Now, normally when anyone named Miller starts writing about Vatican pronouncements on Catholic Social Teaching, I reach for my revolver and pop a few rounds of Guilfussian Priest Chasers through my monitor screen, like Elvis with his TV set. This particular posting, however, is amusing and worth reading (and savouring) in full.
That's in no way to deny, of course, that Protestant synods are capable of generating equally bad or worse sludge - one imagines the Unitingarians producing some dreadfully earnest "Year of Listening Communique", or suchlike, which exhorts all Christians to use one less sheet of toilet paper a day, and to make sure they leave the dunny seat up. But at least the Prot versions don't end with anathemata being thundered against whomsoever should take away the least jot or tittle from the document. You can disregard these decrease without going to Hell or some intermediate version thereof.
Next: "We therefore, in the most authentic exercise of our teaching Magisterium, entrusted to the Apostle Peter by Our Lord Jesus Christ, do pronounce it objectively necessary, and the dereliction thereof to be gravely illicit, that you - shall Wear Sunscreen."
"The Ten Commandments of... What?"
By Robert T Miller
Tuesday, July 3, 2007, 6:26 AM
I present to you a document of some forty pages entitled "Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road <http://www.zenit.org/article-19915?l=english" prepared by a Vatican office known as the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People, which is under the supervision of Cardinal Renato Martino. "The outcome of a great endeavor entailing listening, reflection and insight," the document begins with a fascinatingly uninformative reflection on "The Phenomenon of Human Mobility":
"Moving from place to place, and transporting goods using different means, have characterised human behaviour since the beginning of history...
"The transportation of goods and people is increasing at a dizzy pace, sometimes taking place under difficult conditions and even putting life at risk...
"A modern phenomenon, full of consequences, which is part of this mobility, and the progress that derives from it, is traffic in general, and especially road traffic. Traffic has gradually increased...
"We only need to consider the many uneven roads travelled on by unsafe and overloaded means of transport, which constitute a grave danger for everyone, especially at night...
"Undoubtedly, road vehicles give us many advantages. They provide a rapid means of transport for people (getting to places of work and study, weekend outings with the family, going away on holiday, meetings with friends and relatives)... Means of transport are particularly useful when they enable sick and injured people to be rescued..."
So the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People informs us in writing that people drive in cars in order to go to work, that there's a lot of traffic nowadays, that goods are transported from place to place over the roads, that driving is more dangerous at night than during the day, and that it's really good that sick and injured people can be transported over the roads to hospital. Try, if you can, to write down five or six sentences as fatuously banal as each of these, and you'll find it's not easy. [...]