M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Sunday, August 16, 2009  

I Said What?

Every once in a while, you see a news story about someone doing something dumb or ill-advised, and after you get done laughing, maybe part of you thinks, "Well, that could have been me."

That was not the case with the story I'm about to share with you. There are many reasons I will never find myself in this situation.

For one, I am not a Catholic archbishop and am highly unlikely to ever become one, barring some pretty cataclysmic life changes.

For another, I am not in the habit of having to defuse parishioners who bring priest-abuse allegations. I wish I could say that is one of the reasons I am not a Catholic archbishop, but this turned out to be just an unexpected bonus of my non-archbishopric.

Thirdly, I admit that the last eighth or so of the year 2004 passed in something of a blur for me, but I am confident that I never said to anyone, "Go to hell, bitch," because I've never said that to anyone at all.

And I am even more confident that if I had said it, dealing with an angry parishioner, as an archbishop of the Catholic Church, I would have REMEMBERED IT.

What part of it does he not remember? Is he in the habit of saying " go to hell, bitch" on a regular basis? If so. I might give him a pass. I fully admit that I could certainly never remember all the times in the past five years that I've used phrases like "It's nice to meet you" or "Good morning" or "No bedtime stories unless you eat your dinner."

Or maybe it's the particular bitch he was instructing to go to hell. He must encounter scores of them every day, doing the Lord's work. How can he be expected to remember everyone he speaks to, hears confession from, counsels, blesses, or, in this case, damns?

Or perhaps it's the exact choice of words that slipped his mind. He doesn't want to say for certain he said "Go to hell, bitch" when he may have said something entirely different, like "Fuck off, cow" or "Eat a dick, slag." You don't want to commit to an exact phrase.

Whatever the case, what disappointing behavior for a spiritual leader. You'd expect an archbishop to be, at worst, arch. Which is why archbishop is the only rank I would want to hold. Unfortunately, you don't get to skip ahead to that. I checked. You know what they told me when I called and asked?

"Go to hell, bitch." Apparently it's some kind of liturgical phrase or something.

posted by M. Giant 8:35 PM 5 comments


"Go to hell, bitch." Apparently it's some kind of liturgical phrase or something."

HA! Made my day.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 17, 2009 at 5:54 AM  

Also laughing like an idiot. I have so many questions though!! Was this during an exorcism? Might be ok. Did he pronounce it be-yotch? Might be ok if he wasn't a middle aged white guy in a hat. Do we know if this alleged woman was particularly unfriendly? Might be ok in that instance, as I use that phrase all the time (though I've never been mistaken for a clergyman - Jesus, yes, but not a clergyman). Was this phrase quoted from some some lyric? Might be ok in that instance, also.

Clearly, I don't see why you're so upset by this. You seem to jump RIGHT to the "bad" conclusion when there are a lot of other perfectly acceptable instances where this might have occurred.

By Blogger Chao, at August 17, 2009 at 7:01 AM  

To be semi-fair to the guy, it was 1am outside his house by a woman who he had a restraining order against.

Still shouldn't have said it, still should have admitted saying it (particularly in court), still doesn't excuse it.

But I can't say I'd have said anything better at that time. Then again, I'm also not a representative of the Church, probably for good reason.

By Anonymous lsn, at August 17, 2009 at 5:06 PM  

I should also point out that the way the Victorian Diocese has been handling these kind of cases has certainly been unhelpful as well.

The woman stalking the archbishop didn't come out of nowhere, it came out of the entire culture of moving priests on, telling them about current police investigations (http://tinyurl.com/lr5w2c), and basically getting people so angry that they only way they felt they could get redress was to keep harassing or go public.

None of which excuses the Archbishop. I just wish it had been George Pell she was stalking.

By Anonymous lsn, at August 17, 2009 at 5:19 PM  

Used to read your blog every day, but life got busy, and now it's been a few years. So I pop in today and I am rewarded with "non-archbishopric"! Awesome! Reminds me of Fritz Leiber's referral to a seven eyed magi as "the septinocular one." If Trash ever needed to hear it, you do have fans, and they are loyal, and appreciative.

By Anonymous Donald O. Spragg, at August 17, 2009 at 6:07 PM  

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