An Open Letter To Pope Benedict XVI On The Occasion Of His U.S. Visit
April 15, 2008, 05:00 AM
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See also An Open Letter to Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York, A Catholic Reader Meditates On "Migration Week", and A Catholic Reader Defends His Church Against Some Immigration Reform Critics—And Bishops]

From Peter Gadiel

Dear Pope Benedict:

Since you're here in the US for a visit I thought this was an appropriate time to write you on behalf of the organization of art lovers to which I belong. We are all particularly fond of the art of the Vatican and as such we have named our group League of Art of Papal Provenance Lovers. We just refer to ourselves as Love Apples (LofAPPLs).

First of all, because you and your own organization have decided to become so deeply and actively involved in nullifying American immigration law on behalf of millions of illegal aliens, we recognize that you, as much as say, Mayor Daley of Chicago or Sen. Ted Kennedy are as much a part of the rough and tumble of US politics as they are. And since it is so common for American politicians to increase their folksy personas by using informal nicknames, we figured we'd help you out by just calling you "Benny".

So Benny, here's why I'm writing you. It isn't just to let you know we love the Vatican's art. What we wanted to tell you is that because we are so devoted to that art we've decided we're going to move, en masse, into the Vatican in order to be closer to it.

We figured that since you and your guys here in the States have so completely adopted the notion that people from, say, Mexico have the right to move to the USA in violation of American law, that well, since you're so committed to the idea, that we'd just like to move close to the Pieta.

Now, just to give you advance knowledge, there are a few conditions we Love Apples have set on our "cross-border migration" (as the U.N. would refer to it).  We do require that our members have a true admiration for the art of the Vatican. However, because our art lover members are catholic (with a small "c") in their artistic tastes, you're going to have to accept that when we move in with you that there are going to be some changes in the décor at St. Peter's and the Sistine Chapel.

After all, lots of our members simply adore Mondrian, Picasso, and Warhol in addition to Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael and all those guys. So you'll just have to accept some additions to the collections. I know you won't like that we're going to be hanging up copies instead of originals, but hey look, we don't have your budget. And after all under your own rules, you're stuck.

Oh, and by the way. We know that you may have a real problem when some of our members hang up their Robert Mapplethorpe photos, but given your church's problems with pedophile priests, maybe you'll welcome some enlightenment about what's going on in your name.

Also, a lot of our members aren't Catholic (big "C"), so that means you and yours are going to have to be pretty broadminded. But hey, that's what you're all about, right? So we know it won't be a problem if some of our people are atheists, Druids, Wiccans, and fundamentalist Mormons with a few wives. Okay? After all, you don't think America should worry about what immigrants believe either.

There'll be a lot of other details to iron out when we get there, of course. I mean, you guys don't vote, and we do, so you'll just have to make a few changes in the political side of the Catechism. And naturally, we immigrants can't possibly be divided from our families because of your silly rules, so you're going to have to accept that our Love Apples will be bringing their families, in-laws, cousins, maids, and gardeners.

Of course many of them don't like art at all. In fact a lot of them don't have any use for art at, so if some of your stuff winds up getting graffittied, well, look, it's time to beef up those Swiss Guards and bring 'em into at least the 19th century.

Speaking of the Swiss Guards, I should tell you that some of our relatives are not exactly civilized. In fact, they're downright dangerous. But again, under your own rules you'll just have to accept that a substantial number of your new neighbors will be members of international drug gangs. But hey, just keep reminding yourself that, if you're gonna be open minded, you gotta take the bad with the good. We figure that the Curia will be able to handle the baddies, and after all, you'll have a whole lot of extra gardeners.

You might even get Sen. Lindsey Graham to come visit since greens fees at the Vatican golf courses will go way down with all that cheap labor.

So look Benny, I figured I'd just let you know what's headed your way so you could hire extra teachers for the Vatican School System, extra doctors for Vatican Hospital, and more social workers, drug counselors, SWAT teams, etc.

Like I said, there'll be a lot of changes coming, but I know you'll handle it just fine. Just one last thing, at least for now. One of our Love Apple members realized that the dome of St. Peter's had a striking resemblance to the top of a liquor bottle, so we voted to slightly alter it and paint "Absolut Vodka" on it. After, all, Absolut is the favorite drink of Reconquistas like us.

But Benny, remember to drink responsibly.

Your pal in art and immigration,

Peter

Peter Gadiel (email him) is president of 9/11 Families for a Secure America. His son, 9/11 World Trade Center victim James Gadiel (North Tower, 103rd floor), was 23 at the time of his murder.