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It has come to his attention.

The following voice mail was left for the principal of a Catholic high school in the contiguous United States.

It has come to his attention... by Grant Gallicho on Mixcloud

I'd be most grateful if anyone could point me in the direction of Pope Innocent's renown concordat Adulteri educatio. (The caller forgot to leave his name and number.)

About the Author

Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



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"Take no 'truck'..."???  I sure hope not!   Nor a horse nor ass either  (well, maybe I'm not sure about the latter)"The Cardinal" may well call for canonical court!

This sound bite will next be heard on the Colbert Report.

Did he mean unrepentant Fenian bastard?

Unrepentant bastards, to be sure.  But what did Innocent say about consummate jerks, damned rascals and deviant monsters?

A decade of recent offerings from the Elizabethan curse generator provides additional possible targets of this incipient vendetta:

Thou dankish dizzy-eyed clotpole!
Thou lumpish bat-fowling clotpole!
Thou mammering base-court malkin!
Thou errant common-kissing gudgeon!
Thou wayward unchin-snouted rampallion!
Thou distempered weak-hinged waterfly!
Thou knavish half-faced boar-pig!
Thou hideous beef-witted bugbear!
Thou errant elf-skinned fustilarian!
Thou gnarling tardy-gaited codpiece!


This voicemail is an amazing work of art....  if you changed it in any way it would be less perfect than it actually is.


According to the SSPIV (Society of St. PIus IV),  if it wasn't for that Masonically inspired and Jewish influenced Council of Trent that eviscertated Catholic life, degraded liturgy, and relaxed discipline we would not be in this mess. And btw, Grant canon lawyers have writtent that, in point of fact, Adulteri educatio, was never formally abrogated.

He is from Boston.. I first thought it was Barney Frank.. but Jews mostly leave their name and don't have Catholic grandchildren.

I probably don't really need to know now, but just in case, how does one repent of being a bastard? Does it involve a firm purpose of amendment? What sort of penance might I expect to be imposed? And that done, will I then be able to enroll in a Catholic school as a repentant bastard?

So many questions. I wasn't paying close enough attention in catechism class. And I repent of that.

I'm pretty sure that that was Peter Griffin on the phone.

Abe, you might be right, but I think it wasone of  those guys on the Hopper commercial. 

After re-listing, that is a Chicago accent, not Boston.  A Bostonian would say unrepentant Bahstad.

Its good to be reminded what I, what we all should stand against.

As to the geographic locale of our "unrepentant bastard," I have to say it's got to be somewhere near Boston.  It's the only place in America where I've ever heard Catholics causally refer to "the Cardinal," like somekind of metaphysical creature lurking on the street corners.  

And, where else but Boston would anyone have access to and awareness of [Where else would anyone care about?] the papal concordat of Pope Innocent - one of the definitive diagnositic symptomatology  of the Irish Catholic derangement syndrome.

Whoa whoa whoa! Wait a minute...

When this guys says "unrepentant bastard," does he mean bastard in terms of its common usage (i.e., a jerk), or is he actually using it in the old sense, a la Game of Thrones? I had just assumed it was the former...

Abe, I assumed the latter.  After all, His Holiness Pope Innocent* would have probably known many of the former...indeed depending on which Pope Innocent we're talking about may have even been one himself. 

* for the record, there were 13 Pope Innocents, but none reigned in 950.  But then again, our mystery caller didn't say it absolutley was Innocent. 

Abe, I think he meant the latter.  

FWIW, the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children still exists in the reformed Code of Canon Law (cf. canons 1137-1140).  Apparently, the distinction is somewhat arbitrary: "Children born at least 180 days after the day when the marriage was celebrated or within 300 days from the day of the dissolution of conjugal life are presumed to be legitimate" (Can.  1138 §2).  The reason(s) for maintaining the distinction aren't clear from reading the canons.

Do the canons stipulate whether they can use the family name, or if they have to use the baton sinister in their heraldy?

If he were a New Yorker, it would be a "rat bastard' or, possiby, a "rat bastid". I'm kind of liking the guy; and I, too, would oppose giving a rat bastid financial aid.

His pronunciation of certain words, biastard, the Cardinal (not Cahdnal) Ciatholic, all lead me to the conclusion that he isn't a Bostonian.  Also Massachusets doesn't have a State's Attorney. 

Yeah, Illinois has state's attorneys.

Can't grasp why Grant posted this and why so many have commented. It's just an off the wall call.

John F, I am glad Grant posted it. We all need a laugh now and then.  :)

In my long expeience of bastards,aka jerks, I have observed that they don't know they are bastards.  Therefore, they cannot repent.  Innocent of all charges due to ignorance.

John W. Feehily:  It's a work of art because it packs so much error into so few words.  It's error per word ratio is probably the maximum achievable by a human being.

John Feehily,

I think its great.  As Anne Chapman points out, it is good for a laugh, and as Anne Evans points out, the error ratio is so its just fun to try and figure out where he's from.  Can you imagine someone serioulsy referencing a papal concordat from 950? If nothing else, who would even know of such a thing???


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