Monday, February 20, 2006

A Holiday For Hangin'

For our readers abroad, today is President's Day in the US. All the schools and banks are closed, etc. and it's a good day to just sit back, have an Amstel and watch the Winter Olympics. Except, of course, if you're me, in which case you're working.

President's Day is the consolidated holiday to mark the birthdays of George Washington (22 Feb) and Abraham Lincoln (12 Feb). Once upon a time, they were both observed, but as Columbus Day and MLK (that's Martin Luther King) became Federal holidays, the 1st and 16th presidents had to share.

However, isn't it interesting that President's Day falls within the same week as the closest thing we have to Pope's Day -- i.e. the feast of the Chair of Peter this Wednesday?

I wonder if any parishes, Catholic schools, etc. have caught onto this.... If not, keep it in your hat for next year. It's a very good teaching moment, even though the original purpose of the feast of the Chair of Peter was the first salvo of ultramontanism. (And just as the Italians banned meat on Fridays so they could keep feasting on fish, while the rest of Europe wasn't as geographically blessed.)

One of the most important lessons of this time is how those unaware of the ecclesiastical mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them. If we amped-up a greater awareness of this church's history within the church, I'd put down money that we'd be much better off.