The Vatican has confirmed that Stations 6 and 7 of the Cross, currently closed for refurbishment, will not be ready for use this Easter due to unforeseen problems with sub-contractors. The Stations, used by millions of worshippers on Good Friday to meditate on the trial and condemnation of Christ, are heavily worn and in recent years some showed signs of becoming theologically dangerous.
The Vatican decided in 2005 that Station 6 (Veronica wipes the tears from the face of Christ) needed new theoretical underpinnings, and Station 7 (Jesus falls for the second time) should have a better premise than the ‘loose flagstone’ used by Station 4 (Jesus falls for the first time).
Vatican theologians were forced to compete against external bidders for the rewrite contract, in keeping with Pope Benedict’s ‘best value’ agenda, and lost the tender to the Greek Orthodox. The Greeks sub-contracted further to the Anglicans, who, distracted by arguments over homosexuality, inadvertently passed the job over to the reform branch of Judaism. Now all parties are locked in an argument over whether Veronica can ‘at least be given a more Jewish-sounding name, given that she was probably Jewish already’.
‘The Roman Church is doing everything it can to ensure that this year’s Crucifixion runs smoothly,’ said spokesman Cardinal Joachim Schmidt, ‘and we bitterly regret any inconvenience caused to worshippers. Unfortunately church services will terminate at Station 5 (Simon of Cyrene takes up the cross of Christ), but we’ve laid on replacement buses to take believers through to station 8 (Jesus greets the daughters of jerusalem).Thereafter Jesus should die and rise again as normal. Although resurrection may be subject to further delay. See noticeboards for details.’
SuburbanDad (pic by red)