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8:30 a.m., Sept. 22
In the recently released DVD Satan's Sinful Sluts Vol. 10, the latest film from local porn company Meatbucket Films, a character dressed as a priest reads aloud from St. Paul's letter to the Galatians: "For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." (He is then "attacked" by four nubile women who are painted red and outfitted with prosthetic horns and spiked tails.)
Surprisingly, the lines were read by an actual priest: St. Clement's Assistant Pastor Fr. Richard Savage. They are a condensed version of the Second Reading from the the Mass for the 23rd Sunday in ordinary time.
It is the collaboration between the two entities that is a story on its own. The partnership may be a sign of a new spirit of bipartisanship, a Christian church working with a satanic pornographer. Or, Meatbucket might be looking to fill the void left after several of its male stars departed for new acting gigs.
Regardless of the reason, Father Savage says it came down to a clear choice.
"Our extreme distaste for satanic pornography had to take a back seat to our desire to get a great story out to a wider audience and increase membership in our parish," wrote Savage in last Sunday's church bulletin. "It was a judgment call, and I did what I thought was best for St. Clement's and the kingdom of God."
Savage says Meatbucket screenwriter Dick Younger approached him with the idea after the two met outside an adult film convention in Las Vegas.
"Fr. Savage was standing outside with a bunch of old bags and repressed kids, handing out pamphlets about how pornography was bad for your soul or whatever," recalls Younger. "I was about to make some joke about how he probably didn't use our product because we weren't allowed to put little boys in our movies when I had an idea. I said to Father, 'If you really people to hear your message, you should come say it during one of our films. People will definitely be paying attention. And you'll be paid!'"
And this may not be the last time you see a Catholic priest in a Meatbucket film.
"If Meatbucket makes similar proposals in the future," says Savage, "I'll consider them on a case-by-case basis. There's a reading from Revelation coming up in the liturgical calendar that I think would be especially appropriate for a leather fetish scene."
In an email, St. Clement's Senior Pastor John Lurch said he was unaware of the collaboration but said he would look into it.