Turf battles between Swiss Guard and Vatican police

Turf battles between Swiss Guard and Vatican police

The Swiss Guard and the Vatican police are tussling for preeminence at the Vatican. The Swiss Guard are celebrating their 500th anniversary this year. They also have a new German Pope at a time when most of the Guard is German speaking. Perhaps they are finding this a good time to expand their role to overcome the blow to morale and prestige that began when a corporal in the Guard murdered the commandant and the commandant’s wife in 1998.

Whatever the reason, the Guard wants to expand to 130 from its current level of 110 blood? I just know it is. Don’t tell me there’s no blood! I’m sure I see it.”

Now the priest had to apologize at Mass, the diocese is investigating and the local health department is screening kids for communicable diseases. Give me a break. Welcome to the Oprah-ized, hypochondriac, hair-trigger generation.

  • Maybe, but the dividing line between what you remember from your childhood and I remember from mine as well is AIDS.  If I had a child with AIDS, I might look to the Catholic school as the safest place to send the child since theoretically the Catholics would be better motivated by charity to accept him.

    Parents may be overreacting, but a Knight-Ridder report a few years ago attempted to demonstrate how many priests have AIDS.  Recent scandals have demonstrated how many priests have abused Catholic school children.  It wouldn’t take an exaggerated imagination to put these two factors together and come up with the fear factor.

    I’m not saying it’s legitimate.  But I am saying that parents, right now, are super-sensitive where their kids and the Catholic Church are concerned.

  • I’m sorry, but that would be an exaggerated concern. But it would be right in line with all the other hyper-exaggerated concerns that have nothing to do with the Church, which is still a sign of the times.

    When I was a kid, I was also able to ride my bike without a helmet and sit in the back cargo area of the station wagon without a seat belt. I’m not saying I would let my kids do that today, but it’s not a revelation to say that most Americans have a bad grasp of relative risks, e.g. shark attacks, SARS, et al.

  • You are right , Dom.  That’s exactly what I said when i read the story on the FRONT PAGE, no less, of our local paper, the Austin American-Statesman.  C’mon people, get your worries prioritized, for the love of Pete.

  • Does anyone remember when we used to refer to “a pinprick” as a metaphor for something trivial and nonconsequential?

  • In an atmosphere where an aspirin may not be given to a child in school without parental permission and where Catholics have doubts about their priests, it was not a smart move.

    That said, I wonder why the slap by the bishop at Confirmation was dropped?  It was supposed to remind us that we might have to be willing to die for our faith—guess that that is too grim to bring up on such a “happy” occasion.

  • Really, the whole scenario sounds bizarre.  Sticking pins into people is not consistent with the sacredness of Holy Mass.

  • This priest is a little insensitive to the idiocies of the common culture. Probably praying too much to watch TV.

  • Really, really silly thing to do. 

    And, Dom, quite a response by you!

    Dom, I cannot wait until you have kids:

    “Hey Father, use this railroad spike on my kid!  I want him to really know what it felt like.  Ahhhh, now that’s my boy!  Ahhhh, it’s only a 1/2 pint of blood, you won’t die.”

  • In’t think it was that big a deal,” Michalka said. “I can see the point now. I’ll see to it that it doesn’t happen again.”

    We’ve all done something well intentioned, it ended up being a bad idea, and we slapped ourselves in the head with a “DUH!!!”  and went on.

    and he should be allowed to apologize for the slip in judgement and get on with his pastoral ministry and trying to make the scriptures real to people.. a valiant goal.

    At 78, he grew up with no hint of AIDS on the horizon, he’s probably not in the middle of the active generation, and thus it’s not likely at the top of his list of day-to-day concerns. But now it’s been pointed out to him. So I hope that the media and people will just let it go. 

    I’ll pray for a quick resolution so all can get back to living the faith..

  • Let’s revisit this after you have kids, Dom. 

    I’m sure the Father, being from a different era, never realized the potential harm. 

    But blood borne diseases like hepatitis, HIV, etc. are not trivial and as a nurse who had to take immune globulin shots as a result of an accidental needle stick with a used hypodermic, I can honestly tell you I don’t think the health dept (or whoever) is overplaying the risk.

  • Zita:  Just to let you know, when we lived in Italy we visited your Patron Saint in Lucca.  Totally uncorrupt, except for some water damage.

  • Just to clear the name of our good city, this wasn’t an Austin priest. Fr. Michalka’s parish is in Corn Hill, outside Jarrell. Corn Hill was until recently a ghost town, the entire population having left around 1920. It is the Austin diocese, but I doubt any Austin priest would have tried anything quite so harebrained.

  • Sharon:  It IS Austin, so just “own up” to it.

    Priest belong to a Diocese, and has sworn obedience to the Bishop. If the church is in the Austin Diocese, then its an Austin Church.

    Look out, he could be reassigned as your pastor tomorrow.