Dinner party

Occasionally I indulge in this little exercise.

Name eight people you would like to have locked in at the same English country manor for a weekend.

Let’s be creative.

  1. Martin Sheen
  2. Mel Gibson
  3. Camille Paglia
  4. Sarah Palin
  5. Dick Morris
  6. Hillary Clinton
  7. Catherine Pepinster
  8. Michael Matt

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Why punish Sarah Palin?

  2. Only if they were to play THEN THERE WERE NONE (taken from TEN LITTLE INDIANS).

  3. ghlad says:

    1.) Mel Gibson is a great one, I’ll put him on my list.
    2.) Joseph Bottum
    3.) Bishop Mahoney
    4.) Mahoney’s successor
    5.) Jimmy Akin
    6.) Benji Netanyahu
    7.) Tiger Woods
    8.) Ricky Kaka

  4. r.j.sciurus says:

    Abp Burke, Fr. McBrien, Sr. Joan Chittister, Rush Limbaugh, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Me

  5. Justalurkingfool says:

    1. Benedict XVI
    Bud Macfarlane Jr.
    Bai Macfarlane
    My Wife

  6. John 6:54 says:

    Sean Hannity
    Nancy Pelosi
    Bill O’Rielly
    Chris Matthews
    Fr. Z
    Keith Oberman
    Sarah Palin
    Paris Hilton

  7. Justalurkingfool says:


    Archbishop Raymond Burke
    Bishop Antonin Stankiewicz
    My wife’s Lover

  8. momoften says:

    Actually, a twist to that would be “whom would you like to invite to a dinner party that has died in the last , let’s say 100 years”? Now, that would be intriguing….. [Indeed… and another time that would be really great. I have had some earlier entries like that. Maybe.. next time?]

  9. RJS: Imagine me at the same table with Sr. Chittister.

  10. sjg4080 says:

    1) Milton Friedman
    2) John Maynard Keynes
    Would love to engage in debate on the current state of the economy with them
    3) Abraham Lincoln
    4) Barack Obama
    Would love for Lincoln to engage with his successor and debate the merits of Obama’s policies of rapid government expansion
    5) St. Pius X
    6) Benedict XVI
    Would love for the two to debate the merits of Vatican II and its implementation
    7) Fr. Z
    8) Fr. Richard McBrien
    Would just love to see the fireworks!!

  11. sjg4080 says:

    Sorry Father, didn’t realize the deceased wish list is for another post…

    I’ll keep the 4 living on my list
    1) Obama
    2) Benedict XVI
    3) Fr. Z
    4) Fr. Richard McBrien

    and add 4…

    5) Pat Buchanan
    6) Thomas Sowell
    7) Fr. Groeschel
    8) Bill Bennett

  12. Tim Ferguson says:

    Nancy Pelosi
    Archbishop Raymond Burke
    Antonin Scalia
    Madonna Ciccione
    Janet Smith
    Martin Sheen
    Andrew Sullivan
    Condoleezza Rice

  13. avecrux says:

    Steve Wood
    Dawn Eden
    Fr. Benedict Groeschel
    Sara Groves
    Dr. Paul Vitz
    Joe Scheidler
    Archbishop Burke
    Tiger Woods

  14. TJerome says:

    Tim Ferguson, that’s not fair. Archbishop Burke and Antonin Scalia have too much intellectual heft for the group you put together. Tom

  15. Francisco Cojuanco says:

    1) Fr. Z
    2) Prof. Jonathan Walton
    3) John McCain
    4) Pope Benedict XVI
    5) Archbishop Raymond Burke
    6) Bart Stupak
    7) Dr. Edward Peters
    8) Prof. Randolph Head

    Fr. Z,
    This would be an interesting set up – of the eight, five are current or former academics (Walton, the Holy Father, Burke, Peters and Head). Five are Catholics (yourself, the Pope, Burke, Stupak and Peters). It would be an interesting weekend indeed, though I would hope that all of you wouldn’t bore Stupak and McCain… ;-)

  16. Tim Ferguson says:

    I’d want someone there for each of them to converse with after the rest have had their brains fried, though I’m sure that Condi Rice and Dr. Smith could keep pace quite well. Sullivan and Sheen would be third tier.

