Catholic Church: Reviewed
Before reading, if you’re not a Catholic, here’s a very quick rundown of the history of the Catholic Church: key players – Jesus, the Pope, Mel Gibson; key moments – the birth and resurrection of Jesus (4 A.D. – 34 A.D.), the pissing on science (110 A.D. – current), Jesus Christ Superstar (1971).
There is seemingly a lack of criticism on the quality of churches. This is quite bizarre, as churches are, after all, a place where you stumble in on a Sunday morning, dish out a bit of money, try to understand some confusing stories, drink a bit of alcohol and then go home. Thus, all churches in Melbourne are in direct competition with Revolver, so they need to be put on notice.
I arrive at the church, and my first impression is not good. Firstly, I can see plenty of gold lacing the fucking walls, and plenty of bling bling around the priest’s neck, but absolutely no cushioning on the seats. Churches cheaping out on pillows is a problem citywide, and this one is no different. For an institution against homosexuality, they sure know how to give a dude a numb arse. Even the altar boys are walking rather awkwardly. They must not have cushions back there, either.
Secondly, I’m seated next to a whiney little fucker who had just been baptised. The Catholic Church strongly urges parents to baptise their children because it washes away all sins. If you think your cute newborn is innocent, you’re wrong, because that dirty little shit is guilty of original sin. Original sin is passed down from Adam, widely recognised as the George Bush of Earth’s early days, fucking shit up for generations.
The priest comes out in a very plain, insipid robe, which looks somewhat like an expensive snuggie. He reads out Isaiah 55:1, an acapella cover version of Nirvana’s Come As You Are. The basic message is that Jesus will accept you no matter what, but it somehow forgets to mention “unless you’re gay”. Thankfully, we have ordinary people to interpret Jesus for us, often leading to conclusions contradictory to what Jesus actually said. I, for one, cannot wait until Jesus returns.
“Dude, big fan. Turn the other cheek, love thy neighbour, hating on faggots. Love that shit.”
“I’m sorry what?”
Following a hymn, in a Lady Gaga-style twist, the priest has returned in a different snuggie, and now looks like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Suddenly, I hear the Jedi priest proclaim, “…we pray to Pell our cardinal, John Paul II our Pope”. An eerie pause smothers the room. Everybody is speechless. John Paul II has been dead for years. Benedict is now Pope. These are the sorts of errors that plagued Jedi Priest’s college career in the seminary, and many believe slip-ups such as these were the reason churches were wary of drafting him until at least the second round.
Time for eucharist, where we drink blood and eat flesh, in an obvious attempt by the church to cash in on the recent fame of Twilight and True Blood and therefore lure in a younger audience before can they develop a critical mind.
When I return, I’m seated amongst a clan of old nuns. Those unexposed to Christianity may be confused as to what a nun is. Not to be confused with stripper nuns, non-stripper nuns are women who refused to procreate and therefore chose to ignore the miracle of life in order to serve a higher, more important purpose. This is allowed, and even encouraged by the Catholic Church. However, rape victims who want an abortion have, just like nuns, also preferred not to procreate and instead decided that the miracle of life should be neglected for very pertinent reasons. Strangely, this is strongly condemned by the Catholic Church, because “life is sacred”.
A collection box is passed around from aisle to aisle. It reaches my hand, and the feel of the wooden basket is disappointing. They’ve chosen pine straw over oak, and the difference is quite telling. I’m not sure how much is expected of me to put in, so I throw in four dollars. I can see disgust gathering at the corner of the collector’s mouth. I never get this treatment at Revolver, and the church is at a real risk of seeing its members flock there instead.
The priest begins to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to me. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are like water; it can take the form of liquid, ice or steam, yet it is still water. Kinda like Mel Gibson: in Mad Max he’s a highway patrol officer, in Lethal Weapon he’s a cop, and in The Million Dollar Hotel he becomes an FBI agent – yet he still finds a way to blame the Jews for everything.
The sermon ends: it’s time for confession, and I look around the room. We’re all fucked, and we know it. Confession basically means you admit to the Lord your treacherous acts, yet you are immune from the law and prosecution. Thankfully, a priest is in here with me too. Not sure why though, these special rules also apply to him outside this cramped box.
Overall, while this church is painful on the arse, it’s pleasing on the eyes with its stunning décor. The service was pleasant, and although the priest’s attempt to spice things up with a costume change was a good effort, it reeked of desperation. One must question whether church is worthwhile, considering that the hours idly spent there on a Sunday could be used by the members actually enacting the message of Jesus, such as feeding the homeless and those exiting Revolver.