The scene: Hell. Satan is relaxing in a comfortable chair. Suddenly the late
Eugenio Scalfari materialises before him.
Satan: Ah, Scalfari. How nice to see you. Do you know who I am?
Scalfari: Hmm, a strong smell of brimstone, an atmosphere of evil. Of course!
I am in the archdiocese of Chicago, and you must be Blase Cupich!
Satan: Well, nearly right. In fact, you've died and gone to Hell. My name is Satan.
How are you?
Apart from being dead, I mean.
Our ace reporter.
Scalfari: Fine, thanks. Now what's going on?
Satan: Well, I thought we could make your stay in Hell more comfortable if
we put you to some use. Would you mind interviewing me?
Scalfari: Well, I seem to have got my hearing back, so that would make
things go more smoothly. I won't have to make things up.
Satan: No problem if you do. After all, I am
the Father of Lies.
Scalfari: But why do you need to be interviewed, anyway? You have regular
columns in America
magazine, the National Catholic Reporter
and the Tablet
Satan: Also I'm a regular contributor to Where Peter Is
and a few
other Catholic blogs! Still, all publicity is evil publicity, as we say down here. Now, start asking questions.
Scalfari: So what exactly are your religious beliefs?
Satan: Well, in fact I'm a devout Catholic, although of course I feel that
doctrine needs to evolve.
Scalfari: Do you receive communion?
Satan: No, unfortunately, I am confined to Hell. Still, I do have many agents
on the Earthly Plane. Blase. Jimbo. Fat Arthur. Joe. Nancy... They sell me their souls
and I give them great power and success. How else do you think such no-hopers got so far?
"Now remember, today's code phrase is 'Nighty-night, baby'."
Scalfari: I see. All these absurd cardinals that Pope Francis keeps creating?
Satan: We don't make it too obvious. One or two genuine Catholics are kept on the list as
well. Although we took care to delete Chaput, Cordileone, and a few others who looked too
Scalfari: Great. Now, any comments for our readers on Traditionis Custodes
is coming up to its first anniversary?
Satan: The idea came to Pope Francis in a dream - well, I put it there. How best to
cause division in the Catholic Church, other than by persecuting all the people who
worshipped in the traditional way?
There is a knock on the door and a servant enters.
Satan: Ah, Pachamama! Two teas, please! With added brimstone.
"Have a nice cup of tea."
Thanks to Johann du Toit for an idea.