Explaining Burke Derangement Syndrome

At Badger Catholic I saw something that helps to explain Burke Derangement Syndrome, or BDS.

You surely have seen dramatic, fainting couch worthy, episodes of BDS over at NSR (National Schismatic Reporter… to use just one possible “s” word, aka Fishwrap).

Certain of their writers simply hate Card. Burke.  They see His Eminence and they become silly, they vent, they swoon, they throw a spittle-flecked nutty.

Badger Catholic may have put the finger on the sore spot.

Cardinal Burke and the 1998 conversion of one of “Wisconsin’s most outspoken gay activists”

Recently we posted a story that has circulated on the internet about Cardinal Burke and the conversion of an active homosexualist.

Thanks to a gracious commenter, I found the true story of the gay activist’s conversion.

You can read the story “Coming Out of Sodom” by Eric Hess in Celebrate Life Magazine 2011-09-29 www.clmagazine.org/article/index/id/OTI2Mw/The story is from 2011 but the actual conversion happened in 1998 in the La Crosse Diocese.  There may be other stories like this one but this seems to match the details of the original.

I would recommend reading the whole thing, I’ll highlight a few details.


Read the rest there.

So, am I wrong?  Sure there are other reasons why catholics might dislike Card. Burke, but…. think about it.

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Posted in The Drill, The Sin That Cries To Heaven For Vengence, Throwing a Nutty | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Not just new sins, but new categories of sins!

Fr. Hunwicke – whom I thank for the recently conferred title Archiblogopoios*has done it again.  He is on the proverbial roll.

Here’s the whole thing… I can’t resist.  Be sure to go over there, spike his stats, and read the combox.  It’s worth your time.

My patented emphases and comments:

New Sins

In Mgr Ronald Knox’s brilliant collection of Essays in Satire, there is a piece about a ‘Professor’ who invents a new sin. Now, even Knox’s brilliance has been quite superseded. Now, you see, we have completely new types, genres, of Sin. The Third Millennium has branched out into a whole novel taxonomy of Sin.

Earlier this month [HERE] I approached this subject and asked three simple questions, as tests to apply to any newly fashionable theory about Sin. Here they are again:

(1) Can you square it with the Sermon on the Mount and the ethical teaching of S Paul?
(2) Can you square it with the Lord’s parables about not knowing ‘the Day or the Hour’?
(3) Does it apply to murderers and paedophiles?

Let me remind you what the New Casuistries teach about Sin.
(a) Graduality. ”People cannot give up their Sin instantaneously. They should be given the time, and the grace of the sacraments, to wean themselves off it gradually.”
(b) Acceptance without Approval. “Remarried divorcees may be in a position to which the Church cannot give formal approval; but she may welcome them as they are into her Sacramental life.” [Kasper's position - aka Tolerated But Not Accepted]
(c) Elements of truth. “Outside the relationship of heterosexual monogamy, other models of relationship exist in which important elements exist of the values proper to Marriage itself: and it is these elements which we should emphasise (permanence; self-sacrificing love …).”

Now apply Fr Hunwicke’s Question (3).  Would you accept that, since a paedophile has very strong inclinations, his aim should be to work hard to abuse children less and less frequently? How do you feel about the Church accepting that some paedophiles are gentle and affectionate to the children they abuse, and that we should concentrate our attention on those good elements of gentleness and affection? Take someone with a pathological impulse to murder: would you want the Church to continue to maintain the teaching of the Ten Commandments about Murder, but, without approving of the murders, to accept the unrepentant murderer as he is?

Probably you wouldn’t. Probably most people, even very liberal Catholics wouldn’t, unless they are themselves paedophiles or murderers or both. Why not? [It doesn't pass the smell test.]

What we have is, in fact, the adoption by liberals of two quite distinct categories of Sin. There are sins which (most people would agree) are really sinful. Such as abusing and/or killing children. [Except when the utilitarianism kicks in and abortion is chosen.] The clever little games (a), (b), (c), would never be acceptable here. If somebody suggested that it really is in accordance with a nuanced Christian morality for a paedophile to abuse children as long as he does it gradually less frequently, most of us would probably kick him. However they contrive to control their behaviour, paedophiles should just give up, or genuinely try to give up, their vice. They should receive Absolution and then “Go and Sin No More”.

