Over at Cath News, Australia's daily Catholic news alert service, each Monday Mr Michael Mullins writes a 'blog watch' column, purporting to give a roundup of what is being said on the blogs, with a strong Australian focus.
And it is becoming something of a weekly ritual for me to have to correct here whatever he says about my blog, since Cath News have consistently refused to correct things properly over there, either refusing outright, or putting up 'corrected' pieces that in fact create more errors!
Cardinal Burke: symbols pointing us to heaven
So herewith today's clarification, on Cardinal Burke's visit and the discussion of the use of the Cappa Magna.
Mr Mullins selectively quotes me (yet again) to imply that I suggested that wearing the Cappa is akin to wearing a crown of thorns. That is not what I either said or implied!
My point was actually that vestments such as the cappa, together with all the other special attention given in the solemn liturgy are about giving honour to God and help orient us to heaven. The exact quote in the comment box, of which Mr Mullins gives only the first half, was:
"And in terms of the symbols of the kingship of Christ, the point is to make visible to the world what was invisible at [sic: should be 'to'] those at the time: indeed that is the whole point of the Church's mission: the world gave Our Lord a crown of thorns; Christians replace it with a crown of gold and precious stones!"
I did make the point that wearing a cappa involved some effort - I could also have mentioned that I don't imagine it is all that comfortable wearing all that gear in Sydney at the moment - eight layers of vestments and a temperature on Saturday morning of around *36C/95F.
The point was just that there is some ascetic discipline involved in following these kind of practices that were mandatory until recent decades. That wearing the proper vestments represents the humility of a person willing to subjugate themselves to the traditions of the Church, willing to stand up for Christ, willing to help point us to heaven, even though he knows that he will cop some flak for it.
It is in fact that same message so many of our priests - and even bishops (take a look at Bishop Morris' shirt and tie on that official video of Lenten reflections) - refuse to make by declining to wear clericals, lest they be identifiable to the public.
Symbols in my view, are just as important, if not more so, than words.
They can be effective - as the nice article in The Australian attests in relation to Cardinal Burke's success in promoting priestly vocations prior to his move to the Vatican, in a backgrounder on his visit to Sydney.
How long oh Lord!
I suppose it is not really a surprise that Mr Mullins continues to misrepresent what I say.
I do after all, strive to promote orthodoxy, and the recovery of orthodoxy and orthopraxis.
By contrast, Mr Mullins, aside from his interestingly creative work for Cath News' blog, is also editor of Eureka Street, a Jesuit publication that continues to spread and celebrate dissent.
Over the last few days alone for example, it has featured an article by Fr Frank Brennan advocating recognition of same-sex relationships (quite how Fr Brennan can remain an approved teacher in the Australian Catholic University as his bio notes claims...), and today a eulogy praising Anglican Patricia Brennan's efforts in the support of the Movement for the Ordination of Women.
Still, at least Mr Mullins finally got my name correct!