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By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Sep 19, 2008

 American bishops don't like it when people take them too seriously. Frankly I don't think they have reason to worry.

Still your Uncle Di tries to do his little bit to help keep things light. Yet try as I might, I can't keep up with the antics of their Excellencies. When Archbishop Dolan modeled a cheesehead for an indulgent Milwaukee congregation, I was impressed. With that one pose he did more than a half-dozen pastoral statements on chicken farming to ensure that people keep on chuckling at their bishops. 

So imagine how humble your friendly parodist feels when he spots a photo of the Archbishop of Newark wearing a Martian space helmet (well, I guess it's Martian; I'm not an expert on spacewear), complete with his episcopal crest! 

The archbishop donned the headgear-- all in good fun, naturally-- to promote his new sci-fi novel, The Space Vulture, which he co-authored with a boyhood pal. No, I am not making this up.

Archbishop Myers explains his venture: "Pulp science fiction, just as pulp westerns, are not great art. And we knew that. But it can be fun." OK, fair enough. There are worse ways for prelates to spend their recreation time. 

"This won't be a classic," the archbishop says. And you know what? I believe him.

But a Jesuit astronomer at the Vatican Observatory seems to think otherwise, offering a dust-jacket blurb that describes the book as a "rollicking good time with a spice of high camp and a moral underpinning far more sophisticated than the original space operas were ever capable of attaining." 

And you know how sophisticated the moral underpinning of those original space operas could be.



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