[Here, emphases is H's] But there is now, for the Liberals, an additional, quite different category of Sin.It consists of things which, because they are condemned by Christ or by long centuries of Christian Tradition, liberals might agree are in some sense technically sinful. But liberals do not feel that they are really wrong. [Of course not!  They are morally superior beings!] So they devise sophisticated ways of avoiding the requirement of the Gospel: repentance and a firm purpose never to offend again and to avoid the occasions of Sin. Like children who have cheated and found out the answer to a sum, they start with the conclusion and then try to find the right ‘workings’ to get to the answer. “I want to argue that a homosexual couple may continue to live in a genitally sexual relationship: where can I find clever arguments to support that conclusion?”


(I) REALLY WRONG SINS; they really turn me upside down in my tummy.

(II) SINS WHICH ARE ONLY TECHNICALLY WRONG; my tummy feels completely OK about them. We’ve just got to find a way for the Church to shift her line without completely losing face.

Those are the two radically distinct categories of Sin in which Liberals now believe.

Neither in the Bible nor in two Christian millennia is there evidence for (II).


Bibliography: the important discussion here in the Church’s Magisterium is paragraphs 79-83 of the Encyclical of S John Paul II Veritatis splendor, together with its footnoted sources. The Holy Pontiff quotes (para 81) a passage of S Augustine in which that Doctor discusses the ‘absurdity’ of any notion that sins done for good motives (causis bonis) might be thought of as ‘sins that are justified’ (iusta peccata: I think this would have to be S Augustine’s Latin term for what my account above calls (II) SINS WHICH ARE (in the view of Liberals) ONLY TECHNICALLY WRONG).

The Holy Pontiff cleverly takes (para 80) the list of sins in para 27 of Gaudium et Spes and says that they are good examples of acts intrinsice mala, that is, always wrong, independent of circumstances. What is neat about this is that it includes sins which Liberals would consider (I) REALLY WRONG SINS (such as genocide, trafficking in women, slavery) [having to big a carbon footprint] and mixes them up with (II) SINS WHICH ARE (in the view of Liberals) ONLY TECHNICALLY WRONG (such as abortion). He then goes on to the intrinsically evil contraceptive acts and, in para 81, includes S Paul’s condemnation (I Cor 6:9-10) of categories including the sodomised and the sodomites (malakoi, arsenokoitai; molles, masculorum concubitores).

Fr. Z kudos.

*If that was just flattery to get me to link to him more often, it worked.  I can be bribed.


Posted in Liberals, The Drill, What are they REALLY saying? | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Just Too Cool: Vatican Library manuscripts digitized, online

From Business Insider with lots of extremely cool images:

The Vatican Library was founded in 1451 by Nicholas V. It holds some 180,000 manuscripts, 1.6 million books and 150,000 images and engravings.

Last year, non-profit organization Digita Vaticana Oculus was founded with the aim of helping fund the digitization of 80,000 of the manuscripts, or 41 million pages.

In March, Japanese IT firm NTT DATA Corp won a four-year, $23 million contract to digitize the first 3000 manuscripts, totaling 1.5 million pages.

The first 500 manuscripts are now available to view, along with 600 incunabula – books or pamphlets printed before 1500 AD.


Here is a sample:

Oath, signed by 42 Christians of Kuchinotzu (Japan), to defend their missionaries to death, dated 1613.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Our Catholic Identity | 2 Comments

Italian bishop forbids people to receive sacraments from SSPX

At L’Espresso I saw this, in Italian:

Pope Francis forbids Lefevbrite priests from saying Mass
The follows of the ultra traditionalist French bishop, already excommunicated, are now in Bergoglio’s crosshairs. Through one of his most faithful men he has forbidden them to celebrate Mass and administrate the sacraments. Whoever follows them risks excommunication.

