Friday, July 10, 2009

A year later, the infestation continues to spread

A year ago I wrote about the infestation of the Catholic Church, particularly in Britain, of new invasive parasitic species whose venomous bite is lethal to the Faith. I posited, at the time that Tony Blair was invited by Cardinal Cormac "Bubbles" Murphy O'Connor to speak at Westminster. The newly minted Catholic Blair praised Karen Armstrong's books for shewing him the way forward in faith.

Which faith, precisely, is still uncertain.

(Busy today, so you're getting a repost.)

A small subspecies of Catholicus Cafeterius native to the British Isles; Catholicus Armstrongiensis.

He praises Karen Armstrong's "remarkable" book that talks about the evolution of religious thought from "earliest times" when it was irrational and unforgiving, to "modern times" when faiths share common values and purpose.

Closely related to and sometimes thought by theological taxonomists to be a variety of Catholicus Tabletistis. We have a very similar species in Canada, Catholicus Winnipegiensis so I'm surprised I didn't recognise it. It explains a lot.

Unfortunately, these are extremely aggressive and invasive species and can completely overwhelm the native populations if left unchecked. It seems clear that Britain, as is Canada, is in the final stages of being totally overrun by these new varieties.

They're both quite poisonous, of course.

Their bite, if not treated immediately, stuns the prey who begins to experience a severe spiritual lassitude and confusion, sometimes called acedia, invariably accompanied by moral blindness and religious indifferentism. After this, the victim is paralysed and the second stage, by far more horrible, sets in.

Some cases of severe poisoning by C. Tabletistis have shown some odd symptoms, including the victim feeling an overwhelming urge to issue statements on "interfaith dialogue", write books about the universal common origins of all religious beliefs, attend multi-faith gatherings in Assisi, pray to the "four directions" and even, in extreme cases, wear tie-dye chasubles (oddly, this last symptom manifests itself in both sexes). They can even be subject to fits of babbling incomprehensibly, for example:

"There is nothing I look back on now and say that as a result of my religious journey I would have done things very differently but that is expressly not to say that I got everything right."

But this last symptom is rare and normally only manifests itself at large gatherings.

Perhaps most alarmingly, if the bite is left untreated, after the C. Tabletistis victim falls into a spiritual paralysis, he becomes a host for a new individual of the species. Horribly, recent research has discovered that the species is not only aggressive and invasive, but parasitic as well. It seems to implant along with the paralysing venom, some kind of retrovirus that spreads rapidly throughout the victim's system, re-writing his spiritual DNA. The result, for those who survive with any spiritual life at all, is a new individual member of the parasite species, ready to spread the virus to other victims. This secondary action of the venomous bite has led some to nickname the species "Catholicus Vrykolakas". This new discovery of the species' parasitic nature and the presence of the virus, answers many questions about how the species has spread so rapidly in areas where infestations had previously been minimal or even unknown.

Some have theorized that some of the German the bishops attending the Second Vatican Council must have carried one or more individuals of the European variety of the species with them in their luggage and infected virtually the entire hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Other instances of such infestations have been noted in history, but they have been localized, limited by the need to have a host carry the infestation to other areas. It is one of few plausible explanations as to how the entire body of the Catholic episcopate could have entered the Second Vatican Council as Catholics, and left it as an apparently entirely new species of creature, previously confined largely to French theologians and Jesuits and only seen in the upper echelons of the Church in extremely rare instances.

In the case of the Vatican II bishops, the species simply got lucky and the bishops present took the infection back with them to the four corners of the globe and the species spread rapidly through the long-established systems of communication and travel, (schools, hospitals, universities, religious orders, etc) until the proliferation became all but unstoppable.

Little hope appears to remain of preserving native species of Catholicae in Britain. Most believe that the only hope is to allow the infestation to run its natural course and, when they have exhausted the resources of the area, the invaders will die off. Some have suggested that a return to the traditional sacramental life of Britain's native religion, along with an extensive programme of public education on the dangers of contact with C. Tabletistis and C. Armstrongiensis, may preserve portions of native Catholicae in a dual action of a prophylactic and innoculation.

But others have cautioned that such programmes require greater resources than are currently available to the remaining uninfected population and that the infestations can remain dormant within a given population, a parish, say, or a religious house, that may appear untouched, only to manifest itself when few will suspect any danger, as has been the case in some of the surviving religious orders. In addition, C. Tab. and C. Arm. is able to camouflage itself, for example by affecting the traditional religious dress of some pre-infestation religious orders, thus luring in the unwary.

There is little hope for a cure for advanced cases of poisoning. In rare instances, massive doses of undiluted Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Peter Kreeft and similar highly processed and distilled ideas have had a positive effect, but treatment is often rejected by the victim and even when accepted, is severely hampered by the action of the virus, much of which is to dampen, or entirely destroy, the faculties of reason, the ability to perceive reality and the logic processing centres of the brain. It is these faculties that are required as carriers for the victim to process the anti-viral medication.

Research continues, but fewer and fewer remain uninfected to do the work. As of this writing, the outlook is bleak for the continued survival of the Church in this country.

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