Two object lessons in how to avoid some serious sins.

My mail box is filled – as are my instant messages – with the “news” that 20 Catholic notables issued an open letter arguing that Francis has committed heresy by word, deed and omission.  I haven’t read the letter yet, but I’ve seen the signatories own summary thereof.  I know some of the people who signed that open letter and I know them to be very smart and honest.

In any event, please stop sending me notes about this.  I KNOW there’s a 20 page open letter accusing Francis of heresy.  And to demonstrate that I found it, it is HERE.

After We have been elected Pope, We shall issue encyclicals that will epitomize the word “brief”.  They shall be issued so rarely that people shall wonder if We still are alive.   We may even take as our papal motto: μέγα βιβλίον μέγα κακόν.  The more you write, the more trouble you can get into.  Believe Us.  We know from personal experience.  Also, We are moved by the well-known quip of Blaise Pascal: “Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.”  Too, true.  And, simultaneously, something We were taught in Our first days in residence in Our Roman seminary: “Prima pensa, poi parla, perché parole poco pensate portano pena.”  Sapienti pauca!

Moving along… at the DailyWire I found this…

Police Detained A Parrot For Warning Its Owner About A Drug Raid.

A parrot was detained by police in Brazil after the feathered fiend warned its drug-dealing owners that police were approaching.

The parrot started yelling as the police approached its home Monday afternoon, The Guardian reported. The bird shouted “Mama, police!” authorities said.

“He must have been trained for this,” one officer who was part of the raid told Brazilian media outlets. “As soon as the police got close he started shouting.”

Since being detained, the bird, whose name has not been released according to The Guardian, has kept its beak shut. One Brazilian journalist described the animal as a “super obedient” bird.

So far it hasn’t made a sound … completely silent,” said the reporter, who appears to have attempted to interview the winged whistleblower.

A veterinarian in the area, Alexandre Clark, told one Brazilian media outlet that ““Lots of police officers have come by and he’s said nothing,” referring to the parrot.

Brazilian media outlet Meio Norte (Media North) posted footage of the bird refusing to answer questions. In the video, the bird sits atop police documents in what looks like an interview room, ignoring questions.


After that, there is a bit about alligators owned by thugs refusing to eat a corpse.  Perhaps it was a Friday in Lent.

By now you have surely twigged to how these stories relate to each other.

Okay, for everyone in Columbia Heights…

You can avoid a lot of problems if you keep your mouth shut.

How many sins would we avoid by shutting up a little more?

With that in mind, review your use of language – vocabulary, tone, content, circumstances – and, if necessary


On second thought… if you substitute “police documents” with copies of Amoris laetitia and airplane transcripts, and you bring in the Dubia Cardinals – just to keep the ornithological image going – my analogy falls apart a little.  But HEY!  Analogies aren’t perfect.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    It is also interesting to note that silence is one way to be complicit in anothers’ sin.

  2. So, the bird isn’t squawking, I mean talking. I have two Parakeets and have owned a Cockatiel. They will chat like crazy around their owners but are skittish around unfamiliar folks and unfamiliar surroundings. They recognize an owner’s voice and face so when the poor guy didn’t recognize anything he kept his beak shut.

  3. arga says:

    Well, talking too much is one thing. Another is to know WHEN to talk and WHEN to shut up.

  4. Semper Gumby says:

    That parrot ain’t no stool pigeon.

    (I’m on the side of law and order, but couldn’t resist.)

    Meanwhile, Tracer Bullet rolled up his sleeves, lit a Lucky Strike, and tried to make that jailbird sing.

    A Jailbird with a past, a Gumshoe with no future:

    Hearing the saxophone, the parrot squawked. Unfortunately, nothin’ useful. It was just crackin’ wise: “Be a pal Flatfoot, get me my gun.”

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  5. Mario Bird says:

    psittacus verus non est palumbus sellularius

    Darn it, Gumby. You beat me to it.

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    Thanks Fr. Z, and a hat-tip to semperficatholic for “squawk.”

    Ah, well done Mario Bird.

    But you gotta get up at dawn to get the jump on Tracer Bullet. The kind of dawn where you throw open the curtains to gaze out through blood-shot eyes at the concrete jungle and the sun, plastered in the sky like a fried egg, sizzles your brain into a side of hash browns and you’re outta ketchup.

    Hmm…I think instead you gotta stay up late at night. The kind of night where every rain-swept dark alley is an expressway to danger and you’re outta dimes for the off-ramp.

    “Bibo ergo sum” – Tracer Bullet

    [I’m going to have to come up with a Star and Oakleaf Cluster.]

  7. Jacques says:

    This parrot remains silent , following the wise example of our Holy Father after the “dubia letter” or the Vigano’s.

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