While cycling today through Alsager (a small town in the rebellious archdiocese of England), I came across this church which I believe is one of yours:
Now it is pretty obvious at a glance that the good Catholics of Alsager drive to church. Although to be fair there appears to be one who cycles:
I imagine you have never once considered the Bike-to-Car Ratio of your flock, but just to be sure I turned to the internet to search for information on Catholic Teachings on Cycling, and this is what I found:
You actually have a Saint in charge of cycling! Or rather not a saint, but something called the Madonna del Ghisallo, variously described as a hill, an apparition, a shrine, and more recently the universal patroness of cyclists. I do believe that this picture contains three times as many bikes as the one in Alsager:
I also discovered that, curiously, the Vatican seems to have a large amount of doctrinal teaching about women’s cycles and their rhythms. This is the only theological area in which the focus is entirely on women and not men. As a male I feel you should redress the balance and talk about our cycles as well.
The final strand I came across was from an article called The Catholic View of Sex in which the author made the somewhat cryptic statement
belief that pre-marital sex is permissible if one feels they are in love is like a salesman selling you a bicycle for the same price as a Porsche.
Mr Ratzinger, please help me interpret this! Does this mean that a virgin bride is like a Porsche? And that a non-virgin bride is like a bicycle? Is Mary the Mother of God to be regarded as a German Sports Car? Is it the view of the Church that the car is pure, and the bicycle defiled?
As you can see, this whole area of the theology of bikes is in a bit of a muddle, and it puts you in a difficult position. As the Head of the Holy Roman Church it is obviously vital that you do not get linked in any way with disreputable organizations, like the Hitler Youth, or the Mafia, or paedophile rings. If you are not careful you will become closely associated with the Automobile Industry.
I have been thinking about this, Herr Ratzinger, and I have a suggestion to make which will sort it all out for you. In one stroke you can appeal to environmentalists and to all those bicycling Dutch protestants, and also remove one of the thorny problems of modern Catholicism, the whole thing of contraception.
I suggest that you issue a Papal Cycling Encyclical which states that the Church’s ban on contraception has been based on a mistranslation from the Aramaic, and that it is really cars which Catholics should never use. After all, what is a car but a giant protective sheath which serves to reduce the world’s population, just like a condom?
You could simply instruct the Vatican’s secretaries, who I trust are all Porsches, (assuming women are allowed in at all, because of their cycles) to use the replace function on their word processors.
Of course most Catholics will simply ignore you and go on using their cars and their contraceptives, thus having no nett effect on world population. But you will have done the right thing, and the Madonna del Ghisallo will bless you and keep you in the saddle.