The Cost of Looking Like an Apostle or “The Vicar of Christ on Earth!”

(Or Tackling the Greek and Vatican Myths of the AUGEAN STABLES and DRESSING like an APOSTLE!)

by Jeannie Guzman:

Caveat:  This post will undoubtedly offend some people.  If you are offended, maybe you’ll be offended for the right reasons, and in that event, “Join the Club!”  If you are offended just because you actually believe that a true, anointed Apostle of Jesus Christ’s would have dressed like a monkey or a clown in brocade, I can’t help it.  I’ll pray for you!  Jeannie

Have you ever wondered WHERE your money is going to feed the poor, when you drop it into the collection plate?  Would you be so generous if you knew that part of it would go toward buying a wardrobe for your bishop that is actually a step down from a men’s polyester paint-suit of the 60’s? In one of the Indiana Jones’ Movies, I think that it was “Temple of Doom,” his side-kick, Marion, acquired a pet money, wearing a little red, brocade vest, which reminded me of the vestments, which you are about to view.  My question is this: Why would anyone want to contribute to making their bishop look like an ecclesiastical monkey, who should be following an organ grinder and holding a tin cup?

I just followed a link over to a website recommended by Dr. Martin Leahy, and I found these utterly unspeakably, breathtakingly stupid, examples of vestments worn by our High-hatted Clergy, who seemingly have a lot of your big bucks to throw away……… like $10’s of thousands of dollars or “milione of Lira!”  I want to give Dr. Martin Leahy the credit for making us aware of these fashion faux pas that our bishops and cardinals are wearing, as well as Richard Sipe, who posted the actual pictures on his website.  Thank you, Martin and Richard!

The first page displays several, somewhat ostentatious-looking pictures of Archbishop Burke, decked out in his Vatican Finest!  In some of these modeling opps, he looks like he is falling asleep, in others he looks somewhat………… how should I describe it?  Maybe mentally constipated……. you know the look! It’s hardly the “Runway Look,” even though I would love to see a fashion parade, presented by Archbishop Burke and his cronies.  Maybe they can have Heidi Klum as the presenter or commentator. That should draw a crowd of “vestment junkies!” No transparent vestments, please!

Maybe, in the pictures that you’re about to see, it’s the heavy red vestments that make Bishop Burke look like what the Canadians might call, “a little balmy?”  The only thing, that he isn’t wearing, is a Hawaiian Lei or an Hibiscus behind his ear. I don’t know, it’s just one of my empirical, female observations. but I know if I owned that much red brocade, I’d be wearing a Hawaiian Lei or the biggest orchid that I could find, and I’d wear it everywhere……… even to the grocery store! I’d be too embarrassed though to wear it to Church!  I wouldn’t want the other women, or a priest, to feel jealous.

Probably the only place I wouldn’t wear red brocade is up to the mountains when I am taking photos of elk.  Some elk, like bulls, don’t like the color red.  If Cardinal Burke ever looses his cushy job as a cardinal, maybe he could apply for a job at the “Plaza de Toros” in Madrid, as a Matador! He definitely has the wardrobe for it, but he’ll need to lose a little weight, first!   If the Vatican were really smart, (and I haven’t heard too many people accuse her of being that………… at least recently), She’d probably send him a one-way ticket to Spain, just to get rid of him!  Or, maybe he should just stay at the Vatican and clean out the Pope’s “Augean Stables” in his rather extravagant attire!   **** (The metaphor of the Augean Stables, should be in everyone’s metaphorical vocabulary, particularly as it applies to the Vatican.  Please see my Lesson in Vatican and Greek Mythology, below!

For pictures of Archbishop Burke, which will be indelibly burned into your memory, simply click on each picture to expand it, so you can see a larger picture of the waste of your tithes and offerings!  (The links below aren’t working when you click on them. You will need to paste them into your browser.  Where is that novena to St. “Izzy” de Seville, the Patron Saint of the Internet, when I need it?)

Then, if your sense of fashion, spirituality and propriety aren’t totally assaulted, follow the next link to “The Cost of Looking Good in the Magic Kingdom!”  I suggest that you get a “barf bag” first, before you click on the next link!  All ecclesiastical ensembles are color coordinated.  This includes little silk socks, which used to be necessary when churches didn’t have central heating systems.  I noticed, the only thing that is missing from these color-coordinated ensembles are little, silk jock straps, so a couple of pieces of their unused anatomy, wouldn’t freeze off, but I’m sure that thoughtful members of their congregations probably knitted or crocheted them for their beloved pastors to keep them comfortable during snowy months.

I am envious that I can’t write the level of satire, exhibited in “The Cost of Looking Good in the Magic Kingdom”.  It says things that not even I would dare say!  What is so ridiculous is that they are all true.  One doesn’t even need to stretch reality as we know it, even though after I saw the pictures I thought, “Men, who dress like this, have to be living in a parallel universe!”  Even though the writing looks like satire, and sounds like satire, when one reads it, one becomes all too aware that the person writing it has mastered the “Art of Observation!”  Later, when one views the “fabulous” pictures, one becomes cognizant that no single individual has the creative ability to come up with this body of Ecclesiastical Fashion! It has to be a team effort!

