Friday, March 30, 2007

Gone on holidays...

I'll be back after the Octave of Easter
(Man, am I looking forward to saying the h........-word again!)

To keep you entertained, here's a little game: The first person that names the following cardinals from top to bottom will..., will..., well, will win.

I know it's too easy, but - hey - is it my fault you guys know so much?

See y'all later!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Should you be in Ecuador...

... then make sure you spend Holy Week in Quito.

On the Wednesday of Holy Week the archbishop and the canons of the cathedral of Quito celebrate the "arrastre de caudas". It is a very old custom, obviously imported from Europe. Roman soldiers who had fallen in battle were covered with a big black flag, which was supposed to suck up their mojo. The flag was then carried past the mourning soldiers, all dressed in black, and the fighting spirit of the fallen was thus passed on to the living.

The church transformed it into a ceremony in which the huge black flag carried by the archbishop is supposed to symbolize death (in fact, superstitious belief had it that you would die in the coming year, if the flag touched you while it was carried through the town). The procession ends in the cathedral, where the canons - all dressed in black cappe - lay down, while the archbishop, in cappa magna, holds up the flag so that the faithful be reminded of the virtue of Christ, who died for us on the cross.

Seeing the photos and thinking of the rich sybolism behind the whole ceremony, I once more shake my head in sorrow when I think of what the Holy Mother Church could be and then see what She actually is. "Nihil est in intellectu quod non sit prius in sensu." Does this sound familiar, dear bishops? It should. Feed you flock with a bit more than clown-masses, rock liturgies, uninspired homilies and polyester chasubles.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What is that?

This is Cardinal Rufino Santos from Manila. Apart from the fact that I cannot remember to ever have seen buckled shoes worn together with a suit, these shoes deserve some attention. Because they have laces and buckles. And the buckles look like His Eminence ripped them off of two gun belts. What's going on here? Please?!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sitting in state

William Cardinal O'Connell as the Prince of the Church that he was and is accused to have been.

Paul Cardinal Cullen, Archbishop of Armagh and later Dublin, Primate of Ireland. This is taken from a painting I'd love to see in color.

Franz Cardinal König, Archbishop of Vienna. This was scanned from a newspaper, so sorry for the shining-through of the letters in the white parts.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


How does the sentence on the poster continue?

a) ... who don't buy our headgear!
b) ... who be more smarter then we be!
c) ... who accuse us of behading those who accuse us of killing those who accuse us of...
d) ... who do not prance around like screaming queens in red T-shirts while calling for the beheading of somebody else!
e) ... who insult Islam!

"e!" I hear you scream? Well, that would be something to think about. Either Islam is the religion of hate and violence it continues to be lately. Then this poster is just one more proof for the fact that Islam doesn't have any place in the world. Or it really is the religion of peace, in which case every fanatic Islamist carrying posters like these or even acting according to the order given would have to commit suicide by beheading for insulting his/her religion. So, yes, why don't we go with "e"?

"The Lord be with you" - "And... fart... also with... shit, you smell that?... you."

The following is taken from a commentary that was written in response to an article which described a kind of "Come as you are and do what you want"-liturgy (including four-letter-words) on a webpage which shall remain unnamed because I'd feel kinda guilty to make the life of these dillweeds even more miserable by exposing them to the public. But if you ever wanted to know what is wrong in the Church today, you can stop asking. Just read.
    "Worship has to be more than routine liturgy. The goal isn't to complete a cheklist of todos -- but to be authentic people in relationship and worship with God.

    I have a friend who asks his congregation not to edit their behavior in the church versus outside the church. If you cuss, drink, and cheat on your wife outside the walls of the church -- might as well do it inside the church walls. What do you think -- God can only see you in the church? God is everywhere... and wants us to be faithful everywhere too.

    Worship should be human.. and unpredictable."
There is this sentence echoing somewhere in the back of my head: "Clericalism is destroying the Church, by driving a wedge between the allegedly superior priestly class and the people and thus seperating the well meaning fluffy lay kittens and the dogmatic blockheads of the hierarchy" (or something tear-wrenching like that, I am sure most of you heard similar stuff).

Well, dear laypersons, I can assure you that there always will be a handfull of Catholic Priests that will indeed feel superior to a bunch of farting, belching and swearing mass-visitors.

My favorite part is of course the "God wants us to be faithful everywhere". Depending on how you define "faithful" this does indeed create a nice opening for behaving like a pig in Church instead of behaving like a Catholic striving for sainthood in everyday life: "Of course I know this is your wife. But God wants it. And now shut up, I cant do it when somebody yells at me. Besides, the homily is up."

And no: The page I copied the comment from is not a satire on lay-participation gone haywire.

Friday, March 09, 2007


"Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky. Stormy weather..."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Now that's where I have to go on vacation!

The diocesan museum of the archdiocese of Munich-Freising in Bavaria offers this stylish vitrine: Those are the cardinal's clothes of Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber (1869-1952, archbishop of Munich-Freising from 1917 until his death, created a cardinal in 1921). Freising was one of those typical Southern German prince-bishoprics. Disbanded in 1802, it was joined with the nearby Munich to form todays archdiocese.

Well, what we see here is a purple choir dress including a cappa magna with hermine upper part, a red-watered silk cappa magna, a galero, a mantelletta, red shoes with buckles, a capello and an abito piano with ferraiolo. Man, this reads like my shopping list.


Prelates with trains coming through...

Installation of Josef Stangl (right) as bishop of Würzburg in 1957. Next to him you see Josef Schreiber, archbishop of Bamberg and consecrator

Cardinal Mercier

Unknown bishop (front) and Cardinal Wendl processing through what looks like the Basilica in Mariazell, Austria

A Benedictine Abbot

Archbishop Kolb of Bamberg processing through the streets of war-torn Würzburg in 1948 on the occasion of the consecration of Julius Döpfner as new bishop of Würzburg

Some French cardinal