Here’s one of the more unusual calls to my “Open Line” radio show

Hosting the Thursday edition of EWTN’s “Open Line” broadcast (3-5 pm ET) is truly a highlight of my week. For two hours, I get to converse with callers from all over the world who call in with their questions and comments about the Catholic Faith. Virtually all the calls are interesting and stimulating though, occasionally, some can be rather peculiar, like this one you’re about hear from a man going by the pseudonym “Judas.” The bottom line is, he disapproves of the “fancy” clothing worn by the pope. Our conversation about that subject was . . . interesting. Take a listen and kindly let me know what you think.


  1. dan

    I thought you handled it quite well. You kept true to 1 Peter 3:15.

  2. Mary

    Thanks for reposting this. I heard the original call but didn’t give it as much thought as I could have. (I think I also heard this guy when he talked to Jimmy.) I thought you handled the matter very well.

    I can’t imagine that the pope or the cardinals wear those “opulent” robes and high hats outside of liturgical duties but maybe I have it all wrong. The closest I’ve come to observing someone very far up the church hierarchy outside of Mass as a “man on the street” was seeing our archbishop observing a pro-life march–and he had on a very plain black cassock–very much less ornate than what the police officers who were also there were wearing–with their shiny equipment and badges and squeaky (and also shiny) leather.

    When I see the pope, cardinals and bishops “all decked” out like that I see them doing honor to God. And I think of the sancristy at our little parish church where the beautiful (and sometimes very old) vestments hang and are regularly used.

  3. David

    You spent too much time with this guy. You should have dispatched with him quickly. With all the Baptist preachers who show off the all their Rolex watches and Crystal Cathedrals,(soon to be Catholic). You can’t take these guys so seriously and bend over backwards for them. Christ didn’t, I know that you are trying not to get caught in somehting that can be scandalous but, no dispatch these guys quickly. You know that they have people that ask why the Pope wearing Prada. (He dosen’t) If the Pope was wearomg sack cloth they would move on to something else until the entire Church disappeared. I like how Jiummy Atkins dealt with it better.

    1. Mei

      I agree with David. Odd that people would point out the pope’s attire. Most of his attire is not “wealthy” at all. His daily garments are simple. Church “riches” are donated by people who wish to give glory to God, not to the men in the building. That is why the Vatican keeps the “treasures” in my opinion, because they represent an offering by those who gave it. And statistically, the Church has done the MOST charity in the world to date! Hospitals were created by religious, the welfare/benefit system to help the poor was created by the Church because rich nobles and kings did not/or could not help their own poor.

    2. Judas

      If the pope would make a statement tomorrow that he thought it was inappropriate for the vicar of Christ to dress worldly, would you argue against it?

  4. Carter Lowman

    I thought you were a little hard on him toward the end there. Good apologetics, I just felt bad for the man.

    1. Judas

      Thanks for your concern. I just wish Patrick had the nerve to answer the question about what would Jesus say if St. Peter were to appear wearing the regalia that the popes do now. The answer that it is not appropriate now is false. Jesus is God. he could see into the future and could have approved of his kingly attire if He thought it warranted.

      Come on Patrick answer the question.

  5. Patrick Coffin

    Ah, Judas in Canton! I figured it to be a pseudonym. Thanks for the confirmation.

    1. Judas

      Yes the pseudonym came from Jimmy Akin.

  6. Blake Helgoth

    Two thoughts come to mind: 1) The connection of the Mitre to Moses and the OT high priest. 2) St. Dominic has much more success in his preaching to the Albigensians than the bishops and monks that went before him and he attributed this, in part, to dressing more simply and not going about on horseback. Of course, that could have been due to the doctrines that the Albingensians held as they themselves were extremely austere in their food and dress.

    1. Patrick Madrid

      Your second point is particularly helpful and germane, Blake. Thank you.

  7. Rolf Worth

    Some questions to Patrick: Why did you question if “Judas” was a pseudonym when Judas said he was using that appellation because Jimmy Akin called him that?

    What about “Judge not lest you be judged?”

    Why do you say that Judas is a non-Catholic when Judas refers to other Christians as “protestant brothers?”

    Why didn’t you answer the question of why Old Testament law should be used as a reason for the attire of Popes when we are not held to other Laws such as animal sacrifice and a writ of divorce?

