“How do you solve a problem like Milingooooo?”

Frequent poster and old friend Tim Ferguson, noted writer of brilliant parody lyrics (who authored inter alia "O Come, O Come, Liturgical Blue") has given us his newest on the problem of Milingo:

Here we go.  It is to the tune of the famous song in The Sound of Music:

How do you solve a problem like Milingo

He sneaks around and can’t be found,
Until he’s on TV…
He takes a Moonie for a wife,
Embracing heresy;
And underneath his mitre,
Seems his lost his sanity.
I heard him once professing Docetism.

He’s always breaking canons
But his penitence is real
He’s always late for everything
Except for every meal
I hate to have to say it
But I very firmly feel
Milingo’s even worse than Charlie Curran!

I’d like to say a word in his behalf
(then say it, Sr. Margaretta)
Milingo makes me… laugh.

How do you solve a problem like Milingo?
How do you make a bishop keep in line?
How do you find a word that means Milingo?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

If bishops are dogs, Emmanuel is a dingo Which even a German Shepherd couldn’t tame.
So how do you make him stay
And shut up for just one day?
How do you keep a crosier from his hand?

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Milingo?
How do you keep a Moonie’s feet on land?

When I’m with him I’m distressed
Things he blesses don’t seem blessed
And you never know what stunt he’s pulling next He’s defiant as M. Luther Wacky as Rosemary Reuther He’s a bishop! He’s a nutcase! He’s a wreck!

He’s a Gnostic without Gnoss
Like a crosier sans a cross
He could make a Trappist hermit scream out loud He is funny, he wild Pray his wife is not with child!
He’s a headache, he’s amusing
He’s a looooooon

How do you solve a problem like Milingo?
How do you make a bishop keep in line?
How do you find a word that means Milingo?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you’d like to tell him:
Celibacy’s not just a papal whim
So how do you make him stay
And shut up for just one day?
How do you keep a crosier from his hand?

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Milingo?
How do you keep a Moonie’s feet on land?

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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11 Responses to “How do you solve a problem like Milingooooo?”

  1. Henry Edwards says:

    Oh, how do you solve a problem like Milingo?

    Is it still called the Rite for the Degradation of a Bishop? Of course, Ab. Milingo is probably not alone among our eminent worthies in meriting this appealing solution.

  2. animadversor says:

    A quick Googling of the term brings links to transcripts of portions of the rite, but some of the terminology in it seems doctrinally suspect, so I wonder about its authenticity. In any case, how do you get the bishop to be degraded to show up for it? Lure him to the Bronze Doors and have the Swiss pounce?

  3. I don’t know why we sing Haugen/Haas when we have Ferguson!

  4. Tim Ferguson says:

    you’re far too kind Cathy – I’m just a canon lawyer with too much time on my hands! :)

  5. Thank you! I REALLY needed that laugh!

    To parody like that takes real talent–thank God for that gift.

    :-)

  6. Henry Edwards says:

    animaadversor: I have no expectation of seeing this so sorely needed rite called into play, but I think one source you may trust regarding its details is the March 2000 issue of The Catholic World Report. See

    Comforting Words: The soothing ritual of an old rite
    http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=21242

    Indeed it is comforting that it was no less than a Pope Benedict (he of 1862) who promulgated this rite. Quoth Diogenes:

    He envisioned the possibility that a bishop could disgrace himself so thoroughly, and abuse his office so blatantly, that the Holy See would have no choice but to remove him. Such a bishop would not be allowed to resign quietly “for reasons of health;” he would not be transferred to a titular see in the Sahara; he would not be “promoted” to a meaningless desk job at the Vatican. He would be stripped of his office and–the word is so beautifully expressive–”degraded.”

    For who among us does that first sentence bring eminently suitable “degradandi” to mind?

  7. Mike says:

    Can I get the latin translation of “A flibbertijibbet!”

    Thank you.

    m

  8. Tim Ferguson says:

    I think, in this case, I’d go with “nugator,” even though it’s not nearly as fun to say.

  9. Bravo! Thanks for the laughs!
    I’m itching to replace “a clown” with something that rhymes with “in line.” What about “no spine”?

  10. Tim Ferguson says:

    ooo – that’s good QM

    I can just imagine Portia Nelson saying that, while looking down her nose…