Thursday, July 06, 2006

Outsourcing Prayer

"Outsourcing to India is now also embracing the sacred, according to a NYTimes article . Blaming it on a shortage of priests, requests for a special mass or prayers are routed from Americans, Canadians and Europeans often via the Vatican to clergy in India.Increasing numbers of them arrive by email, especially to India's southwestern state of Kerala, where one of the largest concentrations of India's Christians can be found. "In Kerala's churches, memorial and thanksgiving prayers conducted for local residents are said for a donation of 40 rupees (90 cents), whereas a prayer request from the United States typically comes with $5, the Indian priests say."Responding to the concerns expressed by Westerners, Indian church leaders point out that this is not a recent development, but that rich churches short on priests have been sharing their needs and resources with their poorer brethren for decades. "The Rev. Paul Thelakkat, a Cochin-based spokesman for the Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church, said, "The prayer is heartfelt, and every prayer is treated as the same whether it is paid for in dollars, euros or in rupees."
The New York Times -- June 13, 2004

Vatican CEO Benedict XVI responded to the report by noting, "We simply needed to improve on our Answers To Prayer Index (ATPI) and re-envision our Prayer Production Metrics (PPMs). By offshoring these prayer concerns, we free up our American prayer force for enterprises such as watching American Idol (we don't fully approve of this, but it is at least a religous activity) and filing Unemployment claims. As a result of this shift in the prayer force, I must announce a rightsizing of 25% of our American prayer force. Effective August 1st, 2006, some 13 million American People of Prayer will no longer be employed under our auspices. We are confident that these beloved yet displaced workers will find future employment in other churches, or perhaps other religions, and that such measures will result in a closer walk with God as these dear but screwed disciples encounter increased trials and tribulations in their lives."


jasdye said...

had me going there.

but everyone knows there are no Christians in India. get with the program, Whitman!

Andy W. Anderson, Ph.D Candidate said...

So what does this mean for my Vatican stock? Should I redistrubute my prayer holdings to the Vineyard Index, perhaps invest in some Protestant Reform Funds? You seem to be on top of this so I'm counting on your advice!


(just so you know, my secret verification word of the day was Cazznazl, which was just too cool to let disappear into the ether)

Andy Whitman said...

jasdye, that's a real article from The New York Times. The Catholic Church really is outsourcing prayers to India. The Pope's reaction might be a little farfetched. But not that much, you know?

jasdye said...

holy schnikies!

great. as if fellow evangelicals didn't have enough ammunition to fire at Catholicism.

reminds me of that 'Luther' movie i saw about some german dude...

mommy zabs said...

i'm still baffeled by this, is this for real?

Andy Whitman said...

The portion of the posting in italics is for real, and is excerpted from The New York Times.

The text following the italics is me, and is my parody/satire on what a press conference with Pope might look like if he was called on to explain outsourcing prayer to India.

For what it's worth, I think both sections of the post are mind-boggling.

Anonymous said...

you have to love how cynical the new york times is on all matters christian.

here we have intercessory prayer painted in such a way that we can hardly discern what it is that they are even talking about.