Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pope Makes Solemn Papal Declaration That He Is A Priscillianist

Pope Makes Solemn Papal Declaration That He Is A Priscillianist

By Dinah Silverstein and Tanya Cohen
Rome / Sat Mar 21 2016 3:30 PM EDT

(Reuters) Wearing his Papal tiara, sitting in his Papal throne and with news cameras precisely recording the scene, Pope Francis announced to a surprised audience today that he was a "card carrying" Priscillianist.

Here is the text of the announcement, translated into English but uttered in Spanish-accented Italian:
Are the microphones turned on? Okay, a Solemn Papal Declaration is coming in 5-4-3-2-1. Good afternoon, I, Pope Francis, of my own free will and with sound mind and body, declare to you that I am a Priscillianist. I believe fully and completely in the doctrines of Marcus, Instantius, Salvianus, Helpidius, and Priscillian that encompass the heresy known as Priscillianism. Among other things I hold to the theory that human souls were united to the flesh in punishment for their sins. The rest of it is a bit complicated, but rest assured, I subscribe to the whole thing. Is that perfectly clear? Okay. End of Solemn Papal Declaration.
He then held up what he said was a "membership card", printed in Latin, but that experts reviewing blown up versions of the video, said appeared to have been manufactured in 4th century Spain.

Priscillianism was a relatively short-lived heresy declared by the early Christian Church. In large part it combined the views of two other early heresies, Modalism and Gnosticism. No known instances of it have been reported in the last 1600 years.

Vatican commentators, many of them in shock, said this may have been the first time in history that a Pope had explicitly declared himself a heretic. In a smaller audience a few hours later, a beaming Pope himself seemed to at least partially agree: "That's right, my friends. I couldn't keep it a secret any longer. I couldn't look into the mirror anymore and deny my real identity. I had to be true to myself. For the first time in my life, I feel genuinely comfortable and at peace."

Catholic Bloggers at Odds

Many Traditionalist Catholic bloggers couldn't suppress their excitement. "Finally, we nailed the guy," declared the author of an hitherto obscure website called My Hound's Paradise, "Or rather, he nailed himself. It's right there on tape. The guy said it! He actually said it! And since this blog was the first to report it, maybe I'll get more than twenty hits on my posts and can actually start making money from the thing."

The popular website Catholic Culture was more circumspect, recommending a review of the original Italian and reprinting a 217 page paper arguing that Priscilianism was in fact perfectly consistent with the documents of Vatican II. They also reminded readers that the Pope's hat had blown off during the audience.

Blogger Mark Shea rejected the claims. "Relax. Francis is no heretic." When asked in a blog comment how Shea could come to that conclusion given that the Pope himself had actually used the word "heresy" in his announcement, Shea immediately banned the commenter from his site. A witness then reported that Shea's eyes widened, a thick foam started to flow out of his mouth, his beard burst into flame and he was quickly taken away in an ambulance.

The Advocate, in an online statement by the editorial staff, said it was cautiously optimistic, and cited the Pope's later announcement that he was changing his Papal name to Pope Priscilla as "a step in the right direction."

Sedevacantists Split

As of this report, over 200 "True Popes" have now identified themselves, mainly from the Midwest area of the United States. Jake Pulaski, a gas station attendant from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, paused briefly for an interview before boarding the First Class section of an international Virgin Airlines flight, "I've just won the lucky ticket! Get the Papal apartments ready. I'm going to Rome, boys!"

Breakaway Bishop Richard Williamson, reached for comment from his new 17 million dollar redoubt deep in the Amazon jungle, said that it had long been known that Priscillianism was a Jewish plot. As proof, he recommended listening to the first side of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon backwards.

Cardinal Non-Plussed

Joseph Kasper, recently installed in the newly created position of Vice Pope, said the whole thing was much ado about nothing. "Or, rather," he said to this reporter, "I suspect the African Bishops are behind this. They probably temporarily hypnotized the Pope with some weird tribal dance or something. You know those jokers. Oh, by the way, that microphone's not turned on is it?" The Cardinal later denied the comments.

American Bishops Urge Calm

Appearing on various talk shows, representatives from the US Conference of Bishops stated that the recent declaration would not dissuade them from the Church's urgent agenda during the current Jubilee Year of Mercy. "There are still millions of homeless and millions of families without health insurance, as well as millions of undocumented immigrants, millions of retail workers earning only slightly more than minimum wage and millions of senior citizens living lonely lives along golf courses," said Chicago Archbishop Blasé Cupich on a special edition of Meet the Press. "And there are also millions of handguns, some of which are probably loaded at this very moment."

When asked what he thought of the decision of the Pope to go public as a heretic, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York declared, "Well, all I can say is, Bravo and God bless ya!"

These reporters will continue to follow the story as it develops.