Stung by dwindling numbers of church going, money contributing faithful, the Church launched its “Come Home” campaign back in early February. It started in western state markets and seems to now be nation wide. There are three versions that tout the benefits of Catholicism and why lapsed Catholics ought come home.
Simple research on the internet shows that producing a 30 second TV commercial costs an average of $350,000 each. Then the airtime runs approximately $100,000 for each showing in a major market. It doesn’t take a financial genius to figure out the Church has spent millions of dollars with this slick new campaign.
Every time I see the ads I think about how many condoms that ad money could buy for third world AIDS ravaged nations on a bulk/wholesale basis. Or how many doses of pain medication could be given to Mother Teresa’s dying patients’ in India. Or how many mosquito nets it would buy for African’s infested with Malaria carrying mosquitoes. But I suppose the answer from the Catholic Church would be just like Jesus’ answer when Mary was criticized for given him that lube job with the expensive oils: “The poor will always be with us.”
But besides the money issue, the ads invariably evoke a feeling that something is missing. Something is being left out, omitted, and hidden. Maybe it’s just me, but every time I see theses ads, their praising of the Church’s role in creating the Bible, the good works they do, the sense of calm and comfort and family it offers, I just keep waiting for them to say something like this:
“We know that we have alienated many of our faithful by the illicit acts of our priests and those who oversee them. We understand that the responsibility is ours and ours alone and that we as your clergy are solely responsible for the pain we have caused; from the novice priest all the way to his Holiness the Pope.
We are now taking steps to unearth and expose every pervert priest, and every enabling Bishop and Cardinal. Nothing will be kept secret, no sensibilities will be spared. We will purge the church of those who have soiled its name, and defiled our beloved congregants. We will excommunicate the guilty and have them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the laws of each nation.
To those of you who have been practicing birth control against our doctrine, and/or who support abortion, it’s all good. From now on what you do with your genitals and reproductive organs is your business exclusively. It always should have been so. We are sorry for having been so fucking stupid for so fucking long.
To our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters - we now know we were wrong. We know it isn’t a choice, it’s just who you are. We know that the authors of the Bible were simply self-hating homophobic dicks. You are welcome, blessed and valued. We look forward to sanctifying your marriage unions as each state legalizes it. Heck, half the Church hierarchy is gay. The Vatican has its own leather bar.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Soon we will be announcing that this virgin birth, and original sin, and life after death, and resurrection stuff we’ve been pushing all these centuries is all a bunch of hooey. But you probably knew that already.
Come home to the Catholic Church, and be surprised by our truth, like we’ve never had the guts to tell it before.”