    Why did you shy away from the tough questions and steer the conversation to the foolishness of how many inches should the pope’s hat be, a Pharisaical maneuver.

    Why didn’t you answer the obvious question of the validity of Akin using the story of anointing Jesus with nard? It seems obvious to me that Jesus was saying to use the expensive oil now to anoint me for my death because “You will always have the poor with you.” In other words, when I have gone to be with the Father, then if you have expensive oil, sell it and give the money to the poor.

    As a thought problem, what do you think Jesus would say to Peter if on the day after Jesus proclaimed him to be the first pope, Peter would have appeared dressed like King Midas?

    1. Patrick Madrid

      Hmm, why so testy, Rolf? Interesting.

      As to your questions:

      1) I did not “question if” he was using a pseudonym. On air, I simply said I hoped I was pronouncing the name correctly (sometimes call-screeners misspell names). In my blog post, I stated as a fact that he was using a pseudonym. Perhaps you didn’t listen and read closely.

      2) Unless you provide some sort of context for quoting Christ’s words, “Judge not . . .,” I cannot be sure what you’re driving at. Be specific.

      3) I said that Judas is a non-Catholic because my call-screeners at EWTN informed me that they are familiar with him, that he is a non-Catholic, and that he has a penchant for calling various Catholic radio shows under the pseudonym “Judas.” Patrick Coffin, host of the “Catholic Answers Live” radio show, also recognizes him as an occasional non-Catholic caller.

      4) The wearing of liturgical vestments as such was not abrogated by the New Covenant. So, there was no need to delve into that issue precisely because it is a non-issue, as far as “Judas’s” argument was concerned. That, plus the fact that I had already gone far longer with this question than is customary for the “Open Line” program. Had there been more time, I could have explained in more detail why his argument about the Old Covenant being abrogated was a red-herring.

      5) I shied away from tough arguments? Hardly. First, “Judas” didn’t offer any substantive arguments, much less “tough” ones. Second, I was employing a technique that perhaps you are unfamiliar with, known as the reductio ad absurdum, in which one draws out the untenable implications of a faulty proposition. It’s a helpful apologetics technique that you really should learn about.

      6) Not having heard the previous radio conversation to which “Judas” referred, I was not in any position to be able to comment on it. I simply dealt with the questions “Judas” posed to me on my show.

      7) Your “thought problem” poses an irrelevant hypothetical. In the apostolic era, the early Church had not yet developed certain customs, such as the unique liturgical vestments and clerical attire we know today.

      1. Mei

        You answered that very well, Mr. Madrid! I also suspect that many who call in to radio shows over and over suffer from mental illness and one needs to deal with them with respect since they are not able to grasp what you are telling them.

      2. Judas

        Mei says:
        July 18, 2011 at 7:21 pm
        “You answered that very well, Mr. Madrid! I also suspect that many who call in to radio shows over and over suffer from mental illness and one needs to deal with them with respect since they are not able to grasp what you are telling them.”

        Let’s see if Jimmy doesn’t like the question he states, “That was the voice of Judas.” If you don’t like it you accuse the person as being mentally ill. If you have truth on your side you don’t have to hurl personal insults.

      3. Judas

        Mr. Madrid,
        I called Mr. Akin twice that I remember and probably you twice. Contrary to what your call screeners think, I have been a Catholic from the cradle―sixty years ago.

        I am devout and trust in all the defined doctrines of the Church, the Magisterium. Just because I question some of the practices of prelates does not make me anti-Catholic.

        I simply asked Mr. Akin when the popes started dressing the way they do. Mr. Akin saw the true question in that I was critical of their costly dress. I did not have the opportunity to say anything else.

        Mr. Akin gave two examples, the first I quote from memory, “Why God even told the Jewish priests how to dress.”
        The second was a reference to this passage: John 12:3-8

        “Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
        But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’

        He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

        ‘Leave her alone,’ Jesus replied. ‘It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.’”

        I think this is a poor and desperate example from a learned man such as Mr. Akin. It seems obvious that Jesus was saying, use the oil on me now because I soon will go to the Father and after I go then if you get expensive oil, sell it and give to the poor.

        After he hung up he said, “That was the voice of Judas.”
        I know it is not politically correct to disagree with Mr. Akin, but I believe most people would say this is being judgmental.

