In light of some of the rather outrageous forgeries in past Catholic history1, perhaps the following is not to far out in the realm of potential skullduggery.

 


In these days of science fiction, media fiction and "Bible fiction", the thought occurred that a little more fiction wouldn't do anyone any harm. So, let's peek in on an event now taking place in 'the twilight zone'. Location -- the Vatican. Breeding ground for the grandest collection of fairy tales since the original tadpole climbed, wagging his tail, out of the primordial, cosmic, protoplasmic mud hole - on his way to "manhood". The area is buzzing. Evidently something of enormous magnitude is taking place. Media stooges from all over are crowding for room to set up and catch everything said. Advance reports have it that Pope Pius Rastus Bustus in Halfus is about to announce something of extraordinary significance. Years ago, such an event would have been big news in the religious world, however, since Rastus and his church have been in the forefront of world events, most anything ole Rastus says makes the big time. Hold on . . here he comes. The crowd quiets. Rastus begins:

"In our continuing quest for unity and the restoration of all our separated brethren to one fold,- we have been searching for that which we knew, by the grace of the Holy Mother, would be final and instrumental in making us all one again. We have seen our Lord's hand in helping locate the bones of our beloved Apostle Peter right here under the basilica named in his honor.2

Now after extensive research and the confirmation of both Catholic and evangelical scholars alike, it has been determined conclusively that the manuscripts originally penned by the apostles and disciples of our Lord have been recovered. It has been the contention of many scholars of all camps that we have been searching in the wrong direction in our efforts to reconstruct the New Testament in the traditional method of collation and comparison. Although we laud the incomparable efforts of our loyal friends in the world of textual criticism and theory, such as our late beloved Drs. Wescott and Hort, we began to understand that a treasure of such incomparable value would not have been left to the ravages of time to be invaded by errors and interpolations. Our Lord in his infinite wisdom would surely preserve his word for us in a way that we - appointed as pillars of the truth by our Lord - could verify the teachings of the church have been true and correct through the centuries. Our distinguished team of archeologists have been working steadily now for a number of years to be certain that this find indeed consists of those precious documents inspired by the Almighty himself. Others in the world of science and philosophy have been working in close conjunction with us to verify our findings. It is worth noting here that, just as we expected, these findings bear out the superiority of those versions of scripture used by the apostles and Popes of our Holy Mother Church since the days of our Lord himself. It is also appropriate that this treasure would be found right here in St. Peters. As the chief of the apostles, it would have been his responsibility to see that these manuscripts were collected from the churches and safely deposited for us. In so doing, he, with remarkable foresight, has shown all our separated brethren the foundation of the only true Church of our Lord. With our concordats with the major powers now in effect, we will do away with that heretical source of division - the King James Version - once and for all. Our New Saint Peters Bible will soon be the only bible read in homes and churches. What a momentous occasion this is! These newly discovered documents will doubtless now prove to all the world - that our Holy Mother Church is the protector of truth for all  mankind.  I am also happy to announce that this year is being named a special holy year. Those who make a pilgrimage to the eternal city this year to venerate these documents will be granted special graces by the Holy Father himself. Of course the revenue generated by this pilgrimage will help further strengthen the churches position financially so we can continue with our programs of benevolence throughout the world. All are encouraged to become pilgrims."

Perhaps fiction is stranger than truth. Who can tell if the above fantasy isn't so fantastic at all. Goodnight.

1 The donation of Constantine, the Pseudo Isidorian decretals, the Council of Orange decrees, the Council of Antwerp edition of Gregory the Greats work, just to name a few.

2Nino Lo Bello THE VATICAN PAPERS (New English Library, 1982) pp. 915.