We want an answer

Four cardinals, headed by Cardinal Raymond Burke, a forceful person with a love of elaborate and semi-archaic liturgical dress, have written a letter to the Pope demanding clarifications over his recent ‘Apostolic Exhortation’ Amoris Laetitia, where, they feel, certain statements do not concur with previous Papal teachings. There is no prize for guessing that these refer to the status of the divorced and remarried. The Pope, not surprisingly, has chosen not to reply. The Cardinal, stung by this silence, has spoken with possible exaggeration of the “gravest crisis in the history of the Catholic Church” and has threatened the Pope with a “Formal Act of Correction of a Serious Error”, which is the ecclesiastical equivalent of going to the Naughty Corner in a primary school, or being issued with an ASBO on a housing estate.
Crisis or not, we simple Christians need to go on living our lives, praying our prayers, dodging the storms and wondering what ingredients we are going to use to spice up the Christmas pudding. But maybe we could for a few minutes pull back the curtains on reality and enter into the world of imagination …
NB In what follows all the characters, with one exception, are entirely imaginary and any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, is purely coincidental ….
Cardinal Z: Eminences, I have called you together for this extraordinary meeting as we are faced with a grave crisis of teaching. Ambiguity reaches to the highest levels of the Church. Consequently I have been forced by exercise of special powers to summon a Supreme Witness to give testimony before us.
Cardinal N: And who precisely is that?
Cardinal Z: None other than Our Lord and Saviour. He will be interrogated by us. He is coming.
Cardinal E: Will that be “with clouds descending”?
Cardinal Z: Eminence, kindly cease being facetious. And stop showing off your preference for English hymns.
[a thunder clap (gentle, not to frighten anybody); The Lord stands before them]
Cardinal Z: Kyrie eleison! Lord, we thank you for your presence in what is doubtless a busy schedule. But we need to interrogate you about perceived weaknesses in teaching, weaknesses which, I am sorry to say, also stem from yourself.
Our Lord: I see. Perhaps you could be more specific.
Cardinal Z: Very frequently, when asked a direct question, you responded merely by telling a story.
Our Lord: Most emphatically; that is our Oriental way. Were you not told stories? They are very liberating.
Cardinal Z: Additionally, when asked a question, you frequently replied with another question.
Our Lord: And what is wrong with answering a question with a question?
Cardinal Z: Because it is not CLEAR!! [his red zucchetta lifts from his head with the violent expulsion of steam from the ears]
Our Lord: Ah yes, clarity! But then, as my friend Pontius Pilate nearly said: “Clarity, what is that?”
Cardinal Z: To illustrate my point, in John 5:23 you say that “the Father judges no one; he has given all judgement to the Son”. But in John 8:15, significantly just after the case of the adulterous woman, you say: “I judge no one”. Could you please explain how these two statements are compatible?
Our Lord: Well, it all depends.
Cardinal Z: Depends!! What sort of answer is that? We want you to say “yes” or “no”.
Our Lord: Ah yes, I have noticed, looking down from Heaven, that in the show trials of the Soviet Union the accused were only allowed to answer one word, “yes” or “no”.
Cardinal Z: We are getting nowhere.
Our Lord: Yet I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. Buon giorno, signori.
[trumpets sound, the Lord ascends, Cardinal E hides under the table]
Cardinal Z: Surely there is no hope for us. Get me a double Martini.