Mar 272018

I was generally positive about the history concerning Pope St. Pius V. until I read this article.

It might sound ridiculous, but jesters used to be so common that nearly every powerful and important person had one. And I mean it: pretty much everyone. Kings and princes? Of course. Bishops? Yes. Cardinals? Yup.

But did the pope have a jester? It might sound ridiculous, but yes, the pope had a jester.

The thing you need to know is that jesters weren’t necessarily clowns. They were responsible for entertainment of every sort in the Renaissance period. Just like artists of the time were expected to be masters of sculpture, painting, architecture and even music writing, jesters were expected to be master entertainers. This included but wasn’t limited to storytelling, athletics, acrobatics, singing and acting. And yes, they knew how to juggle, occasionally wore silly costumes, and told jokes. Their trade was expendable, but also respected. So when dignitaries and nobility visited Rome to see the Supreme Pontiff, a little bit of entertainment was expected.

Have to admit that being the Papal Jester would have been my dream job if it had not been eliminated. I can even do some of the things listed – juggling, singing, acting, wearing silly costumes, and of course telling jokes.

Bring back the Papal Jester in a return to tradition.

Mar 082018

From an article Acer has made smart beads to help keep count of Buddhist mantras

Taiwanese tech company Acer has made Buddhist prayer beads that can help keep track of recited mantras. The beads have a smart chip that tracks the number of times a mantra is repeated and displays the number on a smartphone app. (The chip senses how many times a user has rotated the beads through their hand. Each rotation marks one mantra.).

The beads also reportedly have the capacity for future features to be added, like electronic payments, or getting discounts from Buddhist shops and restaurants.

Buddhist prayer beads
Buddhist prayer beads

I could almost wish for a Rosary version of this.

Although I could also see it’s use for reciting the Jesus Prayer. The Pilgrim in the Russian Orthodox classic The Way of the Pilgrim could have made use of this as he was given more and more repetitions of the Jesus Prayer to recite.

Now the Buddhist prayer beads version is rather odd in that electronic payments will be latter enabled. What? Perhaps PrayPal. Or maybe to pay for Pray for View.

Now what options would a electonic Rosary have?

  • Vibrates when it detects you have fallen asleep while reciting the Rosary. Your Guardian Angel will thank you since he won’t have to pick up your slack.
  • Bead speed detection to remind you if you are praying it too fast to adequately meditate on the mysteries. Also being smart enough to detect if you are praying the Divine Mercy instead and make allowance.
  • Scriptural Rosary Mode. When you get to the large bead it narrates some scripture mathing the decade and the day of the week.
  • Set an audible clacking at a desired sound level to help future saints.

Another nun made strange, clacking noises in chapel. Therese did not say, but the good lady was probably either toying with her rosary or was afflicted by ill-fitting dentures.

The clacking sound really got to Therese. It ground into her brain. Terrible-tempered Therese was pouring sweat in frustration. She tried to shut her ears, but was unsuccessful. Then, as an example of her ‘little ways’, she made a concert out of the clacking and offered it as a prayer to Jesus. “I assure you,” she dryly remarked, “that was no prayer of Quiet.”

  • Built in GPS to detect if you are praying in a Church and gaining a Plenary Indulgence. Future versions will have “attachment to sin” detection.

Photo Credit: Acer via Engadget

Jan 132018

Panic occurred this morning when Vatican employee accidentally triggered this @Pontifex tweet.


The Vatican quickly announced that this is a false alarm since they don’t know the day or the hour or are they given five minutes warning.

Sep 262017
Before confession 💩
After confession 😇
🤔 How do I condense my list of sins down to something manageable?
🤐 Good thing there is the seal of the confessional
😮 What I imagine the priests reaction is.
😴 His actual reaction.
😰 Me wondering what my penance is.
😁 Me receiving my penance.
😂 Absolution – thank you Jesus!
Inspired by this.
Aug 222017

A recent decision by the Knights of Columbus has sown discord among some of the Knights of Columbus.

Earlier this month, the Knights of Columbus board of directors unanimously voted to adopt a new uniform for the Fourth Degree. The decision was made with the good of the entire Order in mind. While we understand that some members may prefer the old regalia, the supreme master and vice supreme masters urge all Fourth Degree members to put the good of the Order before any personal preference.

The previous regalia worn by Fourth Degree Knights.

Photo via Flick, Creative Commons

Is being replaced with a more modern version.

The move was in answer to comments received by prospective members put off by the historic regalia. While some see this as positive move, others are less pleased.

A new group calling themselves the “Pius Knights of Columbus” has split off ordaining there own board members in direct opposition to Supreme Knight Anderson and without receiving permission. These schismatic Knights consider the traditional regalia as “The Uniform for the Ages” which as been in use with some changes since 1900. They refer to the updated uniform pejoratively as the “Novus Uniformus” and don’t consider it valid regalia for events.

