Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Kook Wore a Cape

Here's something you don't often see from the progressive end of Catholicism: a gay man so dangerous he never, ever, should've been admitted to a seminary.

That's Ryan Erickson -- the Tribal Chief Poster Nut who killed two and hung himself but cried routinely at the Consecration, called young women "devils" and liked to hide behind "rich and mysterious" ritual. (Ring a bell with anyone?)

Well, here's further proof that The Erickson Show was never about Jesus, it was all about him, because that's what Tribal Chiefs do.

You'll note that he's wearing a cassock with a shoulder cape. Some of you may love that on a priest, but it is a red flag of the strong, repressed, univocal (i.e. boot them out now) clerical closet if ever there were one. It screams "Oh, this one really thinks something of herself" -- from about 15 miles away.

I'd much rather listen to Antony and the Johnsons.

I once saw a priest wearing a cassock with a shoulder cape. If it weren't his mother's funeral (and the cape was probably a solace), I would've ripped it off myself. It's nothing against capes, I'm just defending their honor -- a shoulder cape represents jurisdiction and is proper to bishops -- and mozzette for rectors of Cathedrals and minor Basilicas. Extant those, just because you think you're fabulous doesn't mean you get to assume jurisdictional elements of vesture.

Erickson's supporters still see him as a "faithful priest," which is basically as sensical as giving communion to a dog. But they still hate Vatican II. Par for the course.

And, by the way, rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.... Ciao and cheers to all.

PHOTO: Minneapolis Star-Tribune



Blogger sacerdoteaustralis said...

Dear Rocco,
Your analysis of people's motivation and inner life by comment on their form of dress is an interesting one! You may be right in some cases but in other and most cases your dwelling on this tends to indicate you are displaying your own pathology. There is an anger and even hatred that seems to arise when you get onto these topics. Maybe you have a bad experience that has coloured your reaction but I would caution you not to be so judgemental.
Regarding the wearing of the shoulder cape on the cassock, it is a point of pride that priests of England and Ireland were afforded the privilige of wearing same by Pope Pius IX at the time of the restoration of the hierarchy. The use of the caped soutane has been the sign of a priest( rather than a seminarian) in England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand since that time. It has an historical link in these countries that would not apply in the USA. All the best.

11/10/05 23:05  
Blogger patrick said...

Thanks for the information. A priest I know owns a caped soutane, but has never worn it AFAIK, (is not crazy, btw), so I was sure that it was legit in some contexts. I've only seen Anglo-Catholic priests actually wear them, including two rectors of mine. That makes sense: AC clergy in the US ape AC clergy in England, who in turn ape English RC clergy in the 19th century.

If I see a priest with a shoulder cape, I'll assume that he has satorial flair...and not that he is a wacked-out would-be murderer. On the other hand, if he wears shoulder capes, cries during the consecration, and sends out weird e-mails about the evils of masturbation and one's enemies, all of that put together shows that the priest is a pathological narcissist.

Now that I think about it, however, both of my caped-wearing AC clerics had their share of problems. One was a brilliant and discreetly gay priest who, very sadly, later went totally bonkers and was forced to retire. The other one, heterosexual and married, was morbidly obese, lazy, self-centered and always seemed to have horrible hangovers. Reportedly, he has been ordained to the Catholic priesthood outside the United States.


11/10/05 23:34  
Blogger christianspectator said...

Thought you were going???????

12/10/05 04:15  
Blogger Fr. John said...

I suspect that in every profession, there are some who are drawn to it because they like the signs and the symbols of the profession - whether that is law, medicine, government, or clergy (and yes, that is more than a profession, I know).

But the church just has more "stuff" by way of clothing and instruments used in the "work." And forwhatever reason these attract the unstable - not only the unstable - but they definitely attract the unstable. One crazy person whom I once knew had an entire Tridentine altar set up, ready for Mass, in the spare room of his apartment. No amount of logic would convince him that he was not really a priest 'in his heart.'

Unfortunately, those who consider themselves on the conservative end of things sometimes get caught up in the smells and bells. And some will try to defend the most absurd usages based on the fact that it appears odd, curious, affected, and therefore must be "traditional." The real test in discernment, seminary, and priestly life is whether the man seems to have a spirituality that will sustain him, a capacity for truly human interactions, and a willingness to do the work. That is particularly important when the work in question is away from the crowd, from the applause, and is solitary, tedious, or is likely to cause opposition.

12/10/05 06:51  
Blogger Barry Manilow said...


Rocco's just coming back once in a while to keep a nosy busybody bastard like you occupied and out of everyone else's business (as if!).

12/10/05 08:26  
Blogger christianspectator said...

Barry Manilow (as if!!!) although your nose is obviously quite long...

I think it is HE who should keep his nose out of the Vatican's business and stop making things look bad for the Pope with his ridiculous and exaggerated stories of the past few months.

