I’m reluctant to share the following e-mail with my spiritually minded Parting Glances readers, so many of whom are touchy about controversial issues concerning fashion-conscious nuns in out-of-the-way locals
My e-mail comes from Boston. Home of baked beans. Banning of Broadway touring musicals (a guarantee of sellout houses). City of shocking financial set back to the high-pitched tune of several millions of donated dollars for dozens and dozens of playguy priests caught partying down low with the boys.
Let me say from the start I’ve nothing against Recovering Catholics; and I’m sure those priests caught with underage ring around their roman collars will never get to recover from anything in this life or, pardon the purgatorial pun, the life to come.
Yes, some of my best, my happiest, my gayest, most exuberant friends, are Recovering Catholics, even if they don’t attend 12-Step meetings (or co-dependant parishes).
If truth be known, I’d much rather have a tent buddy who’s a Recovering Catholic than a downhill Backsliding Southern Baptist any day. (Or, an Accelerating Anglican, any night.) But, I digress.
I’m sure most of my readers know that my occasionally celibate confidant/fashion advisor is Sr. Serena Scatterpin, Renegade Sisters of Mary. Bless her wash-and-wear wimple! (I have protestant taste when it comes to socially acceptable recreational dress for lesbian golf outings or gay parent little league softball games.)
I came out to Sister as gay years ago. (If I recall correctly, on the Feast of the Circumcision or thereabouts). Her heartfelt response, “It’s the next best thing to being a Recovering Catholic, as long as there’s no tacky, budget-basement dress-up-for-penance leather or slappy slap involved.” Here’s her e-mail.
[Apologies if you’re in recovery or know someone close who’s closeted. No offense. I’m a Recovering American. Actually, who isn’t these days? We all have our cross to bear, imitation leather or slappy slap aside.]
“Beloved, most saintly Charles. Your kind donation of $100 for a ‘shopping spree’ is appreciated. I bought a pair of chic Water of Lourdes earrings, with three-year healing warranty, as a protest reminder of Herr Benedict XVI’s visit, because his holiness avoids Boston like the boils on Job’s backside. (New York, New York. It’s a helluva town! His bishopric’s up, but his battery’s down.)
“My power-point opener for the Worldwide League of Recovering Catholics Conference went BINGO! Too bad holy papa’s blessing poperazzi in the Big Apple, where everybody’s exhausted from nonstop attitude, 24/7 commuting, off Off-Broadway openings to do real, honest-to-goodness recovering where it counts most. Outside of St. Paddy’s Cathedral on fashionable 5th Avenue.
“Any how, the Cardinal Bernard Law Memorial Auditorium was standing room only with RCs of all shapes, sizes, couture designs. (Including 600 or so, now wealthier, former altar boys). I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if everyone in Boston is recovering. It’s in the holy water.
“I got my message across. That’s what counts. If you’re going to be an activist Recovering Catholic it’s time to clean up the environment. Time to divorce Church and State. Time to end trillion-dollar, trickle-down, no-win wars. Time to kick political bush and butt. (AND, importantly: time to open a charge account at an upscale department store, like Neiman St. Marcus.)
“Oh, yes. Those brain-dead picketers. About 50. Holier-than-thou, theocratic eczematics. Day-Glo posters. God hates Recovering Catechisms! Derail Your Stations of the Cross! Boston RCs are full of baked beans! (Dear unsullied friend: it’s enough to give a fashion-conscious nun St. Vitus Dance. In spit-polish combat boots, to be sure!)”