Citizens of Rome were slightly concerned last Friday to see what looked like a gargantuan black cloud descending on Vatican City. After several panicked phone calls, it was determined that this was not, indeed, a sign of the apocalypse, but simply marked the arrival of several million honeybees to an event organized by the Supreme Pontiff.
Pope Francis, in preparation for the Eastertide, organized this meeting with the leaders of the bee community in efforts to “restore relations between Church and her honeybee friends.”
“The Church has long recognized the importance of bees in her tradition,” reads the meeting’s report, entitled “Apis mellifera.” “For two thousand years, all candles used in liturgy have been made by mother bees, and this fact has been acknowledged even in the Easter liturgy. This meeting is an attempt to extend credit where credit is due. Also, we wanted to see how many bees we could fit into the Sistine Chapel. It turns out it’s a lot.”
The meeting has not been without controversy. Critics are calling it “pure lunacy,” saying that Francis is overlooking the human rights violations made by bees for centuries.
In an article entitled “You’ve Got to Bee Kidding Me,” Michael Vortex, editor of Church Triumphant, writes: “The pope’s efforts at so-called ‘ecumenism’ have gone too far. Meetings such as these promote nothing but discord. How many Catholics have suffered at the tiny hands of these tiny insects?
“Must we ignore that their fixation on production smacks of Marxist totalitarianism? Theirs is a false monarchy — a communist dictatorship hiding behind the matriarchal mask of queendom. The bees have long proven themselves to be a violent, radically feminist species who would stop at nothing to take the Church down from the inside.
“Pope Francis is giving them exactly what they want: leaning into the liberalist tendencies already so prominent within the hierarchy today. This meeting is a move that will certainly sting.”
Proponents, on the other hand, are calling the assembly “revolutionary” and “a historic event that will certainly set a standard in the Church for mission and environmentalism.”
Some are hoping that this will ease tensions between the Church and the worker bees, amongst whom a long-boiling resentment has grown due to their thousands of hours of unpaid labor that have gone into making the church’s many, many candles.
Bee Professor, a professor for the Bee Institute in Stockholm who also happens to be a bee, observed that the meeting was “buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz,” considering that “buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz.”
To close the convention, Francis delivered a special prayer to St. Ambrose, patron of beekeepers and the French Commissariat. He focused a lot more on that second thing, which was weird, but most people were on board.