
The guy who said 'God is dead' also said a good party needs partygoers, and boy were they goers and fruity. No wonder so many boys and girls made friends afterwards. Our other heavenly friend present at the gig was the Holy Spirit. And he had a few words: The Creator Spirit moved over the waters to get to Australia. The Creator Spirit made mathematics and gave a woof under nature, making it all bouncy and springy and thingy.
Now this nature has got brains, and so have we, and our brains see its brains, and they both come from the Creator Spirit. But that means our brains must look after the brains of nature because nature is a gift and we are its administrators like in those high rises that you do see in Sydney. Now this brainy creation that the Creator Spirit made not only adds up, and lets you do experiments on it with regular results, but says it wants to be good and ethical too.
It's not just mathematics but actual goodness itself as the animals chase each other and gobble each other up. Catastrophes? Who needs humans when the universe can provide its own catastrophes. Anyway, we have a responsibility in public to avoid catastrophes. And in defending the four elements (earth, air, fire and water) and their braininess, so we should defend the braininess of men (women can tag along behind).
No matter what every other academic discipline says, no matter how much tosh this natural order rubbish represents, we are not outdated for us when we use it, and thus go on to tell men that they should choose the right female orifice for their stick-ups and not the wrong ones or those fewer ones men have got.
Now come on and respect the natural order: after all, you don't ram a plug into another plug do you? No, you bung it in a socket. And who ever heard of sockets plugging into sockets (though we don't really care about women and women)? See, we have to stop men getting electric shocks by getting the wiring and the pins all mixed up. What we want is the electricity that flows when a plug goes into the proper socket that only the woman possesses. You should respect the natural order. There is the woman, there is the man, and he's the plug and she is the socket. Now get the real electricity going!
This is what we said to the young people. We said to our priests that plugs do not produce electricity on their own by caressing the plug, nor by invading those plugs and sockets that aren't yet up to the right voltage. As Monty Python has said, 'Every sperm is sacred.'
It is all about the Creator, this. Bugger evolution and all that tosh; but we also believe in evolution so we are not like Protestant fundies, like some in Sydney, but we easily ignore evolution when we want God involved again like a puppet-master with long strings. Bugger too all this nonsense called 'gender'. What's that when it's at home? You think you can do what you like - plugs pushing into plugs and sockets rubbing up against sockets. Talk about gender and you upset the God who wants sex, sex, sex in his Church, and no condoms.
So we don't put big condoms on trees, and rainforests deserve such freedom from making them even more sweaty, and therefore we can't have the destruction of humanity through Gender Studies in universities and so these departments should close down and do Catholic theology instead. Read the scholastics. They knew enough about getting pregnant and having lots of Catholic babies, and called it the Sacrament of creation. A man gets with a woman, bangs out as many children as possible, and then he stays with her when she is worn out and both then die.
Now plugs with plugs (and sockets and sockets) have nothing to do with this, with no one to baptise and the danger that the world might not overpopulate. The real danger is the Europe might became a vast wasteland of importing children from Africa, as started by youth culture personalities. The Creator set up nature, and we wrote Humanae Vitae saying that we don't want consumer sex and Gender Studies but, rather, lots of roly poly foreplay and lovey dovey type stuff before putting the plug in, all that we priests cannot understand unless we have the odd mistress.
I would like to go on and on, and now wish to talk about pumping up car tyres (pneumatology), which also reflects the natural order as a pump screws around a nozzle thing, even if this is a bit the wrong way around.
It's fantastic that the Creator Spirit speaks Latin and Greek and tells us that the world has got brains, and thus we know how to make tyres and pump them up via a good screw. The wheel (on to which created humanity can attach tyres) is a fabulous invention fully supported by the Catholic Church, as it indicates how the Sun goes around the Earth. As the Sun circulates, so history is made, and God has his words circulate out of the New Testament and other writings.
This was expressed wonderfully by Saint Ambrose, when he wrote that God walks through the milky paradise (Ep 49:3). So we too splodge through the rice pudding of life, and realise that like the rice and the milky made stuff, Christ and the Holy Spirit are inseparable. Not only does the rice pudding show God the Trinity, but eating it all up is the metaphor we need for salvation. Young people love rice pudding and this is more than youth culture because people and bishops have eaten rice pudding down the ages.
Now, at his first apparition of resurrection, as the disciples ate their rice pudding in the field, the Lord breathed on them and they gained the Holy Spirit. This was a bit like at the dawn of creation, when the universe was a celestial rice pudding, and the Holy Spirit breathed on that and made it hot and eatable and it formed mathematics and brains out of the lumpy bits.
And the other thing is how the Church too comes off the Holy Spirit, and don't forget that I'm in charge at the moment. And we are all in it together. 'Join the club,' said Augustine, and this is what a lot of the Catholic girls did in Australia, with the Holy Mother doing her bit of keeping some of them in order, but not quite all of them. Yes we did a few quick weddings before they got back on the buses and aeroplanes. Some of them had to change buses and aeroplanes and write to the created order of mum and dad saying why they had to go to a different country.
They didn't do that at the Bishops' Synod. Don't believe what you used to see on Father Ted, that disgusting TV programme, accurate as it may have been.
No, with all these events there was more than one charism among so many, the Pentecostal image of the multitude of languages and cultures. And we love it and are so grateful: thanks God!
All these God bits give us joy, happy happy happy, like a lot of young people in Australia. How to be happy? Well, with the created order of plugs going into sockets! Then electricity radiates, and gives a bit of heat to overcome the problems of the world collapsing economically, which I haven't bothered to mention really because like that Anglican Archbishop in England I wouldn't know what to say if I did mention what actually matters to people. Well well, let me say thanks again, because I can ramble on and on!
Anyway, we ask the Virgin Mary if we can enjoy Christmas and if not ask her why not. So from my family of celibate plugs, I give all you plugs and sockets out there Seasons Greetings. Hurrah!
We have a Gospel to proclaim! - “God is an intelligible space whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. God is within all things, but not enclosed, outside all things...