In essence the article says that “new beatings with a stick” have come from “pastor of mercy and forgiveness”.

The Bishop of Albano, Marcello Semeraro, has forbidden the SSPX priests – who have their Italian HQ in Albano, a stone’s throw from Castel Gandolfo and two stone throws from Rome – from administering the sacraments. He also forbade the faithful from receiving the sacraments from the SSPX priests saying that they run the risk of excommunication. This was issued in the form of a notification signed by Bp. Semeraro, who happens to be the secretary of the Gang of Nine assembled by Pope Francis… Cards. Marx, O’Malley, Rodriguez Maradiaga, etc.

The notification was apparently published in no less than the official daily of the Italian Bishops Conference, Avvenire. It seems that he had received numerous requests about the celebration of sacraments by the SSPX. He wrote that “it isn’t an institution… of the Catholic Church”.

The article mentions that the SSPX has 15000 followers in Italy. Given the state of the Church in some places, that’s not nothing.

I didn’t find the Notification in the online version of Avvenire, but that’s no surprise.  It would be interesting to see the actual wording. Did Bp. Semararo raise the specter of excommunication for Catholics in the Diocese of Albano who seek sacraments from the SSPX?

Just lately the Prefect of the CDF, Card. Muller, had a meeting with SSPX leadership which seemed to betoken something positive. This is more than a little chilling, don’t you think?

It also seems as if there is a lack of coordination or of vision on this topic, indeed, a lack of guidance.


An alert priest reader sent a link to a PDF at the site of the CEI.  HERE

Posted in SSPX, The Drill | Tagged , , | 52 Comments

Rome – Day 7: Umbrian Edition

We had Mass this morning, with the pilgrims, a votive Mass of the Holy Trinity, at Ss Trinità dei Pelegrini, which seemed fitting.

Then we found our bus for Orvieto!

My View For Awhile:




I’ve been here quite a few times, but it always makes my heart beat faster to approach the cathedral from this side street, to see the view grow.


Okay… the photos posted out of order, but we can pretend that this is a Quentin Tarantino film.

An assortment of antipasti… various things smeared on bread (mushrooms, lentils, liver, tomatoes) and in the center panzanella.


No, we did not dash out for a view of the cathedral during the antipasti.

This glorious thing is probably the most beautiful cathedral in Italy.  The reliefs on the facade make this a must visit.


They depict the history of salvation, from the creation to the final judgment.


The fall of Man.  Notice the very wicked grinning snake!  Notice how they hide from God!


Lorenzo Maitani, et al., deserve a place in heaven for these reliefs.

And just look at that.   I was so pleased that we had a glorious blue sky.


In the Cathedral, you find the corporal upon which the Host miraculously bled, which inspired the Feast of Corpus Christi and also this building. In the chapel we knelt and prayed for bishops and priests whose faith is weak. Across from that chapel, is the chapel in which you find the finest work of Luca Signorelli, including his harrowing scene of Hell and the Preaching the Antichrist, in which the Devil embraces a figure who looks just like the Lord, but whose eyes are crossed as he listens to the Devil’s lies whispered in his ear. The panel I find the most interesting is the Resurrection. Angels blow trumpets and figures begin to pull themselves, draw themselves forth from a perfectly flat white plain, which seems to me to represent Prime Matter. As their forms are infused they take shape and gain flesh. Some of the newly risen help others up out of the formless matter. They are all 33 years old, the years of Christ, and perfect.


I saw this advertisement on a shop window. Gratifying.


Back to food.  I ate Peter Cottontail in a sauce of herbs.  He was very tender.

Tender… nice.  I didn’t even have to snap his backbone and bit through the fur, though I was just about hungry enough.


A slightly better view. Yes, the wine was a Sagrantino di Montefalco. Yum.


Meanwhile, I learned a new Italian word today. Who knows what they sell there… hmmmm…


A lovely statue of Our Lady of Sorrows in a small church in Orvieto. This is in the church where the Extraordinary Form was offered on Sunday.


