In a worrying sign for the small handful of people who believe that “this” is the time the Catholic Church is actually going to take meaningful action to address sexual abuse in its ranks, Pope Francis opened today’s summit on that subject with the traditional Sermon of the Let’s Just Keep This Between Us Shall We, We Wouldn’t Want To Ruin Anyone’s Career Now Would We?
“Ave Maria haec earplugs,” the Pope intoned somberly in Latin, as he waved a smoking censer over a box of industrial strength, one size fits all, sweat resistant, foam ear protectors. “Let us do our best to listen through these God-given disturbance blockers,” he continued in English, “And for those serious allegations which we cannot block out, let us easily forge them. Amen.”
One of the key objects in the holy trinity of predator enablement, as it is recognized by the Vatican (a collection which also includes a blindfold and a gag), the earplugs are believed to be as old as instances of sexual abuse in the church. Which go back to its earliest days.
“Historically they were made of other readily available ear-canal sized objects, such as pitted olives, and wads of wool,” says Vatican historian, Ronaldo Fortini. “But those were less effective at blocking out the literally millions of cries for help that have echoed through various Catholic Churches around the world throughout its history. So today we are grateful to have 3M’s patented E-A-R taperfit technology, to better help us ignore the pleas of those who trusted us the most, the Lord’s children.”
“What?” asked the Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the cleric in charge of investigating sex crimes in the church, when asked if the church intended to finally take on a zero-tolerance approach to offenders. “I’m having trouble hearing you, but if your question was to do with whether or not these earplugs are comfortable, the answer is yes. Next question.”
The summit is expected to go for who really cares, and will culminate in a let us know when you’re actually going to do something.