Sorry, but I need to digress for a moment.  Another thought from a parallel universe just smacked me in the head! The vestments shown, on the above referred to website, are something that one would expect to find on the website, “Regretsy.”  Their byline is, “Where DIY meets WTF!”  You might want to check it out, and then ask them to include examples of this anachronistic, Ecclesiastical attire on their website!  BTW, does anyone know what “WTF” means? Enjoy the pics, and let me know what you think of them.  Also, check out, “”

FASHION UPDATE: If Gammarelli’s Vestment Boutique doesn’t have little, silk, color coordinated, jock straps, a crafter on will probably be able to come up with something, comfortably measured to fit, at a bargain price, no less!  (Wouldn’t it be funny if a little grandma on put Gammarelli’s out of business!) Also, for an additional processing and handling fee, “Pseudo Supernatural Anointing,” can be included with every order, to go along with one’s vestments.

Again, if a prelate wants a less expensive route, one can probably pick up a Vatican-like version of “supernatural anointing” on, made by a sweet, precious little grandma, who needs the money more than the Vatican, anyway.  It may not be the real, bona fide thing, but it’s seldom used and just there for show, anyway!  Remember, Regretsy’s theme is “Where DIY meets WTF!”  (Whatever that means, maybe it’s new, abbreviated Latin. I don’t know and I’m not even going to speculate.) I’m sure that anything purchased on Regretsy or ebay will be as legitimate as what the Vatican calls Her version of “the anointing,” anyway.  The alternative kind of “anointing” will probably be as valid as Vatican Plenary Indulgences!  (Maybe I should post my faux versions of “Anointing,” Plenary Indulgences and Degrees in Canon Law on Regretsy, and pick up a little, additional spending money!)

Since the pictures were taken, Archbishop Burke has been elevated to the exalted rank of Cardinal.  Evidently, he’ll need to expand his wretched wardrobe, since he’ll probably aspire to being named, “Pope” in the near future.  As such, he’ll need to make his fashion statement, now! May I suggest that he start shopping for ermine, immediately, as there will probably be a run on it, when other cardinals catch on to the fact that the Pope Benny isn’t going to be around forever!  As the saying goes, “The clothes make the man,” and I am stretching the word, “man” into the realms of its broadest interpretation…….. maybe even into another dimension of time and space as we know it!  Besides, what a pope without ermine, anyway?  It would be as ridiculous as a pope without color coordinated, silk jock straps! (The last question was rhetorical, but feel free to answer it in the “comment section,” below!)

*** Augean Stables: Today’s lesson in Greek and Vatican Mythology

Conceptually, this is a very important series of metaphors as it relates to the Vatican.  (I will allow you to come to your own interpretation of these metaphors, since I wouldn’t want any of my prejudices to spill over into yours!

The mythical hero, Hercules, was given several tasks before he could win the hand of his love. The fifth task was cleaning out the stables of King Augeus.  Now this task was daunting, not only because the stench was indescribabe, but because of the sheer weight of the dung was more than any human, not wearing the latest designer, heavy, red-brocade vestments, could tackle, without their claimed “pseudo supernatural anointing.”  Also, Pope Augeus’ stables had never been “cleaned out!” (Was that “Pope Augeus” thing an unintended slip or what?) You see, King Augeus’ cattle were immortal. Much like members of the Curia with their “creeping infallibility,” King Augeus’ cattle produced an abnormally, immense amount of…….. how does one say it in Latin, ………….. “Torus Excrementum,” commonly known in English as “BS!”  Now, this Latin phrase is another example of why, strictly for Environmental purposes, ALL correspondence, mandates, encyclicals, Vatican coverups, etc…., coming out of the Vatican should be written in English!  It kills four times as many trees to say something in Latin. If the Church really wants to communicate with us, “Say it in English!” More people on this planet understand English than Latin, anyway!

Well, the above concludes my lesson in Greek and Vatican Mythology for today, and it uses the extent of my Latin.  I’m hoping that you will have learned something that you will have the pleasure of passing on to others, who are unfamiliar with Vatican ways, as well as the prophetic, invaluable insight of the Greeks, to explain the machinations of the Vatican, centuries later!


4 thoughts on “The Cost of Looking Like an Apostle or “The Vicar of Christ on Earth!”

  1. Fabulous piece of writing.

    In the Institutions in Ireland we had to know by heart everything the priest wore, and it was beaten and burnt into our brains: The amice, the alb, the cincture, the maniple, the stole and the chasuble.

    • I’m glad that you enjoyed it! I had a lot of fun writing it. If Chaput is made a Cardinal when the Pope comes to Philly, I wouldn’t be surprised if hundreds of thousands of dollars in new vestments were ordered for all of the attendees! My bet is that he will be, because the Church is going to need something big to distract the Pew-potatoes, who refuse to believe that the Hierarchy would do any wrong. Time will tell! Jeannie

    • If you are in Ireland, please feel free to circulate any of my blogs. You have my complete permission to do so. Even though I’m in the States, I’ve written extensively in comments on IrishCentral as “Intercessor!” If you are aware of any blog sites in Ireland, where my blogs might get some attention, please let me know. Thanks. Jeannie

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