It’s the electric lights around her that do it for me.

And the pilgrims returned home, not too tired, well fed physically and spiritually, and happy.


Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 11 Comments

VIDEO: must watch! No. Really!

WOW.  Just… WOW.

From 2012.

I am not sure how to get hold of any of these good people, I’d be happy to come to celebrate Holy Mass in that chapel – of course with the necessary recognition of the diocese – in the older form, as this church was built to house. It would be my pleasure.

WATCH: A Man Dying Of Cancer Walks Into An Abandoned Church, And Finds An Unexpected Miracle.

Between Greg Thomas’s amazing journey to remission and the church being restored to the delight of the surrounding community, this really is a feel good story all around.

The restored church is situated in rural Minnesota, and beyond being just beautiful, it has become the site for many new memories. After Thomas’s restoration was completed, he entered the church not as a handyman, but as a wedding guest. His good friend and his friend’s fiancé became the first couple to get married in the church in decades.

Even more exciting, two filmmakers found the church and used it as a filming location for their film “Memorial Day”, which tells the story of a soldier and his grandfather, a WWII vet. Thomas even had a small role in the film!

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 25 Comments

Pope Francis doesn’t have to “break the Church”

Last summer during Acton University I had the chance to get to talk at length with Russ Douthat of Hell’s Bible (aka The New York Times… echo chamber of record for the liberal snob elite).  Douthat is a voice of sanity in a dry place.

He has a piece about the recent Synod, which you ought to read.  He got it right.

The Pope and the Precipice


SUCH a reversal would put the church on the brink of a precipice. Of course it would be welcomed by some progressive Catholics and hailed by the secular press. But it would leave many of the church’s bishops and theologians in an untenable position, and it would sow confusion among the church’s orthodox adherents — encouraging doubt and defections, apocalypticism and paranoia (remember there is another pope still living!) and eventually even a real schism.

Those adherents are, yes, a minority — sometimes a small minority — among self-identified Catholics in the West. But they are the people who have done the most to keep the church vital in an age of institutional decline: who have given their energy and time and money in an era when the church is stained by scandal, who have struggled to raise families and live up to demanding teachings, who have joined the priesthood and religious life in an age when those vocations are not honored as they once were. They have kept the faith amid moral betrayals by their leaders; they do not deserve a theological betrayal.

Which is why this pope has incentives to step back from the brink — as his closing remarks to the synod, which aimed for a middle way between the church’s factions, were perhaps designed to do.

Francis is charismatic, popular, widely beloved. He has, until this point, faced strong criticism only from the church’s traditionalist fringe, and managed to unite most Catholics in admiration for his ministry. There are ways that he can shape the church without calling doctrine into question, and avenues he can explore (annulment reform, in particular) that would bring more people back to the sacraments without a crisis. He can be, as he clearly wishes to be, a progressive pope, a pope of social justice — and he does not have to break the church to do it.


What a refreshing point of view… and prose style.  After all the smarmy rubbish I’ve read about the Synod from the catholic Left and the spittle-flecked zany stuff from the extreme right, this is a great cleansing of the palate.

There’s more.  Read and engage.  I don’t go with everything he wrote, by the way.  I am simply refreshed by a clear-eyed, well-written view.

And, in the balance, he got it right.

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Pope Francis, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Sin That Cries To Heaven For Vengence | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

WDTPRS: Christ the King (1962MR) – “no hugs and fluffy lambs”

Each year Holy Church presents to us the history of salvation, from Creation to the Lord’s Coming (His First and also His Final Coming).  At this time of year, as we move in the Northern Hemisphere into the darkness of autumn and winter, as we head toward the end of the liturgical year, we more and more in the Church’s liturgy consider the Four Last Things: death, judgment, heaven and hell.   This feast reminds us that the Lord Jesus is indeed coming and that He will not come as “friend” or “brother” or “gentle shepherd” with hugs and a fluffy lamb on His shoulders.  He will come as King and our Judge.  The Dies Irae prayed at Requiem Masses identifies Christ as “King of Fearful Majesty” and “Just Judge”.  He is of course a King and Judge of mercy to those who submit themselves to His rule.

