Oh would that we had more parish priests like don Camillo. Would that fictional characters could be canonized!
Our friends at Rorate have another great entry today about how Guareschi’s character "don Camillo" strove to block the destruction of an altar:
…two days later, the Bishop’s secretary plunged into Don Camillo’s office. The young priest, like all the progressive priests of the Aggiornamento, despised and detested all parish priests…
"Reverend Father!" he ranted. "Is it possible that you lie in wait for opportunities to show your obtuseness as regards political and social matters involving the Church? What is the meaning of this latest sideshow of yours? Quite rightly Mayor Botazzi intends to encourage tourism and adapt the town to the needs of the motorized times — and to do this he wants to create an ample parking lot here in the square. How can you have the arrogance to oppose this project?"
"No arrogance at all: I’m simply preventing the destruction of Church property."
"What Church property! You can’t clutter half a town square with useless columns. Don’t you understand what an advantage it will be to you? Aren’t you aware that many people don’t come to Mass because they can’t find a place to park their cars?"
"Certainly I know that," Don Camillo answered calmly. "However, I don’t believe the mission of a pastor of souls should be to organize parking lots and rock Masses to provide the public with a religion complete with all the modern conveniences. The Christian religion is not, and should not be, either comfortable or amusing."
His point of view was a bit hackneyed and it caused the Bishop’s priest to explode. "My dear Father, you appear not to have grasped that the Church must attempt to bring itself up to date, and it should be helping progress, not blocking it!"
There was no point in arguing with such an old fossil, so the secretary wound up the discussion. "Don Camillo, are you saying that you refuse to obey?"
You’ll have to go over to Rorate to read the rest. Tell ‘em Fr. Z sent you.
Take note that in one of the comments some dolt, bravely posting as "anonymous" wrote: "What a load of contrived bunk."
Were I don Camillo, I would be reaching for my shotgun.