Univ. Indiana student mistakes Dominican priest for Klansman. Hijinx ensues.

My in box is replete with notes about what would be an amusing story, but which really isn’t that amusing after all.

One of my correspondents writes:

Proof That Colleges Are Making People Stupid

At U Indiana in Bloomington, a co-ed thought she spotted a KKK Klansman with a… wait for it… whip!  She did what all alert university scholars do today… she tweeted about the KKK guy to the whole world!

It got worse… HERE

The deadly Klansman was Dominican priest, in his white habit, which has… wait for it… a Rosary.

Breitbart HERE

BUT WAIT!   There’s more.

Since Dominicans are teachers, one Friar (another word for what Dominicans are) posted (on Twitter… where else do students get their information) a helpful field guide to white people dressed in white to help that girl in Indiana.  HERE

I am sure that the students of UofI are really on edge after that scary scare.   Surely there are some official university counselors available to help them.

On a more serious note, … we are in trouble.


Over at discarding images I spotted this

From … Le livre de Lancelot du Lac and other Arthurian Romances, Northern France ca. 1275-1300 (Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, MS 229, fol. 100v)

For those of you at U of I, a woman jousting with a friar.


One email sender made a connection between KKK and the three-fold Kyrie.

For those of you who go to U of I or perhaps still haven’t gone to what I call with increasing frequency the “Adult” Form of the Roman Rite, might not know that the Kyrie Eleison of the Mass has a three-fold, not two-fold, repetition.  Three-fold means you sing or say it thrice.  Thrice means three times.  That’s like having your tweet retweeted by two other people… two people… because 1+2=3.  1+2 equals 3 only at your local Starbucks when you want accurate change back.  It doesn’t have to come out to 3 in your college classes… if you don’t want it to.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. mburduck says:

    Trouble indeed, Father. One day perhaps I’ll have the chance to tell you some of the things that have happened here on my campus. These days, it seems so many universities have become fields for planting ignorance, not knowledge.


  2. PhilipNeri says:

    During my novitiate novices were told by Friars of a Certain Generation not to wear our habits out in public b/c someone *might* mistake us for a Klansman. I thought this was perhaps the dumbest thing I’d ever heard. No one was dumb enough to mistake a friar in habit for a Klansman! Well, I wasn’t counting on the Monstrous Stupidity that reigns supreme on today’s university campuses.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP (Not a Klansman)

  3. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    I hope there was a safe space for her to process her trigger warnings.

  4. Dr Peters: Oh yes… that was my very first thought also!

    Poor thing.

  5. Legisperitus says:

    God really is disappearing from the human horizon. Or at least the Hoosier horizon.

  6. tskrobola says:

    I lay the blame for an increasingly close minded and reactionary culture at the feet of the left, who have dominated politicized and ruined the educational system in the west from bottom to top. However, right wing radio/media (which I refer to nowadays as “Trump wing media”) has also contributed to this environment by increasingly aping the feral and tribal approach of the left in their rhetoric and in their feeble minded exposition of politics. Trump wing media (Fox and Friends, Rush, Hannity, Laura Ingraham), for years have engaged in trite sloganeering, endless talking points, and a cult of personality as a substitute for real ideas and leadership….a cultists brew that became ripe for a monstrous libertine animal like Trump to exploit.

    The above tactics work, and people see the world increasingly in cynical, political and personalistic terms rather than in faithful, objective, compassionate terms, because the flimsy philosophy behind these tactics is based on a radical individual relativism which has been promoted by the political left and right in this country for quite a while… But which has become far more dangerous and pervasive in the wake of decades of pop media politics and religious/cultural rot.

  7. tskrobola says:

    The “tie” between my post above and the sad story related above (which is about a loss of awareness about authentic religion and the anti-intellectual and manic campaign for “safe spaces”) is that so called educational environments have enshrined self actualization as the goal of life, leftist politics as the primary vehicle for attaining that goal, and moral relativism as the lens for achieving understanding, so that students react to life’s events in a feral, tribal, political, personalistic and paranoid fashion…as was the case here. Unfortunately a large chunk of the political right seems determined to promote, thru the Trump phenomenon, the same approach to life, but with a slightly less leftist tinge.

