Church cuts prayers for sick people
By Karl Stennienibarra
The Catholic Church in Malta has drastically cut the number of prayers it devotes to sick people, leaving the ill to fend for their own survival.
“Over the past year, the great moral crisis that has engulfed Europe for the last few decades, the roots of which can be traced to a Greek reggae/gay bar in Mykonos called Rastafabulous, has finally reached our shores.
“Last year with the divorce referendum we were complacent. We thought God would just sort it out. But this year we’re going to make damn sure civil partnerships for gays don’t become reality in Malta,” the archbishop said.
The cuts mean that the amount of time priests reserve for praying for sick people will be considerably reduced, and Catholics will now be encouraged to subscribe to a Pray As You Go scheme.
A prayer consultant from the Vatican will also help the local Church to come up with a more efficient prayer model. Failing that, the local Church will have to ask for a prayer bailout from its parent company in Rome.
“We need to change the way we look at prayer. Take the Rosary for example. This is a very long, tedious prayer, ill-suited to the fast pace of the modern world. Basically, it’s a dinosaur,” said Fr Ricardo Bransone.
“The way forward involves having a larger number of smaller prayers, bringing about a more streamlined, flexible approach. So instead of rosary beads, all nuns will be given a rosary nose ring, which will count as half a Hail Mary.”
Furthermore, priests have been ordered to pray only for the those with serious, life-threatening illnesses.
“If you only have a cold, or you banged your big toe, please do not go to your parish priest and beg for him to pray for you,” said prayer manager Fr Alex Scicluna.
Critics have suggested that prayer does not work at all, but Fr Alex is swift to dismiss this.
“That is simply not true. Look at Fabrice Muamba, the Bolton Wanderers player whose heart stopped on the pitch two weeks ago. If it hadn’t had been for the thousands of people who prayed for him, he never would have survived, regardless of the stellar medical attention he received.
“Then again, if he had died it would have been because God wanted him in heaven. It’s always win-win for the Big G,” Fr Alex said.
Meanwhile, health minister Joe Cassar has pleaded with people to stop getting sick in order to ease the bed shortage crisis at Mater Dei.
“Why do people insist on getting sick? We really need to put this problem to bed. Of course, it won’t have a pillow, but anyway,” Dr Cassar said.