National catholic Cage-Liner

Vincenzo, at Sancte Pater, had a little fun with the Fishwrap today (aka National catholic Reporter).

You can’t make up stuff like this.

He saw one of NCR‘s tweets:

And so….

The great Vincenzo comes through again!

But then, they make it so easy.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. wmeyer says:

    And after using it to line your birdcage, it can then be used for compost, droppings and all.

  2. tech_pilgrim says:

    Isn’t that cruel? Why would you force self respecting birds to fly upside-down for hours…you know….cause the NCR isn’t worth ****ing on….

  3. fvhale says:

    Have lived with cockatiel(s) in-house for 17 years. Figured out a long time ago that it was a waste of money to pay for cage-liner paper, and have since become an equal-opportunity recycler: Wall Street Journal (when it was wider), local papers, diocesan papers, other Catholic papers. Therefore, I never turn down an offer of “do you want this paper?” from a friend. However, in kindness, I do disclose that I probably will not read it, but will give it to the birds. Alas, some people are offended and revoke their offer. (I guess they wanted to persuade me of something through the writing.)

    For a time I was worried about the birds dropping droppings onto photos of bishops or saints that might be in the paper, but, you know, have you ever looked at a statue of a saint in Italy? And a lot of birds nest (and do other bird things) in shrines all over. I think birds get a dispensation for natural functions. So I do not feel so bad.

  4. Tantum Ergo says:

    Yes, it’s a wonderful idea to use them for cage liners, and then for compost, but be careful! The combination of all the “stuff” from the bird, plus the “stuff” that’s in the articles may be so powerful it could burn your plants!

  5. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Well, the NCR is full of …

  6. Years ago my dearly departed spiritual director (priest) said, “My friend called the diocese and asked to be unsubscribed from the diocesan paper. When asked why he wanted to be unsubscribed the friend said he didn’t need it anymore because his bird died.” At that time in the life of our diocese, that is about all the paper was good for.

  7. RichR says:

    I value the soul of my parrot too much to expose them to the questionable theology of the NCR.

  8. frjim4321 says:

    Not to beat a dead horse but what NCR does is pretty much what the Wanderer does: represent a particular constituency within the church. There’s nothing particularly evil or virtuous about either. They are what they are. Both are equally helpful in creating compost.

  9. Now, now, tech_pilgrim, as an auto-didact in Austrian School economics (a subject dear to the heart of Fr. Z’s friend and one of my inspirational heroes, Jeffrey Tucker), I think that you need to consider the economic concept of “highest and best use.” I would ever-so-humbly suggest that the great and talented Vincenzo, may have here captured a superb exemplar of that concept, and one not easily outdone.


    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  10. LarryD says:

    Father – did you see Michael Sean Winters’ column about you yesterday?

    The comments alone are worth the price of admission.

    Which is, of course, zero… but still – funny stuff.

  11. PostCatholic says:

    At least you both have a sense of humor!

  12. MargaretC says:

    Anybody besides me remember when Mad Magazine used to describe itself as “Suitable for training puppies or wrapping fish…”?

  13. SouthTxMom says:

    Respectfully, that sounds like relativism to me. The Wanderer teaches so much about the Catholic Faith, and is so clearly true to the Magesterium. The other paper…not so much. I spent years in a parish run by dissenting catholics, and it is very confusing and dangerous to one’s faith, especially when you are just learning.

    I read the recent article by Zagano where she bemoans the Church’s use of big, hard words like “fortnight” and “consubstantial”, along with references to other scary things like Latin. Just want to say–Thank you Fr. Z for your “conservative craziness”! And for using “big” words that we have to look up once in a while– you must think a lot of us!

  14. Daniel Latinus says:

    I always thought “birdcage liner” was a more appropriate nickname (and use for) the NcR.

  15. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:


    I can show you dozens, if not hundreds of articles where there is blatant advocacy of immorality, such as when one of their “young voices” discusses her homosexual partner.

    There is a big difference between having a disagreement over how best to handle immigration, or the poor and one media source – NCR advocating things which clearly contradict Church teaching.

    I don’t read the Wanderer, but show me where they support something which violates a clear Catholic teaching.

  16. frjim4321 says:

    Tx Mom —

    Thanks did not know about the Zagano and will have to look for it but humbly I’ll bet I was the first one to see the parallel that the same guys that splayed belly up to the vatican on the vc2010 came up with another anachronism for their KoC- sponsored anti-Barack campaign.

    I could have told you “4F4” (cheesehead implied) was a fail from the start because nobody in the USA under the age of 50 could tell you waht a fortnight is.

    Does the episcopal leadership in the US have the slight clue that none of their people know what a fortnight is? Maybe Carl floated the idea and since he was going to pay for it they went along…

  17. frjim4321 says:

    Diane, hi. I have read the young voices (NCR) but not often. Also its been a while since I read Wanderer. Frankly I see them as equadistant from the mainly centrist orientation where I find comfort.

  18. Laura R. says:


    You’re probably right that a lot of people did not know what a fortnight is, but perhaps they enjoyed learning a new word (it’s not that hard to understand). At any rate, it did not keep a large number from attending a special Benediction and Holy Hour for Religious Freedom at our parish.

