“Fratelli tutti”, anyone?

I am firmly convinced of something I picked up years ago from a radio talk show chap from in native place.

Joe Soucheray – whose shtick was the viscerally common-sensical “Garage Logic” – used to offer that every newspaper ought to have an official “Guy”.  The Guy would sit in a comfortable chair, perhaps with a cooler of drinks close at hand, at the end of the chute where the papers came out of the press ready for distribution. The Guy would look at the paper and anything that he dinged would have to be redone. This was a basic, rather easy way to keep really stupid, knuckle-head mistakes and gaffs out of the paper before it went to everyone’s doorstep.

I have firmly maintained that every entity in the Church should have a “Guy” who looks at stuff before it goes to the public. Some down to earth fellow who easily picks up on what will be obvious to the world, but not obvious the the pencil-necked bubble-dwellers who come up streams with stuff to promulgate.

For example, I remember pounding my head on the desk when the Latin incipit – hence title – of what turned out to be an infamously controversial document, Amoris laetitia, was released. “What were they thinking?!?”, I gasped. “AT LEAST” – I begged my friend in the Press Office – “release the whole first sentence! Do you really want people to think that Francis’ next offering is to be called ‘The joy of sex’?”

That’s one of many possibilities for Amoris laetitia, and a benign one at that. After all, given the über-creepiness that eminated from ghost writer Víctor Manuel Fernández, who could guess at what that incipit promised?

I see in a story at the heavily liberal-biased Religion News Service that people are upset about the incipit – hence, title – of Francis’ projected encyclical.  It is supposed to be about “the economic, environmental and spiritual change that is necessary to address today’s modern challenges”.  Boy, I can hardly wait!    People are upset about the incipit which is to be

Fratelli tutti

Already the bickering has begun, as people wonder what the impact will be.. given we don’t have an context in a sentence for those two words.

Brothers all

Will this be SEXIST???, they fret?

I, who cannot summon an ounce of energy to give a damn whether it’s exclusive or inclusive, am merely a guy who speaks more than one language, including Italian.

To my ear Fratelli tutti just sounds ridiculous.

Who thought it would be a good idea to have a papal document called Fratelli tutti?


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I don’t know what it means in English, but I see it and am reminded of Little Richard’s song.

  2. abdiesus says:

    In case someone might not ever have had the pleasure, here’s the link to the song


    While it’s surely not safe to draw any conclusions from the song vs. what we can expect from the Encyclical, it’s certainly tempting…..

  3. iamlucky13 says:

    It merely looks odd to read, but I just spoke it aloud to myself, and cringed. It makes me think of a Dustin Hoffman movie.

  4. anj says:

    Tutti frutti ?

  5. Padre Pio Devotee says:

    To the American Ear (perhaps to a wider extent the English speaking ear) it kind of reminds me phonetically of Tutti Fruitti by Little Richard. It also sounds like a pasta dish from Olive Garden

  6. Mike_in_Kenner says:

    It reminds me of the bad guys from The Goonies.

  7. Thomas S says:

    Two can play their game. Henceforth, I’ll be calling this encyclical Fratelli Molti.

  8. Fulco One Eye says:

    Definitely the name of a pastry or an exotic ice cream flavor.

  9. Grant M says:

    Probably a nod to the 250th anniversary of Beethoven coming up in December this year: Alle Menschen werden Brüder.

  10. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Maybe it’s an encyclical calling on the martial arts clans and the Falun Gong practicians to join with the Catholic underground in a supreme cooperative venture, with its headquarters hidden on the edge of a wetland.

    There’s already a novel and a film version.

    It’s called “All Men Are Brothers” or “The Water Margin.”

    Alternately, it could be related to 2 Chronicles 22:1 — “And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Jehoram’s youngest son, Ahaziah, king in his place, for the Arab raiders had killed all his brothers….”

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  12. IaninEngland says:

    @ Fulco One Eye: Yes, you’re quite right. It sounds like a flavour for a gelato.
    Besides, shouldn’t it be in Latin, in any case? “Omnes Fratres” or something?
    Someone seems to be trying to bring derision on the Church.

  13. MrsBridge says:

    Fruity Fratelli Tutti. Look for it in your freezer aisle.

  14. JonPatrick says:

    I thought at first this was going to be a post about an exotic Italian dish you were making for a gathering of “rigid” brother priests. I’m disappointed! :)

  15. Ms. M-S says:

    What’s the Latin for Gather Us In To The Big Tent?

  16. Christ-Bearer says:

    “Spatiosa via est, quae ducit ad perditionem, et multi sunt qui intrant per eam.“

  17. samwise says:

    Fr Z, I too enjoy Joe Soucherays “garage logic” as a breath of fresh air in the local Pioneer Press. I also enjoy when Soucheray questions local secret societies like the Vulcan Crew…thank God Francis isn’t naming a doc after Vulcan or other mythic Pagan figure. Pachamama? ¡ Hagan Lio!

  18. GHP says:

    Father says: …I, who cannot summon an ounce of energy to give a damn ….

    Don’t you have a Bayeux Tapestry image showing your “fields of damns”, and noting how baren is the field?

    nudge-nudge (^__^)

    [I believe I do! I’ll look for it.]

  19. Shonkin says:

    The first thing that occurred to me was “Tutti frutti” too, but for another reason. It had to do with the strange perversions running rampant in the Vatican.

  20. Blaise says:

    Surely this demonstrates the folly of using Italian. In Latin you can reasonably play with the word order and something like “omnes fratres ” would sound less specifically offensive to the modernists who don’t speak Latin.

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