        Luke 6:37
        [ Judging Others ] “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

  8. Grace M Alvarez

    I’d like to call your attention to an article published in The Onion, July 13, 2011, issue 47.28 titled “Vatican Reverses Stance On Gay Marriage After Meeting Tony And Craig” The news outlet reportedly enjoys a reputation for satire and as such, this piece would qualify. However, the publication did not designate it as satire and it is on Facebook where I first saw it! I have written to the editors/publishers of the The Onion demanding an apology. I write to you in the hopes that you can be influential in disclaiming the piece. As a Catholic, I am outraged that such a libelous piece of trash could be allowed to circulate as coming from the Vatican – yes the source says “Vatican.” I have also written to Zenit. I don’t know how much further I can go in my protest, but I will also post a disclaimer on Facebook. The Vatican has issued no such proclamation! The Holy Father is quoted as saying, “I know what scripture says about homosexuals, but when I stop to think about it, I can’t get past the fact that the Bible is just a book, and Tony and Craig are real people,” Benedict added. “Love is love. Man-woman, man-man, woman-woman—who cares? The Catholic Church recognizes it’s not the Stone Age anymore.”
    Really, this is so distressing to attempt to humiliate our Holy Father and the Church should be a criminal offense!
    In God’s Service, I ask your help.

    1. JoAnna

      Um, Grace… The Onion does not have to “designate” any of its stories as satire because it is a satirical publication. That is, EVERY SINGLE ONE of its stories is satire and known to be satire. If you look at their media kit, it says, “The satirical newspaper The Onion was founded in 1988…the launch of in 1996 expanded its signature brand of satire to a national and international audience.”

      If anyone tries to take TheOnion seriously, just laugh at them. That’s all the response needed.

      1. KW

        JoAnna is correct of course, but I had to add this. I have a friend who used to work as a newspaper editor. One of his jobs was to sort through wire stories (AP, Reuters, etc.), and he said that, occasionally, a story that was originally printed in The Onion would somehow make its way into “mainstream” news sources.

  9. Rey Guevara

    I heard this guy call in to Catholic Answers Live. I didn’t know he had called open line as well.

    This is why Patrick is my favorite apologetics personality out there. The level of respect he shows his callers and opponents really is admirable and is certainly unmatched among hosts on other EWTN shows.

  10. Dee

    You couldn’t make that dialogue up! I thought you were great but I don’t know how you could have done it with a straight face. Especially when you told him that he appears to have an issue with the length of the Cardinals hat. It was hilarious. Laughs aside, I wonder if he is even Catholic. Sounds like a Protestant pretending to be a Catholic.

    1. Patrick Madrid

      Thanks, Dee. Counter intuitively, it seems, “Judas” says he is Catholic.

  11. Linus

    I think you did fine. I don’t think this guy was a Catholic, sounded more like one of those off beat Protestant Cult members we used to run into all the time and which you still hear on short wave and I suppose at odd places and at even more odd times on the A.M. dial. At the very best he was a very confused individual.

    1. Patrick Madrid

      Thank you Linus. You have a noble papal namesake, sir!

    2. Judas

      I am a devout Catholic. Do Catholics have to be kool-aid drinkers and never question anything the Pope does?

  12. Johh

    The way the caller presented his question was, perhaps, clumsy but I too have similar questions (or rather, statements) about the garb of bishops and the Pope himself:

    1. These are not the early or middle ages, the croziers and vestments do not translate to modern times. Bishops and the Pope look like they’re dressing, quite frankly, in silly costumes…it’s difficult to take them seriously.

    2. Well, that’s it really. I’d much rather see the Pope in a monk’s habit than in some fancy, gilded robe…or vestment…or whatever fancy Latin term you want to use for “robe”. I’d take them much more seriously if they weren’t all dolled up in 14th century paraphernalia.

    Yes, yes…I know. Use whatever verse from Leviticus or 2nd Kings or Habakkuk you wish to justify the fact that Cardinals have big, giant, goofy red hats that are the perfect way to not be taken seriously today.

  13. Rolf Worth

    Patrick, although I have listened to your show for a long period, I never noticed how evasive you could be.

    Why do you call me “testy” just because I disagree with you?

    “Patrick Coffin says:
    July 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm
    Ah, Judas in Canton! I figured it to be a pseudonym. Thanks for the confirmation.”

