Time: sometime between 1350 and 1650
Setting: A large room with a desk to stage right.
An inferior hurrying across the stage.
Inferior: Sir, we may have a problem with all of our writings for the Church Fathers.
Superior: All of them? Some of them are written to make them seem a little odd, I admit, but all of them? What's the issue?
Inferior: Their issue is the problem. After all these centuries that we've created, shouldn't there be hundreds, if not thousands, of descendants from our Church Fathers? Someday, someone will ask about their children and their children's children and there will be no evidence of any descendants. This might seem suspicious to posterity. Sir.
Superior: I'm sure it will be alright. After all, we've only written genealogies for rulers and not even all of them. There is nothing to worry about.
Inferior: But, Sir. The rulers that have been written are to be famous for various acts and deeds, sometimes heroic and otherwise, but what about Jerome?
Superior: Jerome? What about him?
Inferior: He has written the list of illustrious men up to his time. If the rulers and kings are renowned and have children, shouldn't Jerome's list, which represents the best of men of the Church history that we are writing, shouldn't they also have children?
Superior: Damn! You're right. But, we've already forged thousands of volumes, all of this work over these many decades, for naught? I don't think so. What can we do about it?
Inferior: Well, this is just an idea, since none of our forged Church Fathers have children....Could we place Origin at the beginning, as the earliest Church Father, and have everyone else follow his lofty example?
Superior: [Chuckles] I like it, I really do, but when did the practice stop? After Aquinas in the...what century is Aquinas?
Inferior: 13th century, sir. He is last of the western Church Fathers.
Superior: Aquinas in the 13th century and why did this time honored tradition of self castration end? No, we can't write that...
Inferior: We could say it is a mystery why the practice stopped in the Middle Ages, we can have it begin with Origen and end with Aquinas, or we can not comment and let future historians find the reason.
Superior: No, I'm afraid that we've already overused the word “mystery” to avoid explanations and at this point, we are giving historians enough issues to deal with...
Inferior: Yes, Sir, you are correct. Future historians will be overwhelmed with what we haven't written and we have used “mystery” to explain a lot, or not to explain, but it is an easy way to explain the unexplainable.
Superior: Alright. So instead of writing that our Church Fathers are not having children, perhaps if we write that they can not have children...
Inferior: Sir, I believe that in our writings, we have already placed the responsibility for the lack of conception on the women.
Superior: Yes, yes, We've done that already. [Pause] Now what?
Inferior: This is just an idea, but what if we make them celibate?
Superior: Celibate? What's that?
Inferior: It means that they are not married.
Superior: But, that doesn't mean they can't have children.
Inferior: Yes, sir, but what about an order, a religious order, where they don't or can't marry? Therefore, there would never be any question about children.
Superior: An excellent idea. That would further distinguish Christians from Jews.
Inferior: Sir, what are Jews?
Superior: Well, I'm not completely certain myself, but I understand that they will come before the Christians, although my superiors haven't worked out all the details yet. Yes, an order where no one marries; a great idea. All right, write that all of the Church Fathers are ...what's the word again?
Superior: Yes, make all Church Fathers celibate.
Inferior: But, Sir, someone may wonder why would all the Church Fathers be celibate? We need an explanation for this celibacy that appears out of nowhere or it will surely be the source of inquiries.
Superior: Quit right.
Inferior: [Hesitant] So all Church Fathers are celibate, but not all celibates are Church Fathers.
Superior: What is you point?
Inferior: We could have other Church Fathers, who are not Bishops, housed together where celibacy is the norm.
Superior: Wouldn't that seem...uh...odd, that is, a group of men..uh.. living together who are not married...
Inferior: Not at all, Sir, we can explain it by writing that it is a religious order, that they joined voluntarily. We can borrow some of the rules from the writer of Bernard and include celibacy, and we'll have him include it in his writings.
Superior: Oh, good idea, and no personal possessions. Make them live in poverty. Make them give all their possessions to the order when they join.
Superior: No property.
Inferior: No women.
Superior: [regains composure] Alright, then, let's review. All Church Fathers will be celibate, that is, not married. Some will be Bishops and others will be housed together in...where are they living again?
Inferior: A monastery, Sir.
Superior: A monastery. But what about the women, shouldn't there be a place for them too, for those who want to be celibate and poor.
Inferior: Quit right, Sir. We will create orders for both. Should we have the women also write?
Superior: The Church Fathers have already been cross referenced with other Fathers, heretics and councils. It would be too much effort to redact the writings now. No, we need to preserve the image of the early Church, so no writings for the women.
Inferior: Sir, perhaps, some writings and fragments written by women might be in order, or at least references to never written works or presumed lost works. Although we have written that women remained uneducated for centuries, it might seem questionable to historians that no writings whatsoever of women have come down to their time, so I suggest that we assign these meager writings to the department for mystical writings.
Superior: Good idea. Oh, and by the way, This celibacy idea of yours, I think it can have an additional advantage.
Inferior: How is that, sir?
Superior: If we can convince some of the best minds of the future to join these orders and not have children, then future generations will become progressively susceptible to our agenda.
Inferior: I hadn't thought of that.
Superior: Inform the Department writing the council of Trent to include celibacy and make it mandatory upon entering the priesthood and include that provsiion any previous councils and insure it can be found in Papal documents. Is there anything else?
Inferior: No, Sir.
Superior: You are excused.