Thursday, January 10, 2008

Parishioners Question Priest's Source for Sermon Ideas

Parishioners Question Priest's Source for Sermon Ideas

September, 2008

Parishioners at the Church of All Saints of Southern North Carolina have accused their priest of plagiarizing confessions as they have been getting the feeling that their sins have inspired several Sunday sermons.

Dorcas Smith said that after she had confessed to fantasizing about a triple fudge chocolate sundae with heavy whipped cream on the top during the third week of Lent, Fr. Barsanphius began drooling on his stole and that day his sermon was about the importance of not tempting your neighbor.

Similarly, 12-year-old Anna Anderson found another confession correlation. "I said that I was really, really sorry for finding the guide to swearing in 8th-century Slavonic and passing it around Sunday school. And then Father gives this long sermon about speaking in tongues and how St. Paul was trying to keep the Corinthians from speaking in tongues too much, which I don't think anybody really understood but me."

Bertha Cuthberta Johnson also noticed some things getting out of what ought to be a confidential conversation. She was willing to share the fact with a reporter that she often has to go to confession for losing her temper with her kids. "I say some of the most awful things to them when I'm mad," she said. "Sometimes the only way I can make them stop arguing is to threaten to take their allowance money and spend it all on tofu, and things like that.

"Then, one day, Father Barsanuphius and his four children showed up for church in their minivan. The PKs all got out of the car silent, their eyes the size of dinner plates. I asked them what happened, and his son said, ‘Daddy told us if we didn't stop throwing things that Lent would start three weeks early!'" Bertha shook her head and concluded, "I knew it was my fault."

When asked by an Onion Dome reporter, eldest priest's kid Polycarp Olson confirmed the incident. "It's really weird. Before he was ordained, he never said stuff like that. Now he tells us to go to bed or we get an extra aerial tollhouse. I doubt he's coming up with it on his own," Polycarp speculated.

Polycarp's best friend in church, Innocent, said that six months after the infamous frog-in-church incident, his conscience was bothering him to the point that he had to go to confession. "That week," Innocent said, "the sermon was all about Moses and the frogs in Egypt."

Parishioners have noticed this trend and have made a betting pool to see whose confession inspires that week's sermon. The winner is excused from having to bake prosphora for the next month.

Father Barsanuphius refused comment for this article, however Matushka Elizabeth was willing to share a few thoughts. "He wouldn't have this problem if he didn't stay up on Saturday nights watching DVDs of the Muppet Show with the kids. Whenever I tell him he needs to write his sermon, he says that Fr. Schmemann watched the Muppets all the time and was still able to come up with sermons. And then he's in the altar scribbling madly in his notebook during the Epistle reading."

This report was filed by Onion Dome guest reporter Thomas Ruthford.


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