Your Excellency:

Recently, I read in our diocesan newspaper of the “gay and lesbian Mass” offered at St. Peter’s Church in Charlotte.  According to the article, this Mass was a means of comforting those who have been ostracized by the Church and of ensuring a welcome for homosexuals that would incorporate Church teachings and pastoral concerns.  Although I am not sure what this latter statement means, I assume that this is the place where someone in authority mentions that heavy breathing and entwined limbs outside of marriage and professional wrestling matches are big no-nos.

Although I must confess that I found it necessary to conceal the large front-page headline from the eyes of my 12-year-old—my son is still rather revolted by this idea of sex between men, though I am certain, with the assistance of the Church, government, and educational system, he’ll come round one of these days—I read the article with avid interest.  How wonderful that we have become such an inclusive Church, adding sodomites to the adulterers, thieves, and other sinners who weekly attend Mass and enjoy the Sacraments—excepting Confession, of course—in our novus ordo seclorum.

Msgr. Richard Allen, who received a standing ovation for his homily, called gays and lesbians “heroes.”  His remarks made me wonder if I had taken the right path by marrying and raising a family.  Should I have tried walking on the other side of the street, so to speak, so that I might also be a hero?  That evening long ago in Boston’s Combat Zone, when I refused the advances of that poor skinny fellow with the blond beard and damp lips: Was it then that my life took a wrong turn, costing me my opportunity to rise to the heights of heroism?  Possibly, yet I just cannot seem to raise an interest in that direction.  It’s a question of defective genes on my part, no doubt, but what’s a poor fellow to do?

But this is all by-the-by, Your Excellency.  My purpose in this letter is to ask you to consider offering a diocesan-wide Fornicators’ Mass.  Several people in our parish are “living in sin”—how splendidly quaint that sounds!—and I am certain that it takes great courage for them to do so.  It seems to me that they, too, deserve recognition as heroes.  Having their own special Mass would surely help these people feel less ostracized and more a part of the Church.  Since other parishes from around the diocese must also have adulterers and fornicators participating in the  Mass and partaking of the Eucharist, I feel certain that this service would be well attended.

Such a Mass might provide a place for reconciliation and for wide recognition of heroism in today’s Church.  In the case of adultery, for example, we might invite both the injured spouse and the lover as well as any children involved on either side.  This way, everyone could stand up and be courageous together.  We could also explain, as the diocesan news article mentioned, that the justifications for these relationships, just like those of our homosexual brothers and sisters, are based on the insights of current human sciences—meaning, I suppose, those Masters, Johnson, and Kinsey “sciences” which teach us that humans are intended to hop onto one other with the frequency of rabbits.

During the Mass, we could release balloons bearing love lines from the Song of Solomon.  To create a proper mood, we might also consider blending a few songs from the 60’s—“Let’s Spend the Night Together,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” and so on—into the Mass.  Most of my fellow Catholics (who are, as you know, docile as sheep in regard to Church music) would sing lustily (and lustfully) along with these songs.  (Perhaps we could even sing “Domenique.”  Your Excellency surely remembers Sr. Luc-Gabrielle, the “singing nun” who made that little ditty a hit tune in the late 60’s.  Sister left the convent, declared herself a lesbian, and, in 1985, ended up a suicide by barbiturates.  Was she also a hero?)

We would need banners, of course; I was thinking that we could find some adorned with Valentine’s Day hearts.  Indeed, perhaps the feast day of Saint Valentine would be the ideal day for the Fornicators’ Mass.  We might also consider issuing a pendant bearing a scarlet “A” to participants, thereby transforming what once was a mark of shame into a badge of honor.

Somewhere in the homily, the priest might be inspired, as apparently the priests who address our homosexual brothers and sisters are, to tell his listeners that all the baptized have the right to the Church and Her Sacraments and that the Church has an obligation to welcome them with joy and thanksgiving for their many talents.  No one need bring up the old idea of sin; the very mention of mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa would put a damper on the whole liturgy, which is why our gay homosexuals never bring up the subject.  (Here I am using gay in its antiquated and adjectival sense, Your Excellency, to mean happy or celebratory.)

Such a Mass, particularly if we keep the music lively and the homily upbeat, will undoubtedly prove popular and may even lead to the establishment of other theme Masses.  As a former swiller of anything alcoholic—I did draw the line at aftershave lotion—I can tell you with some authority that there would be great interest in a Drunkards’ Mass.  Unlike homosexuals, alcoholics are only heroic after they have abandoned their vice; but I’m sure we can slip this difference past everyone without causing a ruckus.  The diocese could offer a Thieves’ Mass for certain local businessmen, a Gossips’ Mass for almost everyone, and a Millstone Around the Neck Mass for some of our Faith Formation teachers.  In the latter Mass, let me suggest that you go out of your way to reassure our teachers that Christ’s admonition to those who deceive or mislead the young—that it would be better if they were thrown into the sea with a stone about their necks—was just another example of His offbeat humor.)

I invite you to consider these proposals, Your Excellency.  Keeping you in my prayers,

Joe Ecclesia