Lies, Damned Lies, and Quotations

03/26/2013 Comments (89)

Emily Stimpson, bless her, recently swatted down a story I've heard my whole life.  Stimpson says:

[T]he election of our wonderful new Holy Father, Pope Francis, has triggered an avalanche of people talking about the first Francis and his injunction to, “Preach the Gospel always. If necessary, use words.”

But see, here’s the thing. St. Francis never said that. We don’t know who did. But it wasn’t Francis. It’s not in any of his known writings. It’s not in any of his companions’ writings. It’s not in anyone’s writings about Francis for the first 800 or so years after his death.

Someone invented the quote and put it into poor St. Francis’ mouth. And ever since then, people...READ MORE

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Peanuuuuuts to You!

03/22/2013 Comments (21)

Look, I know it's a Friday in Lent, but this has been kind of a rough week for all of us,  whether we're happy about our  new pope or not -- and I predict that next week is going to be even more harrowing.  I keep having the "oh no, I forgot to write my term paper, and it's due in forty minutes!" dream, and  the "well, I guess I'll try and cram this huge, thick, scummy contact lens  into my eyeball" dream, and the "uh oh, there's a flood coming, but I bet I can drive fast enough to get ahead of -- noooooooooo, I can't!" dream.  And my eye is twitching again.

Happily, it's Chico Marx's birthday, and that's all the excuse I need to post this:


and this


and this



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03/21/2013 Comments (127)

Like many people, I was immensely moved when I saw the photos of Pope Francis washing the feet of single moms and recovering drug addicts.  

I hope I'm alone, though, when I confess that the sensation I felt was not purely salutary -- although I didn't realize it until this morning.  The first news headline I read said, "Pope Francis to Celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at Juvenile Prison


"How wonderful," I thought.  "He's really going to put his example of service right in front of our faces, over and over again until we get it."  In some dark part of my heart a tiny spark of glee crackled, and I thought, "Hoo hoo, this is going to tick off all the right people!"  I didn't really...READ MORE

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I Can't Help It

03/15/2013 Comments (86)

NPR did a pretty even-handed job yesterday of discussing the complaints that Pope Francis, when he was Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina, was somehow involved in atrocities during the Dirty War, or that he didn't  do enough.  Host Audie Cornish says (emphasis mine): 

Some human rights activists argue that his silence hurt investigations in the Dirty War's aftermath, while other accounts reveal that the Pope took major risks to save the persecuted.

A few things that NPR didn't mention:  One activist who has "argued" (not proven) that his silence hurt investigation is one Horacio Verbitsky, author of the book El Silencio.  Verbistky was a leftist guerrilla commander who shot people,...READ MORE

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03/14/2013 Comments (186)

I!  Am so!  Excited!  I know that information about Pope Francis (squeee!) is pouring in from all sides, so here are just a few of the things that got my attention and have won my heart entirely:

1.  His very apparent genuine concern for the poor and helpless seems to include a special tenderness for women.  Look at him as Archbishop washing the feet of this new mother in a maternity hospital:


(photo source)

and here, from a recent AP profile, is what he has said about baptizing the children of single moms:


“In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don’t baptize the children of single mothers because they weren’t conceived in the sanctity of marriage,”...READ MORE

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03/12/2013 Comments (67)

Catholic Memes has a nice summation of the stupid things the secular media just can't stop saying:



This feeding frenzy of factoids, irrelevancies, red herrings, and bogus trivia is just going to accelerate. These are people who don't know anything about the Church, don't want to know anything about the Church, and, most importantly, are willing to believe just about anything about the Church. 

All right, it's fun to track this kind of thing, why not take it up a notch?  It's getting easier and easier to fake people out.  I mean, if "Friends of Hamas" grew legs because it was too good to check, then why not . . .

Amigos de Torquemada.  A super elite cabal open only to men...READ MORE

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Clearing Up a Few Things

03/08/2013 Comments (131)

It's that time of year again, when radical feminists and conservative homemakers come together in solidarity.   Whatever else our differences might be, this is the season when women, old and young, rich and poor, of all political and ideological stripes can acknowledge our unity and sisterhood as we say, "Oh my gosh, lady, put a damn shirt on!"  Yes, it's time for the Sports Illustrated Forgot To Wear a Swimsuit Issue.

Well, sisterhood is nice. But can we get something really straight here?  It's true that I don't want to expose my children to this kind of thing.  I don't want my sons learning that it's a-ok to ogle half-naked strangers (yes, even consenting, adult naked strangers) like...READ MORE

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03/07/2013 Comments (52)


I don't know the source of this picture. The caption some Facebook photo collector added says "this is what six decades of love looks like."  Many of the commenters responded, "Aww, how cute," or "So romantic!"  That is not what came to my mind.

I once was in the back of the church with some baby, and so I witnessed a couple who looked to be in their sixth decade of marriage as they hobbled in late.  The old man was impeccably dressed as only a very old man can be, with a starched shirt collar standing up straighter than he could himself, his neck shrunken away so that his tie was knotted mostly around emptiness.  All his power was concentrated on getting up the granite steps of...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs daily at Aleteia. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and ten children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.