His Excellency’s Statement on the Novel Donkeypox Virus

Bishop Aaron Churchman
Diocese of Cityville
March 1, 2094

Dear Faithful of the Diocese of Cityville,

As your bishop, my first priority is your physical health and safety. Therefore, I issue the following rules and regulations with regard to the novel donkeypox virus which has become a global pandemic.

  1. All churches are to be locked immediately, and no sacraments at all for anyone but clergy, as that is too dangerous, probably, and it is definitely not clericalist. We don’t know exactly how it spreads, but maybe this will help. It is better to panic and try stuff first, as you are aware, I am sure. No hospital visits, we definitely would not want to take that risk for anyone, yikes.
  2. With my deepest regrets, the men’s LGBTQAAIP2+ Ally overnight retreat has been cancelled due to potential close contacts with asymptomatic carriers. This is absolutely not to stigmatize the gay community. I am aware of the pernicious rumor that the human strain of donkeypox spreads primarily through male homosexual activity, but until the science says so, I will not believe it, and if and when it does say so, I will just ignore it to protect your feelings and my public image.
  3. All diocesan meetings are to be held by Zoom. All employees of the diocese must wear a mask during Zoom calls to show that they possess the grace of charity, both towards others in their home and towards those who might be triggered by seeing a human face uncovered.
  4. No vaccine for donkeypox is currently available. However, as soon as there is anything resembling one, I order all clergy and employees to take it. No exceptions. This is definitely going to work, and it is definitely going to be worth it overall. Probably. Maybe. Anyway, you’ll be suspended and/or fired if you don’t. I think I have the authority to do that – or at least, I can probably get away with it.
  5. When churches reopen to give the faithful the privilege of the sacraments again, there is to be no holy water in the stoups. Too dangerous, I bet. Furthermore, everyone attending needs to wear 2 masks at all times, except when they are receiving Holy Communion and are really close to the minister. Reception must be on the hand only, and with disposable gloves for both parties, as maybe people will use them correctly. Nobody must be within 2 meters of anyone else during church; to this end, I recommend large hoop-skirts for the ladies, and constant and aggressive arm swinging for the men, as otherwise human nature will incline you to be close to each other without even thinking about it. Goggles are strongly recommended as well.
  6. No ad orientem masses, not that I need to say that anyway. The altar puts distance between the celebrant and the congregation, which is safer… please ignore the fact that Father is less “with the People” when he is thus separated.
  7. In general, we will be one level more cautious than federal and local health policies, and I encourage you to be terrified unless you are doing whatever I say.

God bless you,

+Aaron Churchman

4 thoughts on “His Excellency’s Statement on the Novel Donkeypox Virus

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