  17. Maltese says:

    Fr.’s List:

    “Martin Sheen
    Mel Gibson
    Camille Paglia
    Sarah Palin
    Dick Morris
    Hillary Clinton
    Catherine Pepinster
    Michael Matt”

    I would take the second and the last. Add to these: Thomas Wolfe, Cormac McCarthy (the greatest writer of our time), Benedict XVI (he would have all amazed in myriad ways), Oliver Stone (you definitely want him to stir the pot), Bishop Williamson (yes, I know, “Booo!”, [Are you kidding? GREAT choice!] but the man IS a hoot, and on occasion, despite his proclivities, says something amazingly interesting), and, last but not least, William Jefferson Clinton, by far the smartest man to walk in the White House in recent memory, if the most depraved. [Well.. clever, at least.] Now, you would need good security for this group, mind you–not from outsiders, but from each other.

  18. Andy Milam says:

    Fr. Z,

    The best part of your post is addition of Michael Matt…. [I try.]

    My top 8:

    1. Benedict XVI
    2. Bishop Williamson
    3. George W. Bush
    4. Matthew Fox and Starchild
    5. Archbishop Harry J. Flynn
    6. Monsignor Richard Schuler
    7. Sr. Helen Prejean
    8. Condoleeza Rice

  19. ipadre says:

    Here is my list. Some great thinkers and visionaries. How could they help B-16 put the Reform of the Reform and the New Evangelization into full steam, with the most effect.

    Pope Benedict XVI
    Walt Disney
    Ronald Regan
    Sarah Palin
    Laura Ingraham
    Pope Pius XII
    Steve Jobs
    Albert Einstein [I bet he, and the other DEAD PEOPLE, might depress conversation.]

  20. Bryan says:


    Pope Benedict (obvious)
    Pope John XXIII (I’d love to know what he was REALLY thinking re VII)[Isn’t he dead?]
    Fr. Edward Kelty (personal friend I have a LOT of respect for)
    Fr. Z (and not just because it’s his blog)

    Public Servant:
    The Wun
    Sarah Palin

    Entertainment + News:
    Mel Gibson
    Sam Elliot
    Mike VonFremd

  21. EXCHIEF says:

    With most of the lists proposed if I were in charge of the local Constabulary I’d bring on some extra bobbies for the event. There’s bound to be some knock down drag outs in some of those groups.

  22. momravet says:

    Hugo Chavez
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
    Benjamin Netanyahu
    Hamid Karzai
    Fr. John Corapi
    Bill Donohue
    Hillary Clinton
    Sarah Palin

  23. ghlad says:

    See, I thought about B16 for my list, but decided that there’s absolutely no conscionable way for me to take 72 hours of that man’s time! :)

  24. wanda says:

    Kathleen Sebelius
    Fr. John Corapi
    Pres. Obama
    Cecile Richards
    Fr. Z.
    Nancy Pelosi
    Fr. Thomas Euteneuer
    Kevin Jennings

    I’d call 911 before locking them in, just sayin’.. Oh, I’d buy a dvd of the whole bout.

  25. Son of Trypho says:

    Purely fantasy of course – especially after a few bottles of wine…

    Fr Florian Abrahamowicz [That’s not inflammatory!]
    Malik Zulu Shabazz
    Boris Johnson
    Abe Foxman
    Christopher Hitchens
    George Galloway
    Rev John Hagee
    Ann Coulter

  26. Son of Trypho says:

    Might be inflammatory but would make for interesting dinner conversation for sure! :)

  27. stgemma_0411 says:

    1. Alan Keyes
    2. Benedict XVI
    3. Marcia J. Colish
    4. Aidan Nichols, OP
    5. Scott Hahn
    6. Cardinal Levada
    7. Fr. Reginald Foster
    8. Dr. William Kinsella

  28. ryder says:

    Nancy Pelosi
    John Kerry
    Patrick Kennedy
    Joe Biden
    Bob Casey Jr.
    Anthony Kennedy
    Sonia Sotomayor
    & Mother Angelica

    The first seven don’t even stand a chance.

  29. btb says:

    Tom Roeser
    Christopher Ferrara
    Michael Matt
    George Weigel
    Spengler (aka David Goldman)
    Rahm Emanuel
    Pres. Obama
    Fr. Z
    Fr. George Rutler

    OK, so that’s nine but should Rahmbama really count as two?

