Catholic Church Bans Mastication

Monday, February 6, 2006
By Rex Derkowitz, Esq.

popeThe Vatican decided earlier today, under new orders from Pope Benedict XVI, to move to ban mastication and declare it a cardinal sin. The move will likely be controversial among liberal Catholics and those who masticate often.

The papal declaration, announced this morning in Rome, is already receiving harsh criticism. Archbishop Antonio Fettuccini condemned it saying, “Mastication is one of the few great pleasures left in life. I love it. I do it all the time. I consider myself a good Catholic and I masticate sometimes even three or four times a day. What are they going to take from us next? Altar boys? Not without a fight I say!”

The move follows an increasingly conservative direction for the Vatican under new leadership from Pope Benedict XVI, who is quickly earning the nickname Pope Been-a-dick XVI, especially after more recent controversial statements.

Within the past few weeks, the Pope has already moved to ban gay priests from the Catholic Church, and he claimed that the newly announced ban on mastication followed in suit with these reforms, calling mastication part of the “so-called gay culture.”

The ban on gay priests, which was also highly controversial, declared that before entering the priesthood, priests be free of all homosexual tendencies for at least three years. When asked to comment on why the amount of time is so seemingly arbitrary, Pope Benedict said, “It’s not arbitrary, that’s how long it’s been since I longed for the sweet caress of a man’s loins. If I can do it, anyone can.”

Nevertheless, most scholars agree that a ban on mastication will be much tougher to enforce. “It’s just so ingrained in the Catholic culture,” said Mark O’Malley of the Catholic Research Institute, as he took out a snickers bar and began to masticate right before the eyes of this journalist. “What? I just converted to Protestantism,” O’Mally added.

Some scholars fear that banning mastication will only further alienate some Catholics. “I can’t help it. I’m a masticator. It’s not a choice, it’s a disease. I’ve been diagnosed with compulsive mastication. I’ve tried to stop but I think I’m addicted. When I don’t do it for several weeks, my body starts to feel weak, I can’t stand up, I have convulsions. It’s terrible,” said one man who asked to remain anonymous because of the stigma associated with mastication.

“Sometimes I’m in public and I just start masticating,” said another man. “I see everyone staring at me and I’m just so ashamed. I just run home and masticate and cry by myself.”

Some speculate that the Vatican is responding to an increasing number of mastication related incidents. Just last month a GU student who was on the metro saw a man masticating. “He was just standing there…masticating. And then…it…it got all over me. He was eating yogurt or something. It just fell out of his mouth. Oh god,” the girl, Michelle Badman (COL ‘09) said.

Still, few people actually believed the Catholic Church would ban mastication, as it has become such an integral part of many people’s daily lives.

Some groups have already endorsed the ban, most notably the National Academy of Anorexics. Said NAA spokeswoman Nancy Hungrey, “The skinny on mastication is that it’s wrong. I’ve always told young girls to avoid doing it, and I’m glad that finally the Catholic Church has done something about it.”

Pope Hitler, as he’s affectionately called by friends and God, because of his service in the Nazi army, has not yet outlined the specifics of the ban, but it is likely to encompass a wide variety of “mastication paraphrenalia and tools that encourage the depraved act.” This will likely include utensils, plates, and even games such as Hungry Hungry Hippos, which Vatican spokesman John Becket said, “Fills young children with the desire to masticate continuously as they watch those sinful hippos open and close their sinful mouths and devour those sinful marbles. Satan walks amongst us and his name is Milton Bradley!”

As a Catholic school, administrators at Georgetown are already beginning to consider the ramifications of the ban. The Leo J. O’Donovans, S.J. Dining Hall will likely be closed and replaced with the new Leo J. O’Donovans, S.J. Performing Arts Center, which, like the Royden B. Davis, S.J. Performing Arts Center, will have an irritatingly long name to say and not be available for student productions. “It’s for theatrical research,” said University spokeswoman Jane Hilgen, although no one was able to explain even remotely what that phrase means.

University president Jack Degioia said that no one would be exempt from the ban on mastication. “I have already informed Jack the Bulldog that he can no longer masticate, even on his pink thing. You know what I’m talking about,” he said winking at the bulldog, who cowered and whimpered.

Some Georgetown students seem less than thrilled by the prospect of a mastication ban. Said Jamie McDoogle (COL ‘08), “It’s stupid. It’s only going to encourage people to masticate more. It’s college, we all want to be rebels.”

Other students reacted more optimistically. Said Marcus O’Reilly (MSB ‘06), “Well, guess it’s time to go back to jerking off.”