  19. SouthTxMom says:

    Fr Jim,
    I am wondering why you consider the Fortnight for Freedom to have been a ‘fail’? There sure was/is a lot of buzz about it. People are still forwarding info, listening to homilies from holy bishops…we’re still talking about it here…half a fortnight later ;)

    Perhaps the word was used to catch people’s attention. It did catch our attention here. Now, our older kids (12 yrs & 9 yrs) know the meaning of the word fortnight. They not only know the meaning, they have celebrated one for freedom, and learned more about why we value our religious freedoms in this country. It was active learning at its best! :)

    Again, I say, bring on the “big” words! We can handle it! :) and if we can’t, we can always look them up!

  20. Jerry says:

    The OpenVMS operating system has a parameter that is specified in units of microfortnights.

  21. Southern Catholic says:

    FrJim- What would you suggest the bishops do since it was such a “fail”?

  22. JonPatrick says:

    I made the mistake of reading that Fishwrap article on Fr Z including some of the comboxes and I regret that is 10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. Of course the combox degenerates very quickly into a diatribe on Voter ID laws. The whole thing didn’t seem very Catholic to me.

  23. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Fr. Jim says:

    “I have read the young voices (NCR) *but not often*. Also its *been a while* since I read Wanderer. Frankly I see them as equadistant from the mainly centrist orientation where I find comfort.”

    Frankly Fr. Jim, if you do not read the NCR “often” and it has “been a while” since you have read The Wanderer, how can you come to the conclusion that they are “equidistant from the mainly centrist orientation where” you “find comfort”?

    If you read one “not often” or it has “been a while” since you’ve read the other how can you comment on the content within their pages? This makes no sense.

    If you are finding your “comfort” in other Catholic publications and read them – tell us which ones and give some examples. Otherwise to make assertions about the NCR and The Wanderer seems kind of silly.


  24. AnAmericanMother says:

    Fr Jim,
    You never disappoint.
    In this case, you have inadvertently put your finger right on the problem.
    The issue is not “comfort”. The truth is often a bit uncomfortable.
    Nor is truth to be found at a hypothetical median point which you describe as “centrist”. That’s political thinking. Again.
    The truth is the Truth, regardless of where it lies on an artificial political construct.
    My dear old dad, a political animal from the word go, always says, “The only things in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead possums.”

  25. Sissy says:

    AnAmericanMother said: “Fr Jim,You never disappoint.In this case, you have inadvertently put your finger right on the problem.The issue is not “comfort”. The truth is often a bit uncomfortable.”

    Excellent point, AAM. What sort of muddled thinking produces the conclusion that “comfort” is more important than objective truth?

  26. wmeyer says:

    AAM said: “The truth is the Truth, regardless of where it lies on an artificial political construct.”

    Amen, amen.

    And arguably, comfort should be a warning sign. Complacency is always a danger. As Jesus said, he came to afflict the comfortable.

  27. AnAmericanMother says:


    I think that those of us who have had to pull up stakes, leave the Episcopalians, and make the painful (but joyful!) journey to the Church, understand a little better that comfort is not the issue or the goal here.

    My ggg grandfather was baptized at St. Giles Cripplegate (where Milton is buried and Cromwell was married), my grandparents were staff singers at St. Peters, Rome (that’s GEORGIA – the Episcopalians bagged St. Peter before the Catholics got to the backwoods of NW GA :-) ) and I was baptized, confirmed & married by the bishop in the Episcopal cathedral here (where my parents sang in the choir for over 40 years). We lost many friends (including two very dear Jewish friends who could not get over Vbl Pius XII), and really upset my mama (my daddy, not so much. He said, “do what you have to do.”)

    So we are not much acquainted with comfort in connection with the Church. If you want comfort, then the Episcopal Church welcomes you.

  28. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    I could have told you “4F4? (cheesehead implied) was a fail from the start because nobody in the USA under the age of 50 could tell you waht a fortnight is.

    Which makes it ideal as a learning experience.

    This touches on one of my main complaints about the current state of the Church: It has failed to awaken Catholics to learning, in fact, has discouraged it. How many homilists, referring to the 4F4, explained what “fortnight” means? How many have explained why “consubstantial” is an important change?

    Frankly I see them as equidistant from the mainly centrist orientation where I find comfort.

    Centrism and the via media aurea are not the same thing. The via media aurea exists as a principle between and above contrary extremes of defect and excess. This is not only true ontologically, but also with virtue, where prudence, fortitude, and temperance are all the media aurea between contrary vices.

    Centrism is a political stance that emphasizes neutrality between opposing groups by not committing to either. It is not to be associated with Justice, however, because with Justice there are no contrary extremes. Someone is either just (rendering to God and man according to their due) or is not.

    IMHO, the great example of Centrism is Semi-Arianism.

  29. Supertradmum says:

    robtbrown, is the “USCCB” Semi-Arian? I would love to see it dissolve.

  30. robtbrown says:


    The tone of the Church (and subsequently the UCCB) was set during the 60’s. It has been one of detente with secular culture.

  31. Sissy says:

    AnAmericanMother said: “I think that those of us who have had to pull up stakes, leave the Episcopalians, and make the painful (but joyful!) journey to the Church, understand a little better that comfort is not the issue or the goal here.”

    I’ve seen it firsthand in my own family. Our former church was the oldest in America. My husband’s family has a pew with his name (the same as a forebearer’s) on it in a bronze plaque. Some of our near and dear ones can’t bring themselves to leave that beautiful Colonial church building for reasons of historical attachment. As for us, we walked away without a backward look, and I thank God for the grace to do it. But, I’ve lot track of the number of little old ladies who say “Oh it’s terrible what they are doing, but I’m going to be buried here”. I pray for all those left behind; may they see the truth before it’s too late.

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