"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
The world's largest rodent, the South American capybara is classified by the Vatican as a fish.
When the Spanish missionaries found the capybara in Brazil during the 16th century, they wrote to the Pope to ask, "There's an animal here that's scaly but also hairy, and that spends most of its time in the water but occasionally comes on land. Can we classify it as a fish, so the indigenous people can continue to eat it during Lent?" Not having a clear description of the animal (and not wanting the petitioners to starve), the Pope agreed and declared it to be a fish, and it is still classified as such.
This interesting bit of trivia (particularly useful to know if you have a hankering for a capybara steak on a Friday in Lent) is offered to well-meaning correspondents who see in the Vatican decision to retain Cardinal Law's services the Divine Hand of Christ or the fulfillment of Fatima Prophecy. Or who see in the Pope's endorsement of the Neocatechumenal Way proof that The Way is other than the secretive and seemingly cult-like movement it is.
If it looks like a sect, and quacks like a sect: For an eye-opening account of the Neocatechumenal Way, read this excerpted chapter from The Pope's Armada: Unlocking the Secrets of Mysterious and Powerful New Sects in the Church, by former Focolare member Gordon Urquhart.