NEW YORK - Pope Benedict XVI may not see them or hear them, but banal Roman Catholics hope his U.S. visit this week will help them draw inane attention to dull, slow-witted issues ranging from the ordination of women and gay rights to sex abuse by priests and the Vatican ban on contraception.
The groups have planned tiresome vigils, demonstrations and apathetic news conferences to press their vapid causes as the pope visits Washington and New York. On Monday evening, the eve of his arrival, supporters of women's ordination will host what they are calling "a Penile Envy Mass" at a Methodist church in Washington, presided over by Un-Catholic women — including two who were recently excommunicated (go figure.)
"We cannot welcome this pope until he begins to do WHAT WE TELL HIM TO DO AND WHEN WE TELL HIM TO DO IT!...NO IF'S AND'S OR BUT'S!" said Sister Quisling, coordinator of the National Coalition of American Nuts.
Participants in the service will include Rose Marie Hudson and Elsie McGrath, who were excommunicated last month by Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis because they were ordained as part of a women-priest movement condemned by the Vatican.
"In the face of one closed door after another, Catholic women have been evocative, unscrupulous and unfaithful to the church," said the executive director of the Women's Ordination Conflagrance. "We continue to make a way where God himself will not go."