You've Got Mail: Greetings From Vatican City! Concerned about that Anglican to Catholic transition? Humorist Gregory Beyer assures you it'll be fine, thanks to an e-mail he's forwarding along from the Roman Catholic Church.

You've Got Mail: Greetings From Vatican City!

Satirist Gregory Beyer Delivers The Email You Can't Miss


"In an extraordinary bid to lure traditionalist Anglicans en masse, the Vatican said Tuesday that it would make it easier for Anglicans uncomfortable with their church's acceptance of female priests and openly gay bishops to join the Roman Catholic Church while retaining many of their traditions." --The New York Times


To: Disaffected Anglicans


Subject: Fed up?

Greetings from Vatican City!

If you're reading this letter, you're probably a lifelong Anglican. You've worked hard at your faith and always played by the rules. But lately you haven't been happy with certain developments. Maybe you're even on the fence about your religion. Sometimes you drive past a Catholic church and wonder, "What goes on in there?"

Consider this your official invitation to find out. Since the Reformation almost 500 years ago, people have tended to emphasize the differences between Anglicans and Catholics. But there are a lot of similarities, too. For example, both Catholics and Anglicans consider themselves adherents of the one true faith, whereas people of other religions generally consider themselves in the top 10.

You're probably saying to yourself, "Changing religions sounds like a lot of work." But we want to assure you we're committed to helping make your transition as smooth as possible. You can even keep driving to your former Anglican church, and we'll pick you up with our free weekend shuttle service. It's all part of the Catholic Church's plan to broaden its earthly ranks, using state-of-the-art technology calibrated to poach top talent from all faiths. (For example, our shuttle service outreach program targeted Ivy League Buddhists with driver's licenses.) For years, we've been sending undercover scouts to churches, temples and mosques, getting the e-mail addresses of decent choir sopranos (we're low on sopranos) and anyone who cringes when something remotely gay happens.

It's true — since the Reformation, there's been some bad blood between us. Catholics got stereotyped as steadfast, courageous bearers of the true faith, while Anglicans developed a reputation as untrustworthy, talkative rugby enthusiasts. That's why, as part of your orientation, we'll offer Catholic education courses to debunk popular myths and instruct you on things like how to plan for your online baptism, as well as an introduction to the church hierarchy's rich, selective tradition of ornithology-based nomenclature.

In closing, we'd like to thank you for your interest, and also extend an especially warm welcome to our gay brothers and female sisters in the Anglican church. Our "No Pressure" policy is designed specifically for you: There's absolutely no pressure to become a priest or bishop. In fact, it's forbidden.

Gregory Beyer is a writer in New York. Courtesy of Gregory Beyer hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Gregory Beyer

If you have questions, please contact our transfer counselor, Sheila Brownstein (B.A., Judaism, 1988). When Sheila first stepped into a Catholic church as a wide-eyed, wide-hipped 58-year-old, she didn't know the first thing about Catholic doctrine. She still doesn't. But she's so feisty and homophobic that we gave her an office.


Your friends at the Roman Catholic Church

Gregory Beyer is a writer in New York.

Related NPR Stories