DRAGNET In Deutschland

My name’s Friday. My partner, Bill Gannon, and I were aboard an Al Italia 747 out of Buenos Aires, direct to Rome, when the stewardess asked if I would accompany her to the cockpit. She said an urgent message had just been radioed to the flight crew and the chief pilot needed to talk with me. I followed her to the front of the plane.

“Good afternoon, Sergeant. I’m Capt. Hiram Klouds. My friends call me Hi. I hope you are enjoying your flight?”

“I am, Captain. And my partner loved the antipasto your crew served before lunch. May I ask how I can be of service?”

“We just got a message from the US State Department, Sergeant. They requested I reroute to Berlin and drop you and your partner off there.”

“How’s that, Sir?”

“All we were told was that an assistant to the papal nuncio in Berlin, a priest by the name of von Schmiedenkauffer, is at the airport waiting in a diplomatic limo. He’ll fill you in.”

“Any idea what this is about?”

“Nope. It must be urgent, though. Last time I was ordered to divert was when I flew the current pope to Cuba and he wanted to stop off in the Canary Islands, real quietly. I learned later that there are a few offshore banks operating there.”

“Anyone get off the plane with him?”

“Five monsignori. Full regalia. They wore crimson sashes and each carried two large leather pouches in either hand. It looked a little suspicious, y’know?”

“Got it. Anything else?”

“We were on the tarmac less than 45 minutes. The pope came back aboard but only two of the monsignori were with him.”

“Well, thanks for the heads up, Captain.”

I returned to my seat and briefed Gannon. Ninety minutes later we landed in Berlin. Ten minutes after that we were in a stretch Benz limo with the nuncio’s aide.

“Ach, so, Herr Offizier Freitag. I am aufgeregt, excuse me – excited, to meet you. The nuncio and I are fans of your TV series. Aber, I will come directly to my point.”

“Certainly. How can we help?”

“Our office learned only hours ago that Kardinal Marx and the five reichste, excuse me, again – richest, bishops in our country have procured the services of a private paramilitary organization to seize the cathedrals and episcopal palaces of the seven bishops who just complained to the Vatican about giving Communion to protestant concubines of Catholic serial adulterers.”

“How’s that?”

“Ja. We have an ecclesiastical civil war starting here.”

“Didn’t something like this happen in the 1500s?”

“Ja, ja. Germans love starting wars they always lose. It’s a quirky habit.”

“What is Marx going to do?”

“He intends to order all of the seven dioceses to close up shop, as you in America would put it. He apparently has deposits in hand from a syndicate of real estate developers who plan to turn all the recalcitrant parishes into banks or mosques or dance halls.”

“Can he do that?”

“Ja. He has a papal bull from Der Furor,
“Ita ut e vitae meae”. That means “Get out of my way” in Latin.”

“What can we do to help you?”

“My boss, the nuncio and I expect to be terminated at any moment. A Spion, a spy in our office, notified the Vatican that I offer the Latin Mass daily and the nuncio has secretly lobbied our German school superintendents to begin making Latin a required course in our Hoch Schule curriculum once again. He and I will be moving on to Econe once we are terminated but we ask you to do us one favor in the meantime.”

“Anything. What can we do for you?”

“Danke sehr. We are on our way to a commercial production studio. We know how effective your anti-communist dramatizations were back in the 1950s and 60s. Would you mind doing several three minute public service ads for us, Herr Offizier Freitag?”

“I need to get approval from my boss at LAPD, first. But it would be an honor.”

“The nuncio already secured that with him. Despite the Animal House image Der Furor and his media hacks have created, authentic Catholic clerics and nuncios can still make things happen – schnell!”

“My partner and I are impressed, Vater.”

( to be continued… )

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One comment on “DRAGNET In Deutschland

  1. Ach! My morning reading from Thomas a Kempis was on preserving the good name of the neighbor. ( Ahem, ahem. )
    Uh, oh! Guilty! Miserere mei, Domine.
    I offer in my defense Chapter 21 of Fr. Felix Sarda’s “Liberalism Is A Sin”, a work highly praised by Pope Leo XIII’s Holy Office in which jocosity, bandinage and vilification of public acts of Liberalism are not only permitted but urged upon writers combating this scourge. So, I hope that gets me off the hook.
    I had in mind the scandalous retailing of the Vatican since Der Furor arrived, such as renting out one of its most revered sections to Porsche for a corporate gala and the horrific disgrace inflicted on the most famous church in the world by animal rights wingnuts and ecowackos as well as queers in recent years. That, along with Der Furor’s strong arm shake down of an excellent charity for $25 mil to prop up a criminal “hospital” front, were what prompted the Canary Island scene I wrote. And which characteriza-tion – His Stumbleness leading a group of avaricious clerics loaded with loot to an offshore bank – prompted my already tortured scruples to red line upon due reflection. The brief scene was meant as an allegory, not a serious allegation, of course. ( Hey, Dante did it, too, right? )
    I trust AQ readers took it that way and hope no one was scandalized. In fact, I’m very sure, given the cultural literacy of AQ readers, it wasn’t necessary to even mention it. ( I just hope God agrees. )

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