I spent another night here, in a different upstairs bedroom (this one has views of another balcony off of the first floor of the Library, which I'd like to visit sometime when I have the chance), and when I got down to my desk this morning I had a letter from Mel Gibson's camp, asking for an expanded 2010 budget to build a "family-access only gardens and pool meditation center" at Church of the Holy Family in Agoura Hills CA.
Now, first of all, can you build your own Catholic church? I didn't think that was possible. But apparently it can and has been done. Also, women apparently must wear head coverings in Mel Gibson's church. I'm not joking, and I'm pretty sure I'll have to respond to this letter because it is almost certainly inappropriate.
Secondly, I received a document "to be signed by Santa himself" (Santa's legal name is San Nicolas for all documents generated and notarized in California), which was basically a permission slip for Mel's 2009 divorce. It asked Santa to "corroborate the spiritual certitude" of Mel's ex-wife's disqualification from salvation because she is an Episcopalian and not a Catholic.
Here's a quote from Mel (from the New Yorker in 2003, via People Magazine): "There is no salvation for those outside the Church," he said. "I believe it." He explained: "Put it this way. My wife is a saint. She's a much better person than I am. Honestly. She's, like, Episcopalian, Church of England. She prays, she believes in God, she knows Jesus, she believes in that stuff. And it's just not fair if she doesn't make it, she's better than I am. But that is a pronouncement from the chair. I go with it."