A MODEST (AND NUNSENSICAL) PROPOSAL
Far fewer novices? Ahhhh, so it's a recruiting crisis, eh? Well, if the Church is so inclined, I have a few suggestions for them:
1. Break A Bad Habit: That's right, Benny 16 and The Boys gotta tap the fabulous fashion sense that . . . men of their kind are so famous for. This is 2006! Teenage girls are not joining any organization that wears drab, baggy, black, white & grey clothing. Just ain't happening.If the Church follows my 7-Point Plan, I'm guaraneeing a 50% increase in nun recruitment by 2012. Guaranteed!
I'm recommending schoolgirl skirts, belly shirts, knee-high stockings, and shiny black shoes. Hell, I'm assuming Catholic school boys fantacize about their schoolgirl classmates and the nuns. So this kills two birds with one stone: more nuns, and increased interest in the church from the young boys. Hell, with young, foxy nuns, they may even join the priesthood in greater numbers.
2. Show Them The Money: Do nuns even get paid? I suggest ditching this "financial situation" regarding the retiring nuns, and start throwing the big bucks at the recruits: $75,000/yr, with a car, a swank apartment, and a monthly stipend to buy the updated uniforms, plus a decent share of cross-themed bling. What 18 year-old girl's turning that down? Maybe even a credit card in Jesus' name. Why not? The church doesn't pay taxes; I'm sure it's somehow able to declare insolvency and avoid its debts despite the updated bankrupcty laws.
3. Vatican II . . . Who Cares About The Jew? The few folks I know who went to Catholic school pre-1963 have charming stories of the nuns' "lessons" regarding the horned & tailed Jew, killing Christian babies, making matzoh from their blood, killing Christ, all the good stuff. Nothing bonds your rank-and-file gentiles better than the opportunity to fuck with the Jews, baby! Recruiting will go through the roof if only Benny 16 & The Boys do the right thing and repeal Vatican II.
4. Flex-Time: A lifetime of celibacy seems a bit extreme. I have no personal insight into the matter, but after eight years of monogamy I've got an idea. So . . . let the nuns do half-the-year-in-the-convent, and half-the-year . . . on a "mission," out in the field (playing the field?), you might say. Plenty of women I've known swear off men for months at a time after the end of a relationship anyway, so I'm guessing they'll adjust to this just fine.
5. Break Up The Monopoly! And what monopoly is this of which I speak? That which gives priests unshared access to the altar-boys! Teenage girls like pretty-boy 16 year-olds almost as much as gay men, right? Well, think of this as a recruiting tactic. Not only a Britney-esque outfit, but special, "after-church time" with the young lads, kneeling on the steps, eating the host, all that symbolic shit that gets young people so hot-and-bothered.
6. Incentives: Based on conversations through the years with friends who went to Catholic school, I get the strong impression that "The Bad-Ass Nun" is a relic of the past. Back in the 70's, my friends were scared shitless: nuns hitting them, screaming at them, nailing them with rulers, promising eternal damnation left and right. And now? Corporal punishment eliminated, more touchy-feeling teaching, no stories of burning in hell.
What girl's gonna give up a life of independence and freedom without the guaranteed opportunity to beat the living shit out of obnoxious boys? Bring traditional nunning back, and I'm thinking the Church recovers the lost "Tomboy Faction" in a matter of months.
And finally, if all else fails . . .
7. Kidnapping: International prostitution rings kidnap thousands of teenage girls every year from all over the globe. Yet the Catholic church continues to fall behind. By joining this phenomenon, it increases the ranks of the novitiate, saves girls from a far-worse fate, and more importantly, saves souls by the thousands.