    Topics of discussion: Quas primas, Republican Party platform, neoconservatism, liturgical and political etiquette (e.g., when and how to bow during Mass and in State functions)

  30. Awfully interesting lists, though mostly Eurocentric, I’m noticing.

    Try this one for size:

    Mahmoud Ahmedinejad
    Abp Louis Sako of Kirkuk of the Chaldeans
    Francis Fukuyama
    Stanley Cavell
    A(u)ng San Suu Kyi
    Morgan Tsvangirai
    Alejandro Bermudez
    Bishop Anthony THeofore Lobo of Islamabad-Rawalpindi

  31. JohnMa says:

    Fr. Z
    His Holiness
    Joe Mauer
    Osama Bin Laden
    Kim Jong Il
    Patriarch Bartholomew
    Patriarch Kirill
    Barack Obama

  32. Alternatively:

    Albert II of the Belgians
    Bulimbol Adulyadej of Thailand
    Dalai Lama
    Hu Jintao
    Abp Ramzi Garmou of Tehran of the Chaldeans
    Aishwarya Rai
    Dusan Makavejev
    AJ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  33. Alternatively:

    Valerio Massimo Manfredi
    Ken Follett
    Norah Jones
    Sophie Marceau
    Karen Armstrong
    Stephen Chu
    Muhammad Yunus
    Sister Mary Prema

  34. Here’s an all (and all’American) radiophonic weekend:

    Krista Tippett
    Al Kresta
    Ira Glass
    Stephanie Miller
    Don Imus
    Walter Edgar
    Laura Ingraham
    Garrison Keillor

  35. B.C.M. says:

    The Holy Father
    Cardinal Mahoney
    Bishop Williamson
    Cardinal Arinze
    Dr. Rowan Williams
    Father Michael Scanlon
    Bishop Burke
    Ann, the Lay Apostate
    Deacon Mark Miravale
    Cardinal Levada

    A stenographer
    The guy who announces professional wrestling… And perhaps a few Swiss Guardsmen.

  36. Charivari Rob says:

    I think I’ll go with an eclectic set this time –

    1. Jorge Posada
    2. Paul Farmer
    3. George H. W. Bush
    4. Peter Blute
    5. Neil Armstrong
    6. Doc Severinsen
    7. Geoffrey Hughes
    8. Tony Bennett

    (if we weren’t restricting ourselves to those currently alive, I was going to go with –

    1. Arthur Conan Doyle
    2. Agatha Christie
    3. Ed McBain (not Evan Hunter, though)
    4. Robert Parker
    5. Franklin W. Dixon (okay, Leslie McFarlane)
    6. Donald J. Sobol (yes, I know he’s alive)
    7. Isaac Asimov
    8. ___

    ….and watch the seven of them try to deduce who should be in the eighth chair.)

  37. Gabriella says:

    The Holy Father
    Richard Dawkins
    Steven Weinberg

  38. Alternatively (and seeing as they are to be ensconced in an English country house):

    Philip of Edinburgh
    Magdi Cristiano Allam
    Newt Gingrich
    Breda Ennis
    Mary Ann Glendon
    Alannis Morissette
    Rowan Williams
    Craig Ferguson

  39. iakob the confessor says:

    I. The Holy Father
    II. Archbishop Ranjith
    III. Archbishop Burke
    IV. His Eminence, George, OMI (just because you never know what he’s going to say)
    V. George Weigel
    VI.Bishop Donald Trautman
    VII. Sister John Chittister, OSB,
    VIII. Anyone from The Tablet
    IX. Anyone from America (the Magazine)

  40. TC says:

    Jimmy Akin
    Orson Scott Card
    Rev. Jeremiah Wright
    Gary Oldman
    Michael Flynn
    Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
    Samuel Alito
    Stephen Colbert

  41. Tom A. says:

    You and Michael Matt would wind up being the only two defending Holy Mother Church once the conversation turned to religion. It would not be a fair fight, either one of you on his own would be no match for the secularists. I am afraid to say that Camille Paglia would be the only honest intellectual the two of you would be able to have any meaningful conversation with.

  42. Tom A. says:

    opss, I meant either one of you on your own would easily out argue the entire other side

  43. Tom A has given me an idea: when he says, “[Fr Z] and Michael Matt would wind up being the only two…once the conversation turned to religion[,]” I am given to ask: why must the conversation turn to religion, at all?