  8. Benedict Joseph says:

    Koochiekoo Kasperian Katholicism.
    Now that is a krew to watch out for.
    No dancing around a burning log for a few minutes.
    It could lead to eternal fire.

  9. HyacinthClare says:

    “The devil is a proud sprite. He can not endure to be mocked.” (C.S. Lewis)
    This response mockery is HILARIOUS. LOVE IT.

  10. Dominicanes says:

    Our Dominican nuns have been mistaken as Muslim women by Muslim men at local gas stations more than once. Makes for an interesting trip to the dentist!

  11. majuscule says:

    Adult Form of the Roman Rite…

    I love it.

  12. Adam Welp says:

    Please, for the love of all that is Hoosier, do not refer to Indiana University as UI or U of I…lol

    I’m kind of shocked, but not, that someone wouldn’t have a clue that this was a Dominican. The Dominicans have only been on campus and running the St. Paul Catholic Center on campus for as far back as I can remember.

  13. iamlucky13 says:

    Resident Adviser quoted in the Tab:
    “So what happened tonight goes like this: a person saw white robes and what looked to them like a weapon, got scared (rightfully so)”

    Considering the Miraculous Medal has been compared to a silver bullet, than a rosary is a powerful weapon, indeed, but college students aren’t the ones who should be rightfully scared of it.

  14. Legisperitus says:

    Maybe he should have been wearing his black cappa?

  15. mschu528 says:

    Hmm, now I’m fascinated as to what this connection could be between the Klan and the traditional Kyrie.

    And it’s not like the Klan virulently, and often violently, opposed Roman Catholicism as well….

  16. arcanum_divinae says:

    Fun fact: the first and third Klans were primarily anti-black, but the second Klan was primarily anti-Catholic.

  17. Nan says:

    I think the disambiguation guide is missing an entry. Shouldn’t there be a picture of a Dominican friar next to one of Pope Francis? If it isn’t spelled out that he’s not a Dominican but dresses like one, we run the risk of college children assuming the pope is a Dominican.

  18. Imrahil says:

    Fun fact: the first and third Klans were primarily anti-black, but the second Klan was primarily anti-Catholic.

    I thought that there was only a first and second Klan?

    I think the disambiguation guide is missing an entry. Shouldn’t there be a picture of a Dominican friar next to one of Pope Francis?

    That was also my thought. However, as a fun fact, the Papal dressing looks the way it looks becomes one Pope (St. Pius V) actually was a Dominican and (sort of) kept his habit. The distinctly Papal color used to be red, before that.

  19. Mike says:

    . . . what I call with increasing frequency the “Adult” Form of the Roman Rite . . .

    As distinct from, may we say, Missa Floccorum Nivis Peculiarium?

  20. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    We’re still frightened of the KKK even though whenever they show up in public, in white sheets and hoods, the police has to protect them from violent demonstrators, black and white. I also remember reading that about 10 percent of KKK members are actually undercover agents and paid informants.

  21. wanda says:

    Taking bets on how long it will be til the Dominicans are asked to stop wearing their scary habits on campus.

  22. JustaSinner says:

    Guess it’s official: Dominican monks are micro-agressive!
    The Participation Ribbon Generation needs to run to their safe space under their Mom’s bed and wait for her to bake warm cookies and bring them, milk, and their meds…

  23. Gaetano says:

    For what it’s worth, Indiana is the only place in the U.S I have ever seen a person wearing Klan regalia. They had Klan golf shirts & windbreakers, too.

  24. PA mom says:

    This calls for an immediate “Dominican awareness weekend”.

    Extended dialogue must be untaken to relieve this now persecuted minority.

    I recommend an open area sit-in complete with Mass to attract the attention of the ignorant and assist in their enlightenment.


  25. StabatMater says:

    Stupidity is merely broadened by liberal college experience. This ignorance was previously fostered in high school (and elementary, no doubt) which “prepared” her for this fabulous institution of “higher learning” with multicultural Social Studies (in place of history) enhanced with some sort of “No Place for Hate”/anti-bully campaign garbage created by the Anti-Defamation League and put to work in all public and Catholic schools in my Archdiocese. And I’ll bet she scored well on all her standardized tests and received government assistance or scholarships, no doubt. Let’s look a little lower down the food chain to see how/when stupidity is being created and fed because it didn’t start at U of I.