    Who confirmed this for you? Are you surmising one of the writers is this “Judas” because he has the temerity to think “Judas” may have a valid point?

    Where is your evidence that liturgical attire requirement was carried over into the new Covenant. Jesus, the Gospel writers and Paul never recommended that popes dress up like King Midas. Just the opposite they talked of humbleness and humility in attitude. This would seemingly carry over into dress.

    No, I don’t want to learn any apologetic maneuvering that leads to absurdities. I would rather keep the conversation on a higher level.

    I didn’t think you would have the nerve to answer the thought problem. The probable answer would be that Jesus would say, “Peter, are you out of your mind. You can’t parade around like King Herod when there are people in the grip of life destroying poverty. You are to be humble and meek like me.”

    1. Patrick Madrid

      “Evasive” hardly seems to be an accurate or charitable epithet to describe me with, Rolf. For one thing, I spent far longer than normal with “Judas” on my show, giving him multiple opportunities for give and take with me regarding his argument. That’s hardly “evasive.” What’s more, I responded to your original comment point by point.

      As for your jibe about my not having “the nerve” to respond to your thought problem, well, that brought a smile to my face. You have such a way with words.

      1. Brock Smith

        Mr. Madrid, I am a recent convert to Catholicism from the Assemblies of God Church.

        Did you choose not to answer the question about what Christ would say to Peter because you don’t want to posture what he would have said? If not, what is the reason for not answering the hypo–should fellow Catholics refrain from responding to questions like that?

      2. Patrick Madrid

        Hello, Brock. Welcome home to the Catholic Church!

        I *did* respond to that hypothetical question about Jesus and Peter by contending that it was irrelevant to this conversation because the distinctive liturgical and everyday clerical attire that eventually developed in the Catholic Church was not yet present in the age of the Apostles. It’s like asking what would Jesus have said to Peter if he saw the Apostle riding around in a Pope Mobile. One could speculate about all sorts of comments the Lord might have said, but to what beneficial purpose? One thing we do know for sure, though, is that in all the approved apparitions of Our Lady, as well as those of Jesus Christ Himself (e.g., to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Saint Faustina, etc.) the Lord never once admonished the pope or the bishops or any priest, for that matter, regarding their clerical garb.

      3. Judas

        Are you saying it was wrong if he did call me Judas?

    2. Ismael

      “Where is your evidence that liturgical attire requirement was carried over into the new Covenant. Jesus”

      The real question is:
      Where is the proof that the old testament was to be forgotten?

      Read your bible, Jesus has not come to ‘replace’ the Old Testament Law, but to ‘Fulfill it’!

      I think Patrick has answered very well to ‘Judas’ (re-listen… or just listen) showing that his ideas lead indeed to absurdities, because he made arbitrari distinctions, disliking something not out of a good reason.

      Even the Apostle Paul recomends multile time to keep the Law and the Traditions.


      “the Gospel writers and Paul never recommended that popes dress up like King Midas”

      Too bad the Pope is not dressed like ‘king Midas’… this is just an absurd exageration.

      Then one might ask why protestants (tele)evangelists drive such fancy cars as I have seen them drive… I am sure Jesus and Paul did not recomend to drive Lincolns as well…


      “Just the opposite they talked of humbleness and humility in attitude.”

      They also talked with *Authority*, however.
      Both Jesus and Paul did not humble shyly away against their opponents. The Pope and the bishop have the duty of affirming Jesus’ authority on Earth.

      The clothing of the clergy has a specific symbolism.

      If you8 are offended by something that you probably do not even understand that it is your duty to inform yourself before judging unjustly.

      1. Judas

        I never said the Old Testament was to be forgotten. A vain attempt to cloud the issue. We are no longer required to sacrifice animals, nor are the priests required to wear the 12 stone amulet.

        The pope does dress like a worldly king.

        The pope has 4 Cadillacs, diamond tiaras etc.

        The pope can represent authority as Peter did. Peter did not need to dress like King Herod to get respect.


  14. Judas

    1 Peter 3:15
    15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

    Would you say Mr. Akin calling someone “Judas” is following this scriptural advice?

    1. David H.

      It is a valid point. The term Judas indicates a kind of thought (putting the poor before honoring God).

