Attack of the killer Catholic Church!

was my Trade Tripper column in the recent weekend issue of BusinessWorld:

It finally happened. Two weeks ago, the respected international news magazine The Week That Wasn’t Really ran a cartoon showing Pope Francis allegedly killing a gay pigeon. How the pigeon was considered gay was not brought up, but it angered many Catholics as another example of the media’s obsession to portray the Church as villainous and intolerant.

The day after the cartoon was published, Catholic militants attacked the TWTWR office and massacred the entire staff. Reacting to the news, Salesian priest Fr. Chito Dizon urged all not to immediately label the attackers as Catholics. “So what if they shouted ‘Totus Tuus’ and then took time off during the middle of the attack to pray the Angelus at noon? That doesn’t make them necessarily Catholic. They could be Hindus. Or Rastafarian. It’s possible they merely used the name of the Church in committing the atrocity.”

Nevertheless, Fr. Bobby Magsino, a Vatican spokesman and member of the shadowy and controversial Opus Dei [Sorry, I forgot to mention “ultra-conservative” -- JG] justified the attack, describing “the encounter” as that of “freedom fighters acting in self-defense” compelled by years of “historical baggage” in the form of “media and academic oppression suffered by the Catholic Church.”

Nevertheless, Fr. Magsino urged all to instead move forward and forget the deaths ever happened. “Peace is what’s important,” he said.

Meanwhile, interviewed by EWTN, Lito Deyvid of Pro-Life Philippines denounced those asking for justice for the TWTWR victims, calling it as “grandstanding” against Catholics. They are “anti-religion and against peace,” he said. Furthermore, “those asking for total war have not lived in the poor parishes and can’t comprehend the daily insults and attacks the faithful have been subjected to.”

Arwin Hilario, congressman from McBayan partylist, was even more earnest: “Forget the killings. Criminal laws, like sovereignty or gender, are mere social constructs. The real problem is the oligarchy that imposes their non-developmental agenda. The rich know nothing about ordinary religious folk, who perform apostolate work under conditions of poverty. It’s very difficult and complicated. Also, it’s obviously Gloria Arroyo’s fault.”

“I support those Catholic militants,” added Mr. Hilario, "they spoke truth to power". When told that the TWTWR victims were ordinary poor working people, with children, he replied: “But let’s also remember that many Catholics were killed by Queen Elizabeth I. The Buddhists killed many Catholics too. The Romans fed Catholics to lions. So context, people!”

This was supported by Trina Montes, a comparative women’s rights professor from the University of the Philippines, saying that we should not be too quick to condemn the killing by the Catholics. “The Hittites, for example, were also committing massacres 3,000 years ago.”

In fact, “they were the first to use germ warfare,” she added.

Ironically, the TWTWR incident was followed by a mauling that Catholics gave to a group of Mormons last Sunday. It appears that Catholics suddenly started occupying (without permission) a portion of the Mormon Temple along White Plains. When the members of the Church of Latter Day Saints (as Mormons are officially called) started to enter their Temple last Sunday, the Catholics roving around the compound started beating them up, forcing the Mormons to go somewhere else to worship.

Ms. Haidi Dulong, chief negotiator for the Mormons, blamed the Mormons for what happened: “So what if the Catholics were squatting? The Mormons should have followed protocol and coordinated with the squatters first before entering our own compound. The Catholics were surprised. Wouldn’t you? Read my books first before you speak to me on this issue.”

When told that the Catholics still continued to beat up the Mormons for several hours even after the latter identified themselves as being there to do Sunday worship, Ms. Dulong replied: “Let’s wait for the results of the Catholic investigation. Besides, the enemy... este, Mormons were also at fault. Several Catholics suffered hurt feelings.”

Jesuit scholar Fr. Joachim Tambori predictably articulated erudition: “I wouldn’t say the Catholic Church is right on this issue. In fact, I don’t know of any issue where the Catholic Church has ever been right. There are many things to consider. We should always put ourselves in others’ shoes because people have the international human right to shoes.” Rappler readers immediately declared this made them feel happy and intelligent.

Finally, one of the Catholic militants, Erwin Richard Perez, issued a statement: “You grieve for the TWTWR dead. But many have tried to subjugate the Church, yet we’re still here. You can wage war against us but we will just baptize more babies who will grow up to continue the Crusades. So give us the peace that we demand or there’ll be violence of biblical proportions (i.e., dogs and cats living together -- mass hysteria).”

“However,” the Catholic militant was quick to add, “always remember that Christianity is the religion of peace. Anybody who disagrees with that will have the jeebus excommunicated out of him.”

[And ... I ran out of crap to write.]