A week to the day after we offered up the Ten Commandments For Commuters, the Vatican issued its Ten Commandments For Drivers. Sure, they’ll insist they’ve been working on their commandments for months, and didn’t get the idea from us. But we’d prefer to imagine a gaggle of cardinals, sitting around a wood table in a stark stone room, having a hearty chortle as they read the latest Word of the Week on Trainjotting. (“Heh heh! ‘Tramnesia!’ How clever!”)
While this whole thing smacks of an April Fool’s hoax that overshot its deadline by almost three months, I actually think “Guidelines For the Pastoral Care of the Road” is real. A few highlights:
* The first commandment, You Shall Not Kill, sounds a bit like #6–You Shall Not Murder–on Moses’ list. He might think about copyrighting his work.
* The list comes from the Vatican’s office of “migrants and itinerant people.” To which we wonder, how many migrants and itinerant people have cars? Should the list not be geared towards “Maplewood mooks and Levittown legal assistants”?
* Automobiles can be arenas to “occasions of sin,” be it “dangerous passing” or prostitution.
* Motorists are encouraged to “drive with a moral sense” and to “pray when behind the wheel.” Of course, making the sign of the cross could cause danger, so drivers are encouraged to conduct the sign prior to putting the car in drive.
Here’s the Vatican’s list.
1. You shall not kill.
2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
7. Support the families of accident victims.
8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
10. Feel responsible toward others.