A (single) amusing Consistory note

Pope Francis held a consistory to create five new Cardinals.  A media rep sent out an explanatory email including the following helpful note:

The new Cardinals, according to the order of creation, knelt before the Holy Father who imposed on them the scarlet zucchetto (skull cap) and the cardinal’s beretta, followed by the presentation of the ring.  The Pope also assigned to each Cardinal a church of Rome as a sign of participation in the pastoral care of the Pope in the diocese of Rome. This was followed by the exchange of peace between the Pope and the new Cardinals.

I so very much hope that the beretta which the Holy Father gave to the new Cardinals is this one:


This is a nice one, in an appropriate cardinalatial color.  It has that Japanese tsuka-maki wrap that one prefers for one’s katana.  This is (of course you recognize it immediately) an M9… with spiffy modifications.   However, since these are stormy times in the Church, a better choice could have been the PX4-Storm.

And could that “ring” refer to the “center ring”?

For more on the important topic of the liturgical beretta see HERE.

For more the BIRETTA and how to use it (“birettaquette”) see HERE.

And, everyone, don’t let your priest be this guy.

biretta beretta

No, no… that won’t do at all.  Wrong wrong wrong… this time it is “beretta”!  Sheesh.

Please help with our ongoing BIRETTAS FOR SEMINARIANS (and for priests) PROJECT.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. The real question whose next to get the bullet?

  2. Br. Tom:

    Since this has to do with the daily operations of the SVVAS, I’m afraid I can’t address myself to your query.

  3. The Masked Chicken says:

    That picture must be accompanied with a heavy Bronx and the words, “So, punk, are youse feelin’ lucky…or do youse want to go to confession?”

    The Chicken

    [Isn’t “youse” plural?]

  4. acardnal says:

    Beloved Eminence Cardinal Sarah was reportedly photographed using another weapon during the Ordinary Public Consistory: HERE

  5. JustaSinner says:

    PX-4 Storm is a mighty fine side arm. Put about 6,000 rounds through mine. I like the cardinalatial red…but what would a priest such as your self Fr. Z. use for a color scheme?

    [The PX4 has the interesting rotating barrel. My color scheme? I suppose basic black. However, since I am now an “Internal Forum Monsignor” (the Church is now obliged to accompany me), I could have a little red trim here and there, perhaps with a paonazza trigger guard. That said, because of the “Internal Form” nature of my monsignorate, I’d have to conceal it.]

  6. Mike says:

    I’m starting to re-read the Don Camillo series and am grateful we haven’t got to the stage (at least in these USA) of parish priests brandishing machine guns, as one gathers might have been the case during the highly unsettled years following World War II in northern Italy.

  7. The Masked Chicken says:

    Youse is plural. Arrrrgh!

    I was trying to inject a note of realism in my dialogue, but, clearly, I need to spend some time in the Bronx or remember my trashy movie dialogue, better.

    The Chicken

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    Good photo acardnal. During a discussion here last year on the Combat Rosary a commenter related a story of Padre Pio referring to his Rosary as a weapon.

    This brings to mind an incident on the Pacific island of Guadalcanal in 1942. If I recall, it was in Walter Lord’s book Coastwatchers of the Solomons. About June 1942 the Japanese Army was massacring entire (adults and children) native villages strung out along jungle trails in the mountainous western and central part of the island. (The U.S. Marines did not land until August). A priest, he may have been Dutch, asked his bishop for permission to arm himself with a rifle. The bishop, there may have been some brief hesitation, allowed it. And I think hand grenades were also allowed. Not so that the priest could do a one-man assault of Japanese positions, but to chuck several at a time at advancing Japanese soldiers to cover the escape of his parishioners. It was a rough business in the Pacific in 1941-2.

    I’m a fan of Berettas and Birettas, but there is something to be said for the good ol’ .45.

    Fr. Z: “Concealing due to Internal Forum” – good one.

  9. jflare says:

    I wound up glancing over the item and comments about concealed carry for a priest. I think you raise an interesting–and troubling–dilemma. I could recommend placing a pistol in a locked case in the sacristy prior to vesting. Parishioners could be be taught appropriate means of handling possible violent persons, including carrying their own concealed firearms. On the other hand, …parishioners might not be available all the time, plus the vestments are complex enough to make quick draw difficult, PLUS the priest in a TLM is facing God, thus not likely to spot an intended assailant in time.

    …If I recall correctly, there was an incident not so long ago wherein a priest was stabbed in the neck during Mass. He survived, but there is a very real risk.

    Maybe the best option would be this: For high-risk locations, downtowns especially, arrange for a (Catholic) armed person to attend Mass from an “inconspicuous” seat on the side in the sanctuary. Such a person would have adequate view of both altar and nave to spot potential assailants, but still participate properly in Mass.
    …I can also conceive of possibly offering Mass privately at a side altar on weekdays, if no parishioners can provide watchful eyes and security training. It’d be very sad to cut off publicly offered Mass, but, well, as noted elsewhere…priests can’t offer Mass at all if they are no longer living.
    One would hope that such circumstances would be rare indeed.

    But I can’t honestly say that it makes any sense to me for a priest to watch out for his own security–or expect to wield a firearm correctly–while offering Mass. He needs to focus on offering Mass, not on a nebulous hazard that may never strike.

    [Interesting about concealed carry for the priest saying Mass. That would be pretty hard to accomplish in practical terms. It would be way to hard to access the weapon quickly if it were to be concealed under all the vestments. And quickly is how you need to access it, if something is going down. Right? So, the best reason I can think of for a priest to conceal and carry during Mass would be for the sake of keeping the weapon secure. A lock-box and/or safe in the sacristy… okay. But, in general, if you can’t see it, it’s not in your control. So… what’s the solution? I suppose using a Roman vestment and then open carry using a shoulder holster. Otherwise, perhaps ankle carry (iffy) or drop leg (but that’s still too hard to access with cassock and alb). Nope… I guess it’s open carry and cross draw under the Roman chasuble from a shoulder rig. Of course I can’t imagine anyone raising an objection to that! … No, wait. Could Father molle a holster in place beneath a tactical chasbule? I like it. Molle webbing on the underside… and maybe also the front, for spare mags. The additional weight could keep the chasuble from slipping back, thus requiring Father to tug it back into place.]

  10. JonPatrick says:

    I don’t know if the Beretta comes in a camo color scheme. Along with a matching camo cassock, might be useful when hiding out in the woods from the Jesuit forces.

  11. vetusta ecclesia says:

    The correspondent of the Catholic Herald, who should know better, described it as a “3 cornered” (sic) cap

  12. acardnal says:

    Semper, as you may know, the Army recently abandoned the Beretta for the Sig Sauer as their new service handgun and the USMC may follow suit. The Sig Sauer has an interchangeable caliber. HERE

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