Friday, April 01, 2011

New papal encyclical - Rectificare Errata!

After months of speculation that the pope was about to release a new document or encyclical dealing with tightening up on abuses in the Church, the Benedict XVI stunned the world today by releasing the hard-hitting encyclical Rectificare Errata ("To Rectify Errors"), which takes the form of a lengthy condemnation of several of today's most abominable errors in matters of faith and liturgical practice. I am frankly shocked that the modern papacy, so used to ambiguous, wishy-washy statement and endless dialogue, was capable of making such bold, declarative statements. But, once again this pontiff has surprised me.

The document addresses errors concerning creation, biblical interpretation, salvation, the necessity of entrance into the Church, liturgical abuse, communion in the hand, and it even speaks about Medjugorje and finally calls for the consecration of Russia to our Lady!

Click here to read Benedict XVI's new and revolutionary encyclical, Rectificare Errata.

In the meantime, let us offer up Te Deum's to God for providing us with such a glorious and bold pontiff!

Related story: ZENIT says JP2 beatification "postponed indefinitely."


Andre said...

Not cool.

hilaron said...

You had me for a while! I was so happy! Let us pray that this will actually happen!

chiapet said...

Well, phooey. For a moment I thought they were really gonna stop the beatification. I shoulda read the whole story.

The 'Encyclical' made me wonder for a bit, but I caught on there. It got laid on a bit too thick. :p

Happy AFD.

Anonymous said...

BAD JOKE! Making fun of the Pope?
Your credibility just took a dive!

Boniface said...

Who's making fun of the pope? The encyclical doesn't "make fun" of anybody, nor does the fake ZENIT page. Neither Benedict XVI nor JPII are "made fun" of - the fake ZENIT page says JPII's canonization was called off, but he was not "made fun" just asserted that the miracle was questioned (as it should be) and that the new postulator "lost" the paperwork. That's not "making fun"
of the pope.

And by the way, I don't particularly care about credibility.

Anonymous said...

I think the articles on your site are excellent. Then you decide to post the fake cancellation of Pope John Paul's Beatification. I might be missing something but this, in no way, is funny.

I'm glad you don't care about your credibility because it just took a nose dive which is really sad because you've done so much good.

IMO - this April Fool's Joke was a BIG MISTAKE!!!!!

Andy said...

It was an April Fools joke! Everybody lighten up a bit.

Anthony Keiser said...

I've been had. Called my friends disappointed at the end there.

Christine said...

Aaargh... You got me.

Boniface said...


Well, I am very sorry I offended you. I don't believe I insulted anybody or made fun of anybody in particular...I'm glad you like the articles, but I try to have some fun now and then too...I would not have posted this link if I did not honestly think JPII's beatification should be canceled, which I do. Making him into a saint is a big mistake. But please try to lighten up - fooling people on April 1st is a long and hallowed tradition, and this is a day in which normally responsible people are permitted a bit of leeway to yank people's chains. I'm sorry if I yanked yours too hard.

Andy said...

"JPII's beatification should be canceled"


Anonymous said...

Best April Fool's ever. The links were really well done lol. I saw the Zenit one too.

A_fool said...

Wow. That must have cost you a lot of time to write all of this together. Personally, I liked the piece on the beatification better.

Anyway, good job! It takes someone to know how things are in order to better lie about them.

To all haters: You probably go through life very gloomy. If it was not for your faith which probably gives you all the self-esteem you have, I do not want to know what your life would be like.

If you learned anything today it should be: Do not believe everything you read!!! Not even if you think the information comes to you from a trusted source.

But hey, I get it: "Sucks to be [fooled]."

Anonymous said...

I the one hand, I don't want to get on your back about April Fool's Day, and I certainly thought the encyclical was funny. But on the other hand, I think the JPII matter was rather close to the line. I mean, I enjoy reading your blog, and I very much appreciate your strong voice in favor of traditional Catholic teaching and practice, which of course does require some degree of boldness in ruffling feathers and lack of fear of stepping on people's toes. But while jokes and arguments both may offend people, jokes--especially those that carry the edge of mockery--lack the sincerity of arguments and as such can wound on a deeper personal level.

I certainly don't think that you in any way meant to hurt anyone's feelings with this, but I'm a bit dismayed at what seems to be a nonchalant reaction in the comments to the fact that some people were not just "fooled", but really were hurt. Remember, when we're talking about things like the pope, even if you disagreed with JPII and think he is unworthy of canonization, he still was the official spiritual father for many people. I don't think you should change your opinions about him on that account, but I do hope that some reflection upon that will make you realize how this post, while certainly not intended as such, was nevertheless in bad taste.

I realize that the argument I'm forwarding here is by no means air tight, and yes, I know you might fall back on the old, geez, can't you take a joke on April Fool's which I'd say, of course I can. But please do consider that people are upset by this not so much because they disagree with your arguments against JPII, but because this "joke" comes off more as though you called someone up and, while holding back snickers, told them that their mother died...APRIL FOOLS, ha ha ha, no she's really fine, seriously, stop crying, can't you take a joke?

Seán said...

I wouldn't worry about the people who couldn't have a good time even if their salvation depended on it. Athanasius got me first, but an all around good prank. I was had for about a minute, then I wondered about the tiny urls. Cheers to you and whoever did all the work (was it you?).

Boniface said...


Thank you for the comments. I did realize this might be offensive to some...although, I don't see how saying that JP2's beatification would be postponed is akin to saying somebody's mother (or spiritual father?) died.