  26. jaykay says:

    “As distinct from, may we say, Missa Floccorum Nivis Peculiarium?”

    Love it, Mike!

  27. APX says:

    This doesn’t surprise me. A priest from the FSSP was invited to speak at my liberal “Catholic” university at a class about the EF of the Mass (no idea how that happened, but it must have been before it went completely liberal). He was walking through the hall dressed in his cassock and fascia, and the chaplain saw him, and she asked him what faith tradition he was a member of. Sad people can’t recognize a properly dressed Catholic priest in a catholic university.

  28. Nan says:


    Exactly. Perhaps a better illustration would be the two Popes, , side by side, with the explanation Dominican friar/Pope, and Pope. Of course, advanced study would include Benedict, neither Pope nor friar but simple country priest.

  29. Joseph-Mary says:

    While many people, even Catholics, have NEVER seen a religious in a habit, these Dominicans have been on this campus for years! Also to be seen on this campus are some Franciscans of the Immaculate in their blue-grey habits!

  30. Augustine Thompson O.P. says:

    Even (?) reporters cannot seem to get it right: the students think he’s the Klan, this reporter thinks he’s a Franciscan:


    And this is not, as some would think a new problem. In the 1970s when I first entered people often assumed we were with the Klan. And I understand it was true in the 1940s and 1950s too.

    And if you wear the black cappa the question is “Why are you dressed like Dracula?”

  31. MAJ Tony says:

    Following Adam Welp, U of I is in Champaign, IL, or Iowa City, IA.

    Also, regarding St. Paul’s, I went to Mass there once. ONCE! (see who gets that reference) There’s a reason the IU Newman Center is referred to as “St. Paul’s Outside the Church.” Probably no liturgical dancing, and not much truly obvious “smack you in the face with a loaded thurible” bad liturgy (other than banal music, but I digress) but, and unless things have changed (I hope) since June 2010, don’t be surprised if the pastor, who, as far as I know, is not holding pontificals, acts like a bishop during the opening greeting (“Peace be with you), and refers to the all male choir led by a woman director as her “boytoys.” I heard it with my own ears, and saw it with my eyes. My head was near detonation point.

    My family has a history with the Klan. My great grandfather, along with probably every other adult male parishoner of every Roman Catholic church in rural Southern Indiana, spent many a night guarding the church to protect it from the Klan, back between the world wars.

  32. jaykay says:

    Heh heh, Fr. Thompson: if it’d been a Carmelite, with their cream cappa, she’d probably have been delighted to see a Jedi! Sadly, it appears, the (mental) Force is not strong with that one.

  33. Elizabeth D says:

    Franciscan? It would make more sense if a reporter would do some kind of half-way homework and decide that the priest in the picture is a “whitefriar.”

  34. JimP says:

    The fragile young scholar may still be confused, as the friar did not also show comparisons of a rosary and a whip.

  35. Imrahil says:

    Funfact: In German Catholic jargon, KKK means what I guess would be CCC in English (Catechism of the Catholic Church).

  36. Mary T says:

    Oh my. I won’t post a picture here of me marching in a Holy Week procession on Good Friday in Spain, in a medieval robe complete with the tall pointed hood….although truth be told, it would be fun to post a bunch of those pictures from all the processions all over Spain, and watch the people with IQs of dust balls get their knickers in a twist….

  37. Augustine Thompson O.P. says:

    And “U of I” is also University of Indianapolis, in Indianapolis . . .

  38. jaykay says:

    Or indeed, Imrahil, for Austrians of a certain generation: Kaiserlich (und)Koeniglich Kriegsmarine?

  39. boko fittleworth says:

    This happened to me 16 years ago, only it wasn’t a college campus. It was Cincinnati’s race riot prone Over the Rhine neighborhood at night. I parked the van after dropping everyone off at the Franciscans and was walking back in my habit. One of the young black men hanging out across the street yelled out “Hey, KKK!” I held up my scapular and yelled “No, Dominican.” Fortunately,I think people were used to seeing robes in the neighborhood because of the Franciscans.