      Please state the date and time of the program, so we can listen in. I am sure he said “…and Judas objected as well,” not “You are a Judas.”

      1. Judas

        I asked when the popes started dressing in opulent clothing, he gave an answer (weak) and when he hung up he said, “Now that was the voice of Judas.” I state this fact under the pain of sin if I am lying.

    2. JoAnna

      First, can you tell me if you have stopped beating your wife?

      First, it needs to be investigated as to if Jimmy Akin actually DID call someone “Judas.” I agree with David that it is unlikely. He (Akin) was probably saying, “People who often have this attitude are similar to Judas” (in terms of the story of the woman with the expensive oil who poured it on Jesus’ feet). This is VERY different than calling someone “Judas.”

  15. Jordan

    Firstly, those who think that the liturgical garments of our priests and bishops look like “silly medieval costumes” should think a little further about the religion to which they belong. From another point of view, the whole of Catholicism could be considered “silly Medieval beliefs”, and our convictions about the Eucharist and its ritual, “silly, outdated gestures”. Tradition, history and continuity in our architecture, ritual, prayers and [therefore] liturgical clothing, are an important aspect of maintaing a faith that, while living contemporarily and to contemporary needs, has been passed down from generation to generation, starting at its wellspring during the time of Jesus.

    Secondly, I think many people look at this question with a very selective mind. How come no one is ever asking that the Taj Mahal, the Statue of Liberty, a Buddhist templed, be melted down, or any other number of items from our common cultural and historical patrimony in order to make bread? Catholicism is not a museum, but it is a *living patrimony* and should be regarded as such.

    Thirdly, people ignore that the bishop or priest is not being decorated. Christ is being decorated. The priest stands in his place. The riches of the liturgy are not private wealth that a select few individually enjoy (like our gated communities, ipads and HD Tv’s). The wealth and splendour of the Church truly belongs to all, and has its real place in communal celebrations where the rich and poor stand side by side. No one can walk freely into a rich man’s mansion, stare at his expensive art and share dinner with him. In the Church, however, we can do this: Christ is the rich man, it is His house and he invites us all to come in.

    This isn’t to say we should be building up the splendour of the Church at the expense of the poor. Only that, in principle, there is no contradiction between the Church’s ideal towards beauty and her service to the poor.

    1. Judas

      If the pope and cardinals are representing Jesus, why has not Jesus appeared adorned in 2 foot high hats? I’ll tell you why, because Jesus spoke of being humble and meek. this is an attitude that should carry over in attire and attitude.

  16. Adelia Hitt

    I heard this dialogue.The vestments are only worn for liturgical purposes, both as an honor, and to show they are at service. The priest wears the clerical collar not only to identify himself but to show he is available to administer the sacraments. The woman entering the convent has her hair shorn and many brothers receive the tonsure to show they are at service to the religious community and many to the public as well. The pope is the vicar of Christ on this earth. As such he is our shepherd and our servant. His vestments reflect both the honor and identification of who he is as well as his availability of service. In heaven we will all receive a crown that we will cast at his feet.

    1. Judas

      If the pope is the Vicar of Christ, which i agree, why doesn’t he dress humbly as our Lord and savior did?

  17. David H.

    Bottom line: Jesus wore religious garb, so did the Apostles. All jewish men more religious garb (i.e. tassles). Game over.

    1. Patrick Madrid

      True, I agree with you. But even so, the mere fact of there being distinctive religious garb per se wasn’t “Judas’s” point, as I understood it. He was complaining about the fanciness of such garb.

      1. Judas

        You got that one right.

  18. Martin

    Dear Patrick,
    Thank you for your fine work as an apologist.

    When I listen to your patient and thoughtful responses, I realize my own shortcomings as an apologist. Pray that the Lord give me patience and presence of mind.

    Your caller does not understand that, as in the Old Testament, we are still offering a sacrifice which is now greater than the blood of goats and sheep. The OT sacrifices have been replaced by the Body and Blood of Christ.

    The new sacrifice is more than a worthy reason to wear beautiful and symbolic liturgical garb in worship.

    I would argue that the liturgical garb used by some Protestant Doctors of Divinity is actually for self-aggrandizement rather than liturgical homage to God. I believe that Protestant robes are based on university garb from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The robe denotes the academic and pastoral rank of the wearer within the Protestant congregations. To my knowledge, it has no other function.