I don't think people should be so personally invested in JP2 that they would be devastated to find out that his beatification had simply been postponed.

Thanks again for your comments, which I respect.

Christine said...

The joke *most definitely* cannot be compared to calling someone up and saying his mother died. I'm amazed anyone could even draw such an analogy. The objections to JPII's beatification have nothing to do with his personal sanctity--which is not in question--but to the legacy of his pontificate.

Joe Heschmeyer said...

Both jokes: brilliant, and ridiculously elaborate.

peet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy in VA said...

You had me. I was crying tears of joy -- admittedly, I am a hormonal pregnant woman, but still. Ah, well. It was wonderful while it lasted. LOL

Boniface said...


Thanks, yes, this was me. If you look on Athanasius' site, you will see that that was posted by me. I claim all responsibility for the idea and the content, although the web design itself was done by another blogger, whom I'm not sure if he wants his identity revealed or not.

awatkins909 said...

Haw, haw, haw..

Kathy Berken said...

I'm still trying to figure out your site. Is it supposed to be satirical, or questioning Catholicism? I loved the beatification piece for AFT. I'm all for satire. We need people to be the church's court jesters. You're right, lighten up, people.

Boniface said...


My site is dedicated to defending Catholicism, but also to questioning different types of thought within Catholicism that I believe are damaging to the integrity of the faith. Sometimes I use, no, this is not a site "questioning" Catholicism per se, but one challenging Catholics to go deeper into their Tradition.

Pennycake said...

HAHA! "Sucks to be them." - LOLL!! Thanks for the hilarious, meticulously-crafted pages! =D my friend showed me the magnificent encyclical after I posted

Unknown said...

Well done, sir, well done!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You got me bad. I was so happy.

Now I am sad. :(

Anonymous said...

Boniface and Christine--I think Boniface makes a very good overarching point about not being so invested in anyone's canonization, let alone JPII's, so as to be devastated by obstacles to it. But that goes for any of our potential attachments to things in this world...which is precisely why I think it can be compared to something as serious as the death of a loved one.

Now, I'm guessing you know your mothers and love them, but what I'm trying to say is that the kind of emotional attachment that you have to them and rightly consider more important than many things, might for some people take a different form (e.g., people who never knew their parents or had abusive parents and/or people who came into the fullness of the Catholic faith by being inspired by the words of JPII).

I mean, I do think that when you both say that you find it hard to see the comparison, that you're essentially trying to say in good faith that there are more important things to concern one's spiritual and emotional life with than the cause for canonization of JPII. And with this I would generally agree.

But what I'm perhaps more concerned with is the response of the pure assertion with no argument, "oh, it's clearly not like that at all", since that (albeit inadvertently) communicates the notion that your hierarchical system of emotional attachment is so much better than someone else's that whenever their feelings are hurt by something that you don't consider worthy of having one's feelings hurt by, then you're justified in bluntly rejecting their pain as worthless without understanding it or trying through initial consolation to persuade them to what you believe is the truth.

I just want to reiterate two important points: 1) I do not think that Boniface and Christine intended to sound haughty or callously dismissive in denying the comparison between emotional pain over the JPII bit and over the death of a loved one.

But 2) my specific problem with this has to do with the fact that the offense given and taken is over what was meant as a joke, and so in spite of good intentions, since the object being defended is satire/mockery, any defense of it (however well-intentioned) comes off as mockery. Saying "you shouldn't be upset because I fooled you about, and made fun of, something you care deeply about because I think you shouldn't care deeply about" is very different from saying "you shouldn't be upset because I'm arguing against, and therefore taking seriously, something you care deeply about."

Boniface said...


Thank you for the excellent insight into the nature of satire...I can agree with you on most everything you said, and of course I don't mean to say that other people's ways of relating to things emotionally are not as "good" or as important as mine. Of course, if we were to think too hard about people possibly being upset by our satire, then no satire would ever get made, because every possible object of satire is inevitably dear to somebody. Bless you.

Christine said...

Anonymous--If Boniface had joked, "Cardinal Ratzinger died from a heart attack today! Ha--April Fool's!" then yes, that would be more in line with your analogy.

But he joked about a canonization being delayed. On its face, it's nothing like saying someone's mother has died.

I'm sorry you can't see the obviousness of that.

I also think it's a good rule of life not to take oneself too seriously.

Ben G said...

Man I laughed for so long that I started crying.

Great work.

Anonymous said...

Christine--I see your point, and I agree that "on its face" the two things are not at all the same.

But my argument is not about what something is like "on its face", but about sensitivity to other people's emotional investments which may not correspond to your own and may even run contrary. I claim that it is by no means "obvious" what these may be and how deeply these may run, such that when someone tells us that we have offended him, while we should not merely for that reason abandon our position, neither should we abruptly dismiss his offense categorically as some kind of character defect, like lack of humor or taking oneself too seriously.

Now, Boniface made a great point about how my argument seems to lead to a world where satire cannot be written. I must say that I think he's right about that, and so I don't really know what to say in response, since I don't think that satire is inherently uncharitable or otherwise necessarily sinful. But at the same time, I have personally witnessed the harmful effects of satire which could have been reasonably defended as just poking fun. Honestly, I don't have a good answer for where to draw the line.

I do, however, hope that this discussion has at least drawn some attention to the moral complexities involved in humor, which is clearly a good thing, but which like all good things, can inadvertently be turned into an occasion for sin.