Tuesday February 10, 2009
(AoftheAP) It's not just Alex Rodriquez, Barry Bonds and Miguel Tejada that are feeling the heat for steroid abuse. Similar accusations are being leveled against a small number of American Catholic bishops as well.
According to a Justice Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, federal investigators are drafting subpoenas on behalf of several unnamed elected members of Congress. Indications are the subpoenas will be served before week's end, and that the Bishops to be summoned are Archbishop Burke, Bishop Martino and Archbishop Chaput. If so, a Senate subcommittee hearing might be scheduled as soon as early March.
Allegations of steroid abuse comes as sweet justice to many progressive groups, including Gimme Back My Church. Agnes Flurferstine, co-director of Gimme Back My Church, is especially pleased.
"There is no way that these bishops are not doping," she said, resplendent in a silver-blue pantsuit with matching hair. "Their recent statements regarding Catholic politicians are much too powerful to not be enhanced in some way."
When asked what type of illegal substances the bishops might be taking, Agnes was reticent in her reply. "Well, I'm not sure what they're called out on the street. We don't rely on unnatural substances in our organization - we rely solely on the Spirit of Vatican 2."
One substance these bishops are rumored to be taking is called "Vitamin B16". The reported effects of "Vitamin B16" are increased boldness, improved resistance to liberal public opinion, and pronounced Magisterial teaching. Another suspected substance is "Vicar's VapoRub", a topical cream that is very difficult to test for, and extremely powerful. According to an unverified lab report, its use can only be detected by heightened levels of liberal Catholic Internet outrage, usually within 24 hours of use, and sustained for days and weeks afterwards.
None of the bishops were available for comment. However, a spokesman for Bishop Martino issued the following statement:
"The allegations against Bishop Martino are baseless and completely devoid of facts. The bishop's name is being smeared by gutless, evil-cooperating anonymous politicians engaging in a campaign of character assassination."
Upon hearing this, Senator Bob Casey appeared on CNN and declared that he is not gutless.
It is unclear what penalties would be assessed if it's proven that the bishops are indeed taking illegal steroids. Canon lawyers are poring [over] legal texts for direction, as this is unprecedented.
"In the past, strong forceful bishops were usually martyred for speaking the truth," canon lawyer Mark Wittington remarked. "I guess today, in America, it's far worse to be called before a Senate panel."