    Outside of the mainline Protestant congregations where such robes are used, you have the other end of the spectrum: ministers in sharp suits and ties. I’ve seen some wear what I consider ostentatious outfits which appear to be custom made. In what way do these ministers serve God by wearing attention-getting suits?


    1. Patrick Madrid

      Thanks, Martin. You make some very good points.

    2. Judas

      I went to Walsh College here in Canton when Mother Teresa visited. When the president of the college in his red robes and huge gold medallion hanging from his neck stood next to the humble Mother the contrast was amazing. Dear Mother Teresa with only two habits to her name did more for the Catholic Church than all the ornately adorned presidents of every Catholic college in the world.

  19. Andy

    I would agree with Blake Helgoth’s comment about St. Dominic, but I might update it – in a parish we used to live in there was an old in years, and wisdom it appears Franciscan, who always wore his simple robe. He was able to talk to my oldest daughter who was having doubts because he was not dressed like the other priests (her words). He sat down on the bench, had a piece of pizza with her and helped work through her questions and doubts, to the extent that when she noticed some sauce on his robes she offered to get some water and he said “These is my party and work clothes, I want to spend time with you.” I am not sure that the fancy vestments and what not would have reached the way this simple man in his simple brown robe did. Just my thoughts for what they are worth.

  20. Debi

    You started out being very kind to the caller and I was impressed by your calm, reasoned responses. Nevertheless, dabbling in concerns over the height of a mitre seemed silly and mean-spirited. I remember feeling troubled when I heard the original broadcast too…maybe you were getting frustrated over the precise nature of the caller’s issue?

    1. Patrick Madrid

      Frustrated? No. Rather, as I explained earlier (kindly read down), I was seeking to employ the technique of reductio ad absurdum. It is a way of showing the error of a proposition by drawing out the untenable logical implications entailed in a specious argument. That this made you feel “troubled” surprises me.

      1. Teri

        Hi Patrick,
        I understand what Debi means and I think I can explain why. The caller sounded elderly and more than a little confused. You obviously had him cornered but I wondered if you could’ve been a bit more kind in leading him to the truth. Maybe you caught more in his tone than I did. I just heard the trembly voice…

      2. Judas

        It seems to me that your position is the untenable one. Give me one reference from the new Testament that popes and cardinals should dress like worldly Kings and princes. I thought the Church was supposed to be not of this world. If a person from another planet observed all the riches men on earth and had to decide which was the richest, the pope would probably win.

  21. Donna

    Dear Patrick:
    I rarely have the opportunity to listen to your radio apologetics, but I did hear this one. I thought that you were thorough and charitable. First of all, I find it unlikely that Jimmy Akin would have called him “Judas”. Secondly, the biblical references which were given only served to bolster your point. You employed the Socratic method to clarify the caller’s rather absurd qualifications for garb of the hierarchy (ie., mitre height).
    As for Rolf, well, his vitriolic arguments bespeak his own negative presentiments. The Church has often been accused of being too lavish and not helping the poor, when, in reality, we serve more poor than any institution on the planet. Furthermore, Catholic art, chalices, churches, etc. are all to give glory to God, not for self-aggrandizement.
    Does anyone think that the President (ANY president) should dress meagerly to give to the poor and unemployed (or pay down the debt). How much money are the Church’s naysayers actually giving to help the poor themselves? I’m just sayin’…

    1. Brock Smith

      Donna, I have ofter heard the quote, “we serve more poor than any institution on the planet.” It seems like an incomplete answer.

      Just because and organization is best at something, it does not mean it cannot improve. I’m not sure it’s necessarily relevant here, but it’s something to keep in mind.

      Also, I’ve seen amazing numbers for charitable giving by different organizations and the Catholic Church really does stand out. It’s also one of the largest organizations on earth though. 1/6 of all people on the earth are Catholic. The comparison I never see is per capita contributions to the general welfare of the poor and sick. I have tried to find it in the past, but have failed.

      In Charity,

    2. Judas

      “Donna says: Does anyone think that the President (ANY president) should dress meagerly to give to the poor and unemployed (or pay down the debt). How much money are the Church’s naysayers actually giving to help the poor themselves? I’m just sayin’…”

      What do you think the American people would say if Obama appeared tomorrow dressed in a two foot high hat and wearing golden robes?