What will His coming be like? Not with hugs and fluffy lambs.  Will it be all trumpets and angels with harps and banners?  Consider the description of His Coming in 2 Peter 3: 10-12 (Douay-Rheims):

“But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence and the elements shall be melted with heat and the earth and the works which are in it shall be burnt up. Seeing then that all these things are to be dissolved, what manner of people ought you to be in holy conversation and godliness? Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord, by which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with the burning heat?”

Christ Jesus will judge us all, dear friends, and submit all things to the Father (cf. 1 Cor 15:28).  Having excluded some from His presence, our King, Christ Jesus, will reign in majestic glory with the many who accepted His gifts and thereby merited eternal bliss.

In the post-Conciliar, Novus Ordo calendar, the Solemnity of Christ the King is the last Sunday of the liturgical year, just before Advent begins.  In the traditional Roman calendar it falls on the last Sunday of October.  The feast was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925, as Pius Parsch says in The Church’s Year of Grace, to “renew in the minds and hearts of the faithful the ancient concept of Christ as divine King who, enthroned at the right hand of the Father, will return at the end of time in might and majesty.”  It also falls during October, a month of celebration for Communists, who impose radical atheistic materialism.  The different editions of the Missale Romanum give different emphases to this feast, though both look to the end times and the definitive coming of Christ’s Kingdom.

Since all of the prayers are of relatively modern origin, those for the older, traditional Mass and the Novus Ordo both written in the 20th century, we can dispense this week with abstruse references to 9th century sacramentaries.  I am sure you will miss them.

The change made to the Collect for Christ the King in the Novus Ordo is a good example of the change in theological perspective from the older form of the Roman Rite to the newer.

I want to put the three main orations of the older, traditional Missale Romanum along with those of the so-called Novus Ordo.  We will forsake the Latin this time as well as vocabulary from the never to be neglected Lewis & Short Dictionary.  Since the1973 lame-duck ICEL versions don’t convey what the Latin really says, I will dig into the WDTPRS archive for our own slavishly literal renderings of the prayers.  For the translations of the older prayers, we can use the version in the beautifully bound hand missal from Baronius Press, The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual (2007).

What is the point of this exercise?  Let’s see what theological changes were made to the feast by the reformers.  How we pray has a reciprocal relationship with what we believe: change the prayer and you change the belief.

Baronius Press:
Almighty and everlasting God,
who in Thy beloved Son,
the King of the whole world,
hast willed to restore all things,
mercifully grant that all the families of nations
now kept apart by the wound of sin,
may be brought under the sweet yoke of His rule.

In this Collect Christ is King “of the whole world” (Latin: universorum Rex) and the goal is that all nations be brought under His “yoke”, His rule.  The “yoke” from the Latin word iugum, is a symbol of subjugation. The ancient Romans made conquered armies pass under a yoke as a sign of their status.

Almighty eternal God,
who desired to renew all things
in Your beloved Son, the King of the universe,
graciously grant
that the whole of creation, having been freed from servitude,
may zealously serve Your majesty and praise You greatly without end.

The first part of the prayer is the same as the older version, as you can see even from the different translations.  In the second part, however, instead of a reference to “nations”, we hear of “the whole of creation”.  Instead of “nations” being subjected to the King, “creation” is freed from the bondage caused by the Fall and sin.  In the older prayer there is an emphasis on this world, probably because of the rise of atheistic Communism.  In a sense, the older prayer has strong political overtones. The newer prayer has in mind the Prince of this world, the Enemy who dominates material creation until the end times, when Christ will return.  Both prayer have an eschatological vector to them, however.  They both aim at the ultimate triumph of Christ.

Baronius Press:
O Lord, we offer Thee the Victim of man’s redemption:
grant, we beseech Thee, that Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord,
Whom we are immolating in this sacrifice,
may Himself bestow on all nations the gifts of unity and peace.