  40. Nan says:

    @Augustine Thompson, OP, I hope you responded thast neither Dominicans nor Dracula follow fashion trends, preferring to stick with the classics.

  41. Elizabeth D says:

    A cartoonist takes on this grave situation:


  42. Imrahil says:

    Dear jaykay,

    technically not: the Navy was a joint Austria-Hungarian operation, so it was K.u.k., whereas K.k. (with the second k meaning “Bohemia”) referred to institutions Hungary was not part of…

    except perhaps before 1867.

    There is, though, an expression “the three K’s” which means “children, kitchen, church”. There was a time going to Church was considered a women thing to do. In some’s perceptions that still is so, only the women don’t (by and large) do it. But I digress.

  43. nathanbeiersdorfer says:

    Perhaps the student is simply an admirer of Padre Pio, and dead serious in calling the Rosary a weapon!

  44. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Adam says:

    “The Dominicans have only been on campus and running the St. Paul Catholic Center on campus for as far back as I can remember.”

    Adam, I believe the Dominicans have only been there about 15 years or so. Abp. Buechlein brought them in after… well, let’s just say there were issues. (I think that’s correct)

    Great to see you posting again. How are things towards The ‘Ville?


  45. Midwest St. Michael says:

    MAJ Tony says:

    “My family has a history with the Klan. My great grandfather, along with probably every other adult male parishoner of every Roman Catholic church in rural Southern Indiana, spent many a night guarding the church to protect it from the Klan, back between the world wars.”

    You are correct. This happened at our parish way back when. Funny thing is, my grandfather on my dad’s side (Catholic) was one of those in our parish church with guns and such. My great-uncle on my mother’s side (various Prots) was leading the KKK march past the church. No bloodshed – thank the Lord!


  46. benedetta says:

    My, how times have changed. It always used to be said that the narrow minded ones on campus who never seemed to get out much were those who had been homeschooled. Now, not so much apparently.

  47. leftycbd says:

    With a name like Fr. Philip Neri, I’d expect you to be a CO, not an OP :)

  48. No More Tambourines says:

    Perhaps in light of this incident perhaps it’s time to rename the classic Ramones song “The KKK Took my Baby Away” to “The Order of Preachers Took my Baby Away”?

  49. andia says:

    If this happened to any other group but Catholics there would be calls of “intolerance”, just sayin’

  50. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    Let’s say the same student saw a dark-skinned woman in a hijab carrying something that from a distance could be mistaken for a weapon or explosives.

    Would the student have sent an immediate tweet or any tweet?

  51. The third sample friar reminds me of Q as he appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Tapestries.”

  52. Cincinnati Priest says:

    These Dominican friars (even if they do look suspiciously like Klansmen to the ignorant) must be quite an improvement at St. Paul’s Catholic Center compared to the “bad old days.” Some IU alumni friends tell me the stories of “back in the day” (1990s) when diocesan priests ran it and preached from the pulpit how terrible the discipline of celibacy was and generally dismissed or ridiculed church teaching. Turns out at least one of the “co-pastors” of that era left to enter into a relationship with another man — and I’m not talking about spiritual brotherhood. Good to see a little “Veritas” and orthodoxy reigning among the college crowd again.

  53. Jackie L says:

    The young lady made a mistake…but the seriousness of the charge should bring about mandatory sensitivity training for the Dominican’s, common sense laws regulating what the Dominicans can wear, an immediate investigation of the Dominicans for any “institutional” racism, sexism, homophobia, etc, and each sermon must be approved by specialists in these fields prior to being delivered. If the Dominican’s are truly innocent, they should have nothing to fear. /sarcasm

  54. The Cobbler says:

    Eye of the Tiber also covered this incident well.

  55. Sonshine135 says:

    The student needs to check her privilege and rethink her Dominicanphobia.

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  57. Filipino Catholic says:

    Fortunately, unlike the KKK, the “Hounds of the Lord” do not actually bite, though wearing the black cappa (which will forever remind me of Dominic de Guzman, Albertus Magnus, and Thomas Aquinas) would probably have averted the case of mistaken identity.

    Now I wonder what university students would make of the Benedictines, with their all-black habit rather reminiscent of the Grim Reaper.

  58. letchitsa1 says:

    The Tab carried an interesting follow-up:


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