That headline is not all that impressive a statement when you realize that Batman, different from both Superman and Spiderman, has no superpowers at all. Curiously, Batman’s total lack of powers has been suggested, in fact, as the reason for his superior popularity among comic-book and superhero-movie buffs. Gotham City’s crime-buster has to rely solely on science (and Michael Caine) to provide him with his arsenal for fighting the baddies. He has none of the preternatural powers of his comic-book rivals. Bruce Wayne is more like us, but richer, better equipped and more motivated than you and me to get dressed up like a bat.
So what has all this got to do with priests ? Even Catholics tend to forget that people like me, validly ordained to the priesthood, possess two powers which even the Man of Steel and the Human Spider cannot claim : the power to forgive sin and the even more spectacular power of transubstantiation : “spectacular” because like Tommy Cooper’s magic scarves trick, you can see with your own eyes that the bread really does become the Body of Christ and – second miracle – continues to look just like the bread it was before (like Tommy’s black and white scarves reversing colors and and then changing into rabbits while still looking like scarves).
You may be wondering about ex-priests’ continuing to possess the power to change bread and wine into Jesus’ Body and Blood. You shouldn’t. The Church teaches that I can still, in emergencies, absolve you from your sins, and if I felt so inclined, could do the Eucharistic trick any time I like. This is not a boast, but just another example of how Catholics are expected to believe nonsense surpassing anything you can read in comic-books.
P.S. You may now understand why there is a BAT in my photo taken in a Basque cemetery . . .