For reasons it would be tedious to enter into here, Melancholicus disapproves on principle of such things as national bishops’ conferences, regarding them as cancerous outgrowths inspired by the revolution of Vatican II and engineered so as to impose the policies thereof. If he is to be consistent, he must also disapprove of websites representing such bodies. Nevertheless, he will be visiting the bishops’ conference website often, not because he has much faith in the leadership of these our fathers in God or hopes to find therein nourishment for his soul, but because in placing themselves thus so openly on the web, the bishops have exposed themselves to be shot at. And the temptation to engage in a little episcopal skeet is just too much to resist.
As today is the first day of a new month, a time for fresh beginnings and new inspirations, Melancholicus feels a little idea coming on:
Announcement for all interested parties!!!
The 2008 bishop-hunting season begins today and will close with the Benedicamus Domino of None on the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent (that’s 29 November this year).
Targets permitted in this season’s shoot:
All bishops as well as archbishops within the jurisdiction of the Irish bishops’ conference are fair game, including those retired on or before the commencement of the season. Deceased bishops are off limits, as is the apostolic legate. Promotion to the sacred college either before or during the course of the season does not confer any special protected status, hence cardinals may be hunted as keenly as the lowliest auxiliary. Monsignori and parish priests, although not bishops, may also be hunted throughout the season, although these are less prestigious prizes whose scoring value is much lower. Also considered fair game are lesser clergy and members of religious orders and institutes of either sex. Laypersons in the employ of dioceses, parishes or religious orders may also be hunted, though the point-scoring value of these last is so low as to be hardly worth the effort.
Scoring is as follows:
- The Primate of All Ireland: 10,000 pts
- Other archbishops: 8,000 pts each
- Diocesan bishops: 5,000 pts each
- Auxiliary bishops in Metropolitan Sees: 3,000 pts each
- Auxiliary bishops in other Sees: 2,000 pts each
- Titular bishops: 1,500 pts
- Retired cardinals: 1,500 pts each
- Retired archbishops: 1,200 pts each
- Retired diocesan bishops: 1,000 pts each
- Other retired bishops: 800 pts each
- Monsignori not in episcopal orders: 500 pts each
- Parish priests: 300 pts each
- All other active clergy: 150 pts each
- Male and female religious: 100 pts to 500 pts each (variable according to status and celebrity)
- Lay employees of the conciliar bureaucracy: 5 pts each
Scoring is cumulative. Individual targets may be bagged as often as you like, according as they make more or fewer gaffes over the next two months.
[takes aim through telescopic sight; sees purple biretta—or should that be, sees grey tab shirt?]
The season is open to all. Happy hunting!