Some of these breakaway knights for further in believing that there is no current valid Supreme Knight and that the last valid Supreme Knight was Luke E. Hart who served from 1953–1964 and was instrumental in having “Under God” added to the Pledge of Allegiance.

Members of the “Pius Knights of Columbus” are petitioning Pope Francis to issue a Motu Proprio allowing a stable group of Knights to wear the uniform beyond the June 30, 2018 cutoff date.

Jun 152017

Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, the superior general of the Jesuit order, suggested that the devil is a “symbolic figure,” in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

“We have formed symbolic figures such as the devil to express evil,” Father Sosa said. He added evil can also be a product of one’s social environment, saying that “there are people who act because they are in an environment where it is difficult to act to the contrary.” Source

A spokesman for Fr. Sosa said his comments must be read in context and that Fr. Sosa believes what the Church teaches. Fair enough.

This prompted Archbiship Chaput to write a column Sympathy for the devil.

Kolakowski saw that we can’t fully understand our culture unless we take the devil seriously. The devil and evil are constants at work in human history and in the struggles of every human soul. And note that Kolakowski (unlike some of our own Catholic leaders who should know better) was not using the word “devil” as a symbol of the darkness in our own hearts, or a metaphor for the bad things that happen in the world.

Jun 012017

On Thursday, the NBCUniversal cabler unveiled the fifth edition will be titled Sharknado 5: Global Swarming. The tagline is also Trump-inspired: “Make America bait again.”

Both stem from a social initiative launched in April to crowd-source ideas for titles and taglines from users via Facebook.

Syfy has also revealed the guest cast on tap for Sharknado 5, which includes model Fabio playing the pope (sorry, Jude Law). Musician and actress Charo will portray the Queen of England, and Chris Kattan is set as the English prime minister.

Other guest stars include Tony Hawk, Clay Aiken, Olivia Newton, Bret Michaels, Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Greg Louganis, Tom Daley, Porsha Williams (The Real Housewives of Atlanta), Dan Fogler and Game of Thrones’ Ross Mullan. Today hosts Al Roker, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will appear as themselves.

Reality keeps intruding on writing satire.

Now all they need in this movie is someone playing President Trump to round it out.

Donald Trump withdrawing from Paris agreement will be like slapping the Pope in the face, Vatican says

A withdrawal “would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific,” said Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which has hosted numerous international conferences on climate change. “Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money.”

Well at least we have not met peek strawmen.

Then Mark Shea posted Trump Flips Off Francis, Trumpian Catholics Cheer. For Christmas I am thinking of setting Mark a set of fine brushes, because I have stopped reading what he writes since everything is broad brush. I love Mark like a brother and miss his podcast being five days a week. Still posts like this, as if a campaign promise Trump made was anything about flipping off the Pope. Plus even if you accept climate change, or whatever they call it this week, – this toothless accord does nothing but increase bureaucracy and make people feel good. The whole outcry over this to my skeptical mind is more about virtue signalling than actually addressing what they say they care about. But I guess I am just not falling in line with jet-setting yacht-owning environmentalist warriors.

May 312017

People are pondering the meaning of the word in the Pope’s latest tweet.

What is covfefe and exactly how does it relate to God? Is this an aspect of his mercy or something else? Latin scholars we reached to told us that this is not ecclesial Latin or in fact any form of Latin.

In the aftermath of this mysterious tweet four Cardinals came forward asking that the Holy Father immediately provide a definition for this word as their was no footnote and this is causing confusion to the Twitter faithful.

Apr 282017

This is happens when you don’t know what aspergillum means.

The ceremony took place before a bunch of asparagus was taken to the European Parliament as a thank you for granting it protected status

Worcester Cathedral has hit back at criticism over a service that included a man dressed up as a spear of asparagus.

A packed congregation on St George’s Day saw asparagus from Evesham receive a blessing to mark the start of the British Asparagus Festival.

Gus the Asparagus Man was part of the procession- dressed in a giant green asparagus costume.

Pressure group Christian Concern said the scenes in the Cathedral “made a mockery of Christian worship”.

A post written on the Archbishop Cranmer blog site continued the criticism: “Why only adoration of asparagus? Where’s the sprout liturgy, or equality for mushrooms?”.

However, Canon Precentor of Worcester Cathedral, Reverend Michael Brierley, said in response: “I think the inclusion of the figure added a bit of colour”. Source

Well the colour green to be specific.

The jokes write themselves.

  • Lettuce pray.
  • Did the Aparagus Man receive a celery, or was it part time?
  • Did they sing A-Maize-ing Grace?
  • What are you giving up for Lentil?
  • Peas be with you.

Gus the Asparagus Man was part of the St George’s Day service at Worcester Cathedral.