Fr. Z’s Tips and Tools for #Synod15 Members

I heard a rumor… and you know how those are… that some members of the Synod are concerned that the central office of the Synod of Bishop might be spying on the dealings of the different language groups (circuli minores) through the use of hidden microphones.

I can neither confirm nor deny whether I believe that or not, but I can confirm that I heard the rumor!

I have some advice for the bishops at the Synod.

My many years as a agens in rebus for super-ultra-double-top-secret Vatican – VVAS … stuff… prompts me to share with the Synod Fathers a few tips and tools in the spirit of transparency that surrounds this year’s gathering.

First, bishop members should be sure to have a…

Cross Digital Cam-Corder

They are available on Amazon! (Your Excellencies, please use my links so I get a cut of the sale.)

cross cam

Under $40!

I’d get ahead of this and order right away, lest a whole bunch of you show up wearing the same Cross. How embarrassing would that be?

Spy Briefcase

These are essential in my… err um… that line of work.

spy briefcase

Note the really cool sunglasses to conceal your eye-movements.

Secret Compartment Ring

The Italians are usually the only ones who get to poison people… if you get my drift.   Fool them! And, as a bonus, the Masonic looking symbol (and/or Irish) will lull your target into a false sense of security when you finally get into that office where they keep the stolen books and … who know what else?  I’d say, but… you know.

ring secret poison

If your impossible mission brief doesn’t cover the whole poison thing (after all, there are faster ways, involving less foaming and writhing), or if they have those pesky poison sniffing dogs around, conceal some Holy Water in there.  They hate that stuff too, lemme tell you!

Invisible Ink Pens

You will need to identify your allies (HAH! if there are any) and be able to set up dead drops and like.  So, use these horrid pastel colored pens to write secret messages.


If nothing else, having a pen of any of these colors in the Synod will probably gain you a nod of approval from some of the members and organizers … I think we know which ones, don’t we.

Electronic (what else) Bug and Hidden Camera Sweeper

Finally, when you are in those circuli minores, you need to find out if people are listening before you find out who are listening (and their subsequent elimination or subversion).

Get the one with the extra cool ear piece (which you probably have in piles already, but hey!).

bug sweeper

WARNING: Do NOT switch it on too close to your digital CrossCam!

That would be bad.

Just some friendly tips to help the Synod go more smoothly.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    We’re living in some significantly historic times right now. As funny as this post is, I couldn’t help think about what they might say about this 500 years from now. What a circus!

  2. Elizabeth D says:

    I think we all knew Fr Z was a secret agent.

    We all look forward to being flies on the wall at the circuli minori when the videos show up on Youtube from Synod Fathers’ cross necklace camcorders. or not.

  3. Andrew says:

    The little camcorder could be engraved with some pertinent inscription such as:

    Veritas angulos non amat, nec quaerit susurrones. (S. Hieronymus “ad Rusticum Monachum”)

  4. frjim4321 says:

    Very cool.

  5. jilly4life says:

    I wonder if these things help Fr. Z with his duties as a “Catholic Knight Witch Hunter.”

  6. Subdeacon Joseph K. says:

    You could use a special briefcase, like this:

  7. MikeM says:


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