Once again we see the emphases on “nations”, meaning not just the Gentiles, or non-Jews, but on the actual nations of the earth.   Furthermore, the Latin has “nations” capitalized, “Gentes”.

O Lord, offering to You the victim sacrifice of the reconciliation of humanity,
we are praying submissively that Your Son Himself
will grant all peoples the gifts of unity and of peace.

Again, the first part of the prayer is same as the older.  In the Latin there are minor changes, but it is effectively the same.  The second part, however, shows the theological change desired by the snipping and pasting experts of Fr. Bugnini’s Consilium.  In the older prayer there is an explicit appeal to “sacrifice” with also a strong verb “immolate”.  This sacrificial language was removed from the newer prayer.  But this prayer retains the reference “nations” (gentes).

Baronius Press:
We have received the food of immortality and beg, Lord,
that we who are proud to fight under the banner of Christ our King,
may reign with Him for ever in His realm above.

There is clear military imagery and language.  We have a sense from this prayer that we are soldiers of a Militant Church under a great Captain and King.  We have been given food for the march to battle and glory.


Having been remodeled according to the nourishment of immortality,
we beseech You, O Lord,
that, we who glory in obeying the mandates of Christ the King of all things,
will be able to live with Him without end in the heavenly kingdom.

The first part of the prayer and the very last part are essentially the same as they were before the Conciliar reform.  The middle part eliminates the military images.  Instead of fighting through the victory and glory in heaven, we “live” (vivere) with Him in the heavenly kingdom.

All in all, it is hard to find fault with the newer prayers for the Solemnity of Christ the King, celebrated at the end of the liturgical year.  The change of placement of the feast and the change of the theology of the prayers probably reflect the soft approach to Communism adopted by Rome in those years, called ostpolitik, a conscious de-emphasis of triumphant language and imagery.  It is as if the writers of the newer prayers did not want to give the impression that Christ was to be accepted as Lord and King by political entities in this earthly existence.

Posted in De Novissimis: Four Last Things, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged | 3 Comments

Rome – Day 6: “FALL BACK!” Edition – REQUEST FOR PRAYERS

In Rome, where I am right now, we set our clocks back now, 25/26 October.

Therefore, I get an extra hour of sleep which I am obviously not having, because I am posting this.

This “fall back” change isn’t such a big deal for us who have Mass to attend. If we screw up we are an hour early for Mass.

In the USA, however, the time change will be Sunday Nov 2 (All Souls).

Perhaps later in the day, if I am walking around, I might find some Roman “clock” stuff.  It has been a while since I have seen, for example, the sun clock in Santa Maria deli Angeli, built into the remains of the huge Baths of Diocletian.

At SM degli Angeli there is a tiny hole in the roof which, creating a pin-hole camera, allows a beam of sunlight, an image of the solar disk, to strike the floor below. Your Earth’s yellow sun’s image moves across the floor of the basilica. At solar noon it crosses the meridian point. This served as Rome’s official clock for a long time. At noon, a flag would go up from the roof and a canon on the Gianicolo Hill would boom out to mark the day. It memory serves, noon was the real mark of a day because it could be more easily identified than midnight, for obvious reasons. Thus also, the nautical day began at noon, as Capt. Aubrey would surely explain were he here. There is, at SM degli Angeli another pin-hole camera set up for the the star Polaris, though I am not sure how that worked.

If you keep your eyes open when walking around in Rome, you will start spotting everywhere sundials of one type or other. Off the top of my head I can picture one built into the wall of what was once the Jesuit Collegio Romano. At P.za Montecitorio there is one built into the pavement with one of the 13 ancient obelisks as the gnomon (shadow caster). That obelisk had actually been the gnomon of August Caesar’s sundial. The obelisk of St. Peter’s Square casts a shadow on a large clock/calendar in the pavement. There are lots of others, as well.

More later.


Another shot from yesterday.


