A Vatican spokesperson has announced that Tony Abbot, whose title was long misspelled by members of the public, has been demoted from the religious rank of abbot to the lower rank of prior. Honey Soy spoke with Cardinal George Pell, heavyweight of Australian Catholicism and honourary BroSoc member, to better understand this development.
HS: Thank you for joining us, Cardinal. For those who don’t understand the intricacies of religious hierarchy, would you explain the difference between abbots and priors and what this means for the public?
GP: Put very simply, both abbots and priors lead monasteries, but abbots rank higher. For most Australians this won’t mean much. But the Catholic Church has spent two thousand years developing an extremely confusing bureaucracy and utilising that really matters to us.
HS: And why was Tony demoted? Was it because of his arguably un-Christian treatment of underprivileged Australians, like women and queer people?
GP: [Laughs.] Good one! Tony treats them just fine, I believe. He’s even got a woman in his cabinet. Do you think the Church would do that?
HS: Then what did the Church take issue with? His asylum seeker policy?
GP: Well that’s certainly more objectionable. But we don’t feel we’re really in a position to criticise him on that front. After all, the Church has a proud history of exploiting people without the resources to defend themselves. No, that’s also not the reason.
HS: Then why?
GP: The National School Chaplaincy Program.
HS: And what, in your view, was wrong with that?
GP: Oh nothing, nothing at all. In fact, we rely on reaching impressionable young minds before other religions do to survive. He was demoted for failing to make it happen. [Pause.] He had one job!