    Thence I had the following notion: a list of 8 living people, experts or public voices on a particular field or area of human life, who, brought together for a weekend house party, would be expressly forbidden to talk about their common subject.


    Bill Keller (NYT)
    Giuliano Ferrara (Il Foglio)
    Sylvie Kauffmann (Le Monde)
    Berthold Kohler (Frankfurter Allgemeine zeitung)
    James Harding (ToL)
    Zhang Yannong (People’s Daily)
    Valery Ignatenko (Itar-Tass)
    Sam Adesua (Nigerian Tribune)

    Would gather for a weekend in each other’s company, during which they would not be allowed to discuss politics.

    Not wishing to hijack this thread, I’m going to put this up at mine:

    Chronicles from the Front

    Let me also add the following, further contribution to Fr. Z’s most excellent excercise:

    Dolores O’Riordan
    Hayao Miyazaki
    Svetlana Zhakarova
    Jay Ungar
    Paul Murray, OP
    Kiko Arguello
    M. Igor D’Alessandra
    Peter Kreeft

  44. ljc says:

    Fr Hans Kung
    Fr Richard McBrien
    Sr. Joan Chittister
    Archbishop Rembert Weakland
    “Archbishop” Emmanuel Milingo
    Editor of The Tablet
    Editor of the National Catholic Reporter
    Pope Benedict XVI

  45. robtbrown says:

    If Abp Weakland is there, maybe Barney Frank should also be among the guests.

  46. Andrew says:

    Fr Z, that would be a most interesting dinner party, and if it happened, I think I would give almost anything to be a fly on the wall.

    Vincenzo, what a terrific photo you made.

  47. Ellen says:

    How about

    P.Z. Myers (host desecrator)
    Father Z

    Then after they drag Myers away, we’ll start all over.

  48. TNCath says:

    Pope Benedict XVI
    Franc Cardinal Rode
    Mother Mary Clare Millea, A.S.C.
    Father John Zuhlsdorf
    Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B.
    Mother Mary Assumpta Long, O.P (Mother General of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist)
    John Allen
    Father John Jenkins, C.S.C.

  49. wchoag says:

    This gathering would have to be a Men’s Smoker:

    1. Thomas Molnar
    2. Duncun Sroik
    3. Thomas Storck
    4. Danny Boyle
    5. David Allen White
    6. Rev. Richard Munkelt
    7. Ronan Harris
    8. Luis de Borbón y Martínez-Bordiú
    9. Archbishop Hilarion (Alfeyev)
    10. Msgr. Georg Gänswein

  50. lacrossecath says:

    Peyton Manning
    Brett Favre
    Bobby Jindal
    Sean Hannity
    Fr. Tom Euteneuer
    Bp. Richard Williamson, SSPX
    Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ
    Bill Brasky

  51. Supertradmom says:

    Father Z
    Angela Braly
    Benedict XVI
    Richard McBrien
    Pat Buchanan
    Chris Matthews
    Glenn Beck
    Christina Fernandez di Kirchner
    Indra Nooyi
    Father Corapi

    Maybe some of the women would be converted…

  52. Supertrad, I really enjoyed your list – the one with Kirchner and Indra Nooyi on it.

    I hadn’t thought of including a big time ceo in any of my lists.


  53. Supertradmom says:

    Ah, do not forget the power ladies.

  54. MaryMaria says:

    1. Pope Benedict XVI
    2. Father Juan Albaladejo
    3. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz
    5. Fr. Jose Lorenz
    6. Mary Ann Glendon
    7. My husband
    8. Myself

    This would be so much fun…..aaahh I can dream can´t I??????

  55. jlskey says:

    1) King Juan Carlos
    2) Fidel Castro
    3) Justice Scalia
    4) Bishop Williamson
    5) Putin
    6) Jean-Marie Le Pen
    7) Cardinal Mahony
    8) Edwin Edwards [presuming the whole incarceration thing is not a problem]
    9) Laura Bush
    10) Kissenger

  56. pseudomodo says:

    I forgot,

    Are we trying to parody Big Brother, Survivor (With Rudy Boesch and Richard Hatch) or The Haunting of Hill House (1963 version)? OK here goes,

    Bozo Tribe:

    Andrew Sullivan
    Henry Morgantaler

    Nutzi Tribe:

    Margaret Thatcher
    Rush Limbaugh
    Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Candy Crowley

  57. revs96 says:

    If you really want some fireworks lock the following people in a room for the weekend with everything they could ever want to celebrate Sunday Mass:

    Bishop Slattery (of Tulsa)
    Fr. Z
    Fr. Corapi
    Fr. Jenkins
    Fr. McBrien
    Archbishop Weakland
    Cardinal Mahoney

    Don’t forget the cameras, a few web-cams on the ceiling a la iPadre should do just fine.

