3/18/2005

Cartoon Strip Character Canonized

By Immediate Release
(promoted from comments)

Reuters, 18 March 05


In a break with thousands of years of Catholic practice and tradition, the Pope has canonized a cartoon strip character.

Vatican spokesperson Patrick MacGillicuddy announced Friday that His Holiness Pope John Paul II has issued a Papal Bull bestowing sainthood on 'Elly Patterson,' a character from a popular, family-themed cartoon strip. According to the Bull, she will now be the special patron of “moms everywhere.”

According to MacGillicuddy, "His Holiness is a long-time fan of the funny pages, and this strip is his absolute favorite. Every morning after Mass, his Holiness likes to sit down with a cup of tea and what he calls his 'daily pick-me-up'."

This unusual step was apparently precipitated by a strip in which 'Elly's' daughter, 'April,' helps a mentally challenged classmate who has become lost while shopping in a local mall.

"In this day and age it's unusual to find a girl of April's age who's willing to help a less fortunate classmate. Kids these days are busy trying to dress like pole dancers and listening to loud rock-and-roll music," said MacGillicuddy. "I think most of us would term this sort of thing 'miraculous' and it's certainly a tribute the careful raising April has received at the hands of her wonderful mother, Elly Patterson."

MacGillicuddy was careful to stress that this incident was not the only reason why the character will now be known to the Catholic faithful as 'St. Eleanor of Milsborough.' "The bull enumerates the many, many reasons why this wonderful woman is deserving of this singular honor. She has raised three wonderful children, is a caring and loving daughter, friend and employer. No matter what situation life throws at her -- a sick pet, a thieving employee, a request from a mariachi band -- Elly Patterson handles it with wisdom and grace."

The canonization process typically takes years to complete. A canonization committee must be formed, proof of miracles must be demonstrated to the Church's exacting standards, and a "Devil's Advocate," a person whose sole responsibility is to disprove the claims, must be appointed.

The Pope has broken with this tradition in the past, waiving the traditional five-year waiting period after an individual's death before beginning the process, in the case of Mother Teresa. According to MacGillicuddy, the pontiff elected to "handle Elly’s canonization his way" and to "... dispense with all that silly stuff."

The Pope's break with tradition is not without controversy, however. According to a Church insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity, "The canonization process is not supposed to begin until after the candidate has died and proven miracles have occurred as a direct result of petitioning the candidate for intercession with Our Lord. Raising a daughter who helps a lost kid find her mommy is nice and all but it doesn't really measure up against curing cancer overnight, if you want my opinion. And it helps if the candidate was a real, live person to start with, for God's sake!"

Yet, not everyone feels the same way. The author of the strip has long maintained that her characters are actually alive. “They live in my head. I know them. I know everything about them – their likes, their dislikes, what they eat, what they wear. They’re every bit as alive to me as my own family.”

“Well, that’s just crazy,” was the response from the Vatican insider. “She’s obviously as loopy as the Holy Father is. They both need to hurry up and retire.”

Despite the harsh feelings and comments on the part of some in the Church hierarchy, experts in Canon Law agree that the canonization is valid, if unusual. “He issued the Bull ex cathedra,” said one expert. “Therefore, he can’t be wrong and we’ve got a new saint on our hands. I actually like the strip; I’ve read it for years. I just wonder if the Pope forgot about the whole Lawrence thing.”

When asked for a comment, Elly Patterson, the newly-created saint, speaking through the strip’s author replied, “This is indeed an honor. I just hope I can manage my “saintly duties” in between being a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, pet owner, friend, career gal – I just hope those darned hot flashes don’t slow me down!”

  • Today's strip
  • 3 Comments:

    Anonymous Islamorada Girl said...

    It's just a closer walk with thee,
    Grant us, Elly, let it be,
    We are weak, but you are strong,
    Save us, Elly from all harm.

    Just a closer walk with thee,
    Let us not roadside be,
    Pattersons to lead the way,
    Perfect Elly, we do pray.

    9:46 AM  
    Anonymous Juli said...

    This sounds like perfect Onion fodder.

    6:11 PM  
    Anonymous DrBear said...

    Oh when the Pattersons
    Go Marching In
    Oh when the Pattersons go marching in
    I don't want to be known as "roadside" When the Pattersons go marching in

    6:39 AM  

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