instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Great Diocese Handicap

"What ho, Berggo! I wasn't expecting to see you till November."

"I was in a neighboring diocese, and I thought I'd pop in," Berggo replied distractedly.

"I'm certainly glad you did, old thing. Let me clear my schedule, and we'll lunch at my club."

"Willie," Berggo said as he absent-mindedly pulled copies of the Patrologia Latina off a shelf and dropping them on the carpet, "what do you think of when you hear the name St. Glaphyra?"

"When I hear the name St. Glaphyra?"

"Yes, the name St. Glaphyra. Do you think of Principalities singing to Dominions in aeviternal beatitude?"

"When I hear the name St. Glaphyra?"

"Yes. Doesn't the very sound of the name St. Glaphyra bring to mind the beauty of morning in Eden before the Fall?"

"To that question, Berggo, I must answer no."


"An emphatic no. A no without qualm or doubt."

There was a moment's pause, then Berggo's eyebrows, which normally float harmlessly in the middle of his forehead, fell down upon his eyes like an avalanche on an Alpine village. "No, of course you wouldn't. You always were a fat-headed ass with no soul."

I nodded. "I see that this Saint Whatsit has gotten up your nose. Are you going to tell me about it now, or over lunch?"

The Most Rev. Patrick Berger collapsed in a chair. "Oh, Willie," he sighed, "I've just seen the Cathedral of St. Glaphyra, and I know that we were meant to be together."

"Oh, the Cathedral of St. Glaphyra. I thought the name was familiar. That's old Pimples Legendre's pile."

Berggo looked up eagerly. "You know it, then, Willie? You've seen St. Glaphyra's with your own eyes?"

"Rather. Pimples has me over from time to time to help out with women's sodality pilgrimages and what not. Women's sodalities and I go together like billy-o."

"Then you know what a lovely, exquisite, well-mannered place it is!"

"Er... yes, they've always treated me well there."

"Exactly, Willie! Exactly!" With that, Berggo sank into the chair in a reverie.

Which suited me, if you want to know, because if there was a mot less juste than "lovely" for the concrete monstrosity that served as Pimples's cathedral, it was "exquisite," and I could tell by his manner, and more than half a lifetime dealing with him, that Berggo was in no mood to let pass any slight at his current fancy.

Still, there was the matter of the unexploded mine he had set between us. "I say, Berggo, what was that you said about you and St. Glaphyra's being meant to be together?"

"Isn't it obvious, Willie? I must be transferred to that see."

"But, I mean to say, you silly ass, what about your current see?"

Berggo shot me a look like a duke who had been reminded that his sister had married a street sweeper. "Kindly do not mention my current see in my presence. We are not at present on speaking terms."