  58. Andy F. says:

    G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc. nobody else.

    Shame on the rest of you for forgetting my ChesterBelloc.

  59. irishgirl says:

    Oooo-what an interesting exercise this is!

    Hmmm: I’d pick..

    1) Benedict XVI
    2) Father Z
    3) Father Corapi
    4) Archbishop Burke

    5) Fr. McBrien
    6) Cardinal Mahony
    7) Archbishop Weakland
    8) Sister Joan Chittister

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall at this gathering! Would love to have a hidden camera to record this ecclesiastical smackdown!

    Vincenzo-you struck again! Love it!

  60. My VIII

    I Cardinal Mahony
    II. Abp Niederhaur
    III. Bp Tod Brown
    IV. Bp Matthew Clark

    V Abp Ranjith
    VI Pope Benedict XVI
    VII Mother Angelica
    VIII Fr Corapi

  61. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    1. Hayao Miyazaki(greatest film-maker ever to live)
    2. Ron Paul
    3. Stan Lee
    4. Stephen Colbert
    5. Fr. Corapi
    6. Javier Pastore (or any member of the Palermo soccer team really)
    7. Jean-Luc Marion
    8. Barack Obama
    9. Jon Stewart
    10. Peter Singer

    Just missed the cut (due to the unfortunate circumstance of being dead)
    11. J.D. Salinger(perhaps one of the greatest short story writers)
    12. Salvidor Dali(great painter, even more interesting person)

  62. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    Upon posting, I realized that I was only allowed 8 guests, so I suppose I should revise.

    To make a more friendly party, I will kick out those added as opposition to the debate.

    remove Obama, Stewart and Singer. That leaves me with 7, the eight spot going to

    8. Eddie Argos (lead singer of Art Brut, and a most intriguing personality)

  63. Brian Day says:

    Kobe Bryant
    M. Knight Shyamalan
    Bob Dylan
    Michael Crichton
    Francis Cardinal Arinze
    Fred Thompson
    Thomas Sowell
    Michelle Malkin

  64. sea the stars says:

    1. Vladimir Putin
    2. Sister Veronica of the Poor Clares, Lerma, Spain
    3. Dr. Rowan Williams
    4. Silvio Berlusconi
    5. Mine That Bird (so Putin can go for a ride after dinner)
    6. The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI
    7. Patriarch Kyril of Moscow
    8. Fr. Z. to take photos and to report on the procedings.

  65. Jack Hughes says:

    1) Archbishop Leferbve
    2) Fr Mcbrien
    3) St Philomena
    4) Fr Jenkins
    5) St Padre Pio
    6) St Thomas Aquinas
    7) Our Lady
    8) Fr Z

  66. trespinos says:

    1. Rep. Barney Frank
    2. Mark Shea
    3. Charles Krauthammer
    4. Sen. Brown
    5. Abp. Chaput
    6. Prof. R. George
    7. Iowahawk
    8. Rachel Ray

  67. worm says:

    Cardinal Arinze
    Archbishop Chaput
    Alice von Hildebrand
    Mary Ann Glendon
    Sister Chittister
    Nancy Pelosi
    Father Jenkins
    Cardinal Mahony

  68. Bryan says:

    > Pope John XXIII (I’d love to know what he was REALLY thinking re VII)[Isn’t he dead?]

    Yeah, realized the ground rules just as I pressed submit. Mea culpa. It would be interesting, though, no?

  69. staggering but still standing says:

    Dear Lord! This is the only time I’ve been on your blog and had to take a tiny bathroom break because I’m laughing too hard!

  70. Hamburglar says:

    How did Vincenzo post a picture? (I like it, by the way!)

  71. Vincenzo says:

    Thanks Hamburglar & Andrew. Hamburglar, Fr. Z makes the pic appear.

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