"Báisteach Corcra, Báisteach Corcra..."
Writing on the "purple honours" in today's Independent, John Cooney's having almost as much fun with the news as the honorees:
POPE Benedict XVI has bestowed a swish of purple on the Dublin clergy in order to restore pomp and bring back a sense of deference in the dwindling church pews.Among those drinking from the fountain are the archdiocesan vicar-general Lorcan O'Brien and chief chaplain to the Irish Defence Forces Eoin Thynne, who've been gifted with the full soaking as Prelates of Honour, and two other Drumcondra curialists dancing in the "purple drizzle" as Chaplains of His Holiness -- Paul Tighe, head of the archdiocesan office of Public Affairs and Paul Callan, Archbishop Martin's private secretary.
Eleven priests of the Dublin archdiocese are now entitled to wear purple vestments traditionally associated with the Roman Court, and they are to be saluted by the faithful as 'Monsignore', or Monsignors.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin yesterday announced the nomination by Pope Benedict of four Prelates of Honour and ten Chaplains to His Holiness, each bearing the title Monsignor.
The Archbishop‘s announcement amounts to the unveiling of a Papal Honours List, or the award of Papal Oscars. It