It needs someone to monitor him - Bastard!!

12/10/05 08:55  
Blogger justplaincath said...

Can we disagree without being disagreeable?

Can we delete all leave the name-calling before we post?

12/10/05 09:17  
Blogger Barry Manilow said...


panties and lace surplice ALL in a twist this morning, eh luv?

with friends like you the Vatican doesn't need enemies

12/10/05 09:25  
Blogger christianspectator said...


I agree, but this ridiculous Barry Manilow!!! creature is being obnoxious.

Barry Manilow,

If you're such a friend of Rocco's advise him to stop posting untrue stories all over the internet just because they happen to SATISFY HIS imagination when in fact they bear no resemblance to the truth at all...

He's certainly not doing the Pope any favours.

12/10/05 09:38  
Blogger justplaincath said...


Thanks. If you agree with me, why not be the standard-bearer of civility? Just because someone is, in your view, "obnoxious", is no reason for you to imitate the behavior you deplore.

12/10/05 09:49  
Blogger christianspectator said...


Reason being; people like these ONLY UNDERSTAND this language......

Sorry, I just don't like 'fake' journalists who make up stories to satisfy gossip on the internet - especially when it's about Pope Benedict who probably dosen't have a clue what is being said.

12/10/05 09:57  
Blogger Clayton said...


I hesitate to post a comment, as my comments on this site seem to mysteriously disappear, perhaps because they are a bit too penetrating.

I simply want to say that I knew Fr. Ryan in his seminary days, as he attended the same seminary as I. Whatever he did or did not do, I am not sure what benefit comes from depicting him as a monster, other than it satisfies your hunger to stick it to conservatives.

Whatever your motives, you might consider that Ryan was still a human person -- someone's son, someone's friend, someone's pastor.

Remember the words of St. Maximilian Kolbe: only love is creative.

12/10/05 10:08  
Blogger Clayton said...

Rumors of your demise are under-reported. "Stories" like this are a case in point.

12/10/05 10:11  
Blogger christianspectator said...

While pretending to critizise homosexuals, Rocco makes snidey and untrue little remarks about the Pope's secretary Georg Ganswein, just because he (Rocco) does not like Pope Benedict's choice of secretary!

Rocco, I've got you sussed!!!

12/10/05 10:16  
Blogger Rocco Palmo said...

Funny, Clayton -- I thought your ilk were all about "truth" and that preaching the truth without compromise is love. Down with the gay sems, the heterodox, those who use the church to further personal agendas, etc. But I guess if it's truth-telling involving a kooky conservative, divisive, dangerous, history of sex abuse, who used the church for a personal agenda is involved, then those conventions don't apply and we have to "look at the human person."

Turning your coat, eh? I don't see this kind of understanding from you toward Cardinal Mahony.

Only love is creative, indeed. Now if that were a consistent standard from the cliques out there, maybe we could get somewhere.

And if I waited for that, I'd be waiting forever.

12/10/05 10:25  
Blogger christianspectator said...

So Rocco baby; who would you like to see as the Pope's Private Secretary eh?

Just didn't work out for you did it.......Good job!

12/10/05 10:34  
Blogger chattr said...

It's bad netiquette to hotlink photos, Rocco.

Also, it can backfire, if for example, the site with the original image decides to put a different one in its place.

12/10/05 10:37  
Blogger Belloc said...

Ah, after three days in the grave, Rocco returns.

I'm glad to see your sojourn among the nether regions hasn't changed you. Were your friends warm and cozy down there?

And what a delightful paragraph about clerical narcissicism. Tell me, what exactly do you call someone who publishes his obituary and sits back to enjoy the panegyric?

Some pathology!

12/10/05 11:44  
Blogger Paul Goings said...

a shoulder cape represents jurisdiction and is proper to bishops

A little knowledge, as they say...

12/10/05 13:48  
Blogger Clayton said...

The Erickson Show was never about Jesus, it was all about him

This is truth-telling? Please. You never even met the man.

I'm not asserting that Fr. Ryan did not do the things he was accused of. I am simply pointing out that he remains a human being.

What do you mean by "my ilk"? Generalizations are not always helpful.

In regard to Cardinal Mahony, I maintain that I have treated him as a human being... Frodo, addicts, etc. are not characters devoid of humanity. I never called the Cardinal a "kook."

12/10/05 16:17  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

It looks as if Erickson is wearing lipstick along with the Batman cape.

13/10/05 12:06  
Blogger justplaincath said...

Jimmy Mac--

The lipstick is the real problem. (I thought I was imagining it, since no one else brought it up.)
As a female, I was much more affronted by that than I was by the cape.

Rocco, you missed the entire point of the picture. 'Tain't the cape; 'tis the lipstick. And the Christmas tree tells us that it's not Halloween.

14/10/05 08:12  

Post a Comment

<< Home