  22. Samson

    Did he not quote from the NIV Bible? Sounds protestant to me.

    1. Judas

      I am not a Protestant, but a devout Catholic. Because someone questions the ornate apparel of the pope and Cardinals does not make on a Protestant or anti-Catholic.

  23. Mark Pace


    I was talking with a fundamentalist today, and he made a comment that I thought was rather striking. He said that since Eve is called the “Mother of the Living” in the old testament Genesis 3:20, that she is the Mother of us all, even Jesus. how would you respond to this?

    God Bless

    1. Brock Smith

      Mr. Madrid, do the think the Venerable Mary of Agreda’s mystical vision in the City of God provides any insight to this question?

      She says that Adam is identical in body to Christ and Eve is identical in body to Mary.

      Mark, I think that’s an accurate statement. We as Catholics refer to Mary as the New Eve. Christ did so when he called her “Woman” Jn 2:4. How disrespectful to call your mother that! Or is it? Mary doesn’t seem to think so. Christ is actually referring to her symbolically. He equates Mary to the New Eve. Eve was mother to all living, but she took the fruit of the tree and consumed it. Mary is the New Eve who takes the fruit of her womb and places it back on the tree(cross). When Eve takes the fruit, she is not honoring Adam who’s sole responsibility at that point is to guard the garden. From what? The devil, whom he watches tempt Eve. Surely, Eve knew Adam’s responsibility. Mary knows it’s Christ’s responsibility to save mankind–she probably even knows the exact miracle he is to perform. When given an opportunity to perform a miracle that blesses a sacrament, Mary encourages and supports Jesus in his role as the New Adam. Mary fulfills her role as the spiritual mother to all of those that are in Christ. Mary is true mother to those of the Church–she is the first to have her original sin removed. Eve is mother to us all–as we are all decended from her because she is the first woman of the earth.

      Just some random parallels…kinda rambled.

    2. Ismael

      Well biologically, or allegorically (depends on how you look on the Bible story of Adam and Eve) Eve is indeed our ‘mother’. And indeed this goes for the human nature of Christ as well.

      Jesus on the other hand had also a real mother, Mary and, if we take Jesus’ words on the Cross to the ‘beloved disciple’ ” Here’s your mother” as accepting Mary as our mother as well, especially spiritually, her motherhood is even more important than Eve’s motherhood.

      Also Mary is the New Eve… the ‘mother of the living in Christ’ , one could say, because her obbedience is an answer to Eve’s disobbedience, just as Jesus’ obbedience is the reparation of Adam disobbedience which caused the fall of human nature.

  24. Martha

    Fantastic! I even learned a few things. To have such quick, well thought-out and organized (not to mention Biblically based) answers is a sign of your capability at apologetics. You were more than amiable, especially as the caller was obviously not open mindedly looking for answers, as he wouldn’t acknowledge the truth in your responses at all. Kudos! Keep up the good work!

    1. Judas

      “Martha says:
      July 23, 2011 at 11:31 am
      Fantastic! I even learned a few things. To have such quick, well thought-out and organized (not to mention Biblically based) answers is a sign of your capability at apologetics. You were more than amiable, especially as the caller was obviously not open mindedly looking for answers, as he wouldn’t acknowledge the truth in your responses at all. Kudos! Keep up the good work!”

      I did not see a logical answer to my question. God commanded many things in the Old Covenant that are not carried over into the New, the rich attire of the pope is just one.

  25. Judas

    What would the pope say if tomorrow, Mother Angelica appeared on TV dressed in golden robes and a two foot high golden hat?

    1. Jeff

      Can I ask why this is so important to you, Judas?

      1. Judas

        Judas said, “What would the pope say if tomorrow, Mother Angelica appeared on TV dressed in golden robes and a two foot high golden hat?”

        July 29, 2011 at 7:56 pm
        Jeff asked, “Can I ask why this is so important to you, Judas?”

        I ask because of the disparity between the opulent golden attire of the popes and cardinals and the humble dress of our saintly nuns. I believe the pope would forbid the nuns to dress in costly garments, reserving such for themselves.

      2. Jeff

        Is this a Franciscan notion? Papal vestments have been part of the office since almost to the very beginning, sir.

        I do know the Franciscans and Dominicans are for a more simplistic life… is that what you mean?

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