Some were wondering about the path of the procession.  We left San Lorenzo in Damaso and went toward the Tiber on the…



We passed by this (though I shot the photo today).  This is an ancient pomerium stone from the time of the Emperor Claudius.  You can see another across the river at the Basilica of St. Cecilia.


The pomerium stones marked the border of the inner city beyond which a man with imperium as a provincial governor or a general of an army was unable to pass without losing his mandate.  Thus, anything he would have done would have been illegal.  That was supposed to prevent men such as Julius Caesar from entering the city center with an army.  The pomerium was a theoretical boundary, rather than a wall, with religious overtones.

Meanwhile, my view from my seat in choro yesterday.


I enjoyed watching this little kid serve the Pontifical Mass.  He was the only one near his age and size and the only other one in bright red other than Card. Levada.



I didn’t go to look for Roman clocks, as I thought I would. Instead, I decided to get sick.  I spent many years in Rome, and I was often ill.  There’s something about this place, I guess.  Why should that change for this trip?  Oh well.  Anyway, I did sally forth for supper.

I went to a Tuscan place nearby, which I used to take friends to in the past.  They have the same owners, which isn’t as common as one might think in Rome these days.  The restaurant scene here is, with a few exceptions, now a moving target.  Once upon a time, it was nearly impossible to find a bad meal.  That’s not the case anymore, and it hasn’t been for years.  This is not just my more refined Italian palate talking, either.  You can get really bad food here now.  But if that’s the case, it is also possible to get food that is far better than anything that was available in yesterday, in the 80′s and 90′s.  You have to develop the eye for the restaurant, find the clues, engage your “sense ragno”, which I have in spades when it comes to restaurants.  I digress.

Tonight, I had one lightening fast glance at the menu at this Tuscan place I know and the choice was made.

Coniglio in umido.



Just what I guy who has felt the way I felt today needed.  We all have our comfort foods.  It is interesting that I have different comfort foods in Rome than I have at home.  Which raises the question: Where’s home?

I guess the medicine is getting to me.

Anyway… as a side, cicoria in padella and a puré di fave.  Did you know that “padella” is Roman slang for the Roman hat that clerics wear?  Another word is “saturno”, for obvious reasons.


I actually swiped my bread around the plate after this, which I am not so often moved to do these days.


You would say: Ho fatto la scarpetta. That’s an idiom for wipe the plate with a piece of bread.

On the way out of the risto, I spotted this sign in a nearby bookseller’s joint.  I love the free market.  These folks are enterprising, and they have a good sense of humor.


Just a shot up an narrow way which reminded me of the atmosphere of the novel I have on the workbench.


Tomorrow, if I am still alive…


Pray for me and the swift intervention of St. Raphael.  Please.  I feel dreadful.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky!, On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Robin Hooders saving people from parking fines

I saw this at the Free Thought Project:

Parking Meter Activists Under Fire After Saving Drivers $80,000 in Fines

Stepping in between the State and their revenue stream can be quite hazardous.

Activists in Keene, New Hampshire have adopted a charitable strategy in dealing with unacceptable parking policies that the local government has in place.

For years, groups of Keene residents known as “Robin Hooders” have walked the streets filling expired parking meters with their own money, in order to save people from getting parking tickets.

Occasionally, when they encounter an angry parking enforcer, they are prepared to film the situation with their smart phones.

When the Robin Hooders come across a car that already has a ticket on it, they will place some information on the person’s windshield, which provides tips on how to beat the ticket in court.

Robin Hood activist and radio show host Ian Freeman estimates that they prevented at least 8,000 tickets in 2013, saving Keene motorists an estimated $80,000 in that year alone. These savings have not gone unnoticed by the local government, who have become concerned about the revenue that they are missing out on.

In 2013, an amusing rivalry between the Robin Hood activists and city employees turned into a legal battle, when parking enforcers claimed that they felt “threatened”, and the city government filed a pair of lawsuits against six Keene activists accused of organizing many of the Robin Hood efforts.


Read the rest there.

Have you ever done this? I have.

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