Master Theologian

Sarah

Sarah

Welcome to Master Theologian! Tonight’s contestant will be faced with the challenge of his theological career. He must demonstrate to the whole world – to bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, the lay faithful and ALL people of good will – why he deserves the title “Master Theologian”.

George

Gary

A Master Theologian must demonstrate competance that sets him head and shoulders above the competition. He must show an all-round mastery of a wide range of different subject matters.

Gary

George

And yet at the same he has to be able to pull it off in his own particular style that sets him apart from the rest of the flock.

 

 

Sarah

Sarah

Here is tonight’s challenge. The Contestant will be given a mystery theme and a list of 20 set ingredients. He must incorporate all the set ingredients into the mystery theme.

Matt

Matt

And yet, as always, there is a catch. We want to see something of our contestants own particular style and character in what he finally serves up. Don’t bore us with just any old rehash of an old recipe. We want something ORIGINAL, which shows that tonight’s contestant really is deserving of the title “Master Theologian”.

 

 

Sarah

Sarah

Introducing tonight’s contestant: Pope Benedict XVI!

 

 

 

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

[Wild Applause]

George

Gary

Pope Benedict. Are you ready for this?

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

Yes, I believe so. I think the time is right.

Gary

George

Are you nervous?

 

 

 

 

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

No, no. I have prepared long and hard for this. I believe it is within my competancy, that I have the authority to teach, and that the voice of the Church, expert in humanity, needs to be heard.

Matt

Matt

You sound pretty sure of yourself. Maybe you won’t be when you hear the list of ingredients. George?

 

 

 

 

Gary

George

Pope Benedict: Here is the list of your set ingredients:

Employment and labour, Life ethics, Development programs, Original sin, Globalisation, Political authority, Civil society, Business ethics, Creation, Economics, Marriage and family, Human nature, Subsidiarity and solidarity, Technology, Finance, Population growth, the Environment, Immigration, Education and Human rights.

George

Gary

Given that list of ingredients, Pope Benedict, can you guess what the mystery theme might be?

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

Yes, I think I can.

George

Gary

Are you nervous now?

 

 

 

 

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

Perhaps just a little.

 

 

 

 

 

Matt

Matt

Pope Benedict, you have your twenty set ingredients. You will be given 5 minutes in the pantry to chose out four additional ingredients to add to these so that you can give your own particular flavour and style to the task. Before we reveal the mystery theme, tell us what four ingredients you think you will add?

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

That is fairly simple. I will chose Charity and Truth, Faith and Reason.

George

Gary

Given your earlier form, that’s fairly predictable. But don’t you think that might just be a little outside the theme that seems to be developing here?

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

No, I have always found I work best when I write from the heart. These four ingredients express a lot of who I am and what I am about. I am fairly confident the final result will reflect this.

Sarah

Sarah

Pope Benedict, once your time begins, you will have two and half hours to come up with the final product using all the set ingredients. Matt will now reveal for you the mystery theme.

 

 

 

Matt

Matt

Your mystery theme tonight is… The Social Encyclical!

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah

Sarah

Pope Benedict, your time starts now.

 

 

 

 

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

“Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity…

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Master Theologian

  1. GAB

    Very clever! The work of a Master Wit, I think.

  2. Nice!

    Actually, Master Theologian could be a show with a certain charm.

  3. Very clever and delightful.

    Pray for the Holy Father: touchingly, apparently he is upset, not with the pain of his wrist fracture, but that he cannot clasp his hands in prayer, nor with his right bless the people, nor write in the service of the Lord.

  4. Peregrinus

    Brilliant, David! But I’m worried about how he will perform on the pressure tests . . .

  5. Thanks, guys. The idea came to me watching the finals of Masterchef last night with an ecclesiastical friend. It suddenly seemed like the perfect explanation of how the third encyclical could have been written…

  6. Fantastic effort, David! Very amusing. Makes me pine for a real Master Theologian. Now that’s a reality TV show I would definitely watch.

    Joshua, that is very touching. God bless our B16!

  7. Excellent!

    (Australia performed very creditably at Lords, coming in runners-up, while England slunk in last but one.)

    • Speaking of sport, apparently 5 million people were estimated to have watched the final of Masterchef here in Australia, the highest total ever for a TV event that was NOT sport. Astounding. Australia is becoming a nation of epicureans.

  8. > Australia is becoming a nation of epicureans.

    You wouldn’t believe how my children criticize our cooking now. Too sweet. Too crunchy. Too hot. Too cold. Stringy. Tabling wasn’t so good. Thus runs our mealtime conversations lately. 🙂

  9. matthias

    Master Theologian would not include:
    Bishop Spong
    Francis MacNabb
    Fr Peter Kennedy

    unless it was in the category -“Recipes’ for Disaster

  10. Tony

    Matthias,

    I’m not sure you’re right on that score.

    To the extent that I’ve watched it, admittedly not much, I find the ‘reality TV’ genre (yes, it is a genre) very annoying. I can’t stand the drawn out climaxes and the contrived sub-plots.

    I did get sucked into MC though and thought the outcome was quite unfair. The winner quite clearly, leading up the final, screwed up more than most and was quite inconsistent and unorganised.

    She won the ‘grand final’ though, but even then she got a leg up from the judges (the sorbet) that the other contestant apparently didn’t.

    I suggested this to my 2o something daughter and her response was, ‘hey it’s Reality TV, it’s not about fairness, it’s about the story … Reality TV loves the story‘ in a sort of world-wise ‘get over it’ tone.

    On that basis you may have far less confidence that your ‘not included’ candidates wouldn’t make the cut.

    And if the Catholic Church was the producer of the show, you’d always know Papa would win. It would be a ratings flop.

    • Peregrinus

      “And if the Catholic Church was the producer of the show, you’d always know Papa would win. It would be a ratings flop.”

      There might still be some interest, though. Who would come second to the pope? And would he be a man (or woman) to watch?

      The New Statesman once ran a competition inviting readers to compose a parody of Grahame Greene’s writing style. Greene entered under a pseudonym, and came second. The piece he composed for the competition he subsequently developed further as a film script, and it was eventually filmed by the Italian director Mario Soldati under the title The Stranger’s Hand.

      • Peregrinus

        PS: In David’s proposed format, though, we ar deprived of even this interest. David’s show apparently has just one contestant, so it might be lacking some of the dramatic tension of the orginal.

        Perhaps we could pep things up by bringing in N.T. Wright and Rowan Williams and – for comic relief – someone like Richard Dawkins.