Here & There . . .

“Ratzinger Fan Club” in the news:

  • Rome won’t be rebuilt in a day, by Owen Dudley Edwards. Sunday Herald April 23, 2005:

    “PUTTING the smackdown on heresy since 1981!” howls the Ratzinger Fan Club, advertising its T-shirt on the website to which internet searchers for data on the new Pope are automatically referred. It doesn’t need a papal pronouncement to tell Catholics that this celebration of a theology of hatred, anger and zeal for injury is wholly contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Methinks Mr. Edwards underestimates the humorous side of the RFC and its satirical intent.

  • Area boy’s gift made cardinal laugh, by Shane Anthony. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. April 19, 2005. Interview with Chris Haenel, a fellow ‘member’ of the RFC, who met the Cardinal and presented him with a shirt during an October 2003 visit to Rome by Una Voce:

    Chris, then a freshman at Duchesne High School in St. Charles, already had studied Ratzinger and papal politics. He said he liked Ratzinger’s conservative stands on moral issues. He gave Ratzinger a T-shirt he bought from an online fan club.

    On the front, it read “The Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club. Putting the smackdown on heresy since 1981.” Ratzinger was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and combating heresy was part of his job.

    Ratzinger laughed at the shirt, Chris said, but said he couldn’t keep it because he couldn’t be his own fan. When he flipped over the shirt to find a quote attributed to him – “Truth is not determined by a majority vote” – he laughed again and said, “That’s true. That’s true.” Chris still has the shirt.

  • Pope’s Website Crashes, Agençe France-Presse. April 20, 2005. A case of mistaken identity, as I believe www.vatican.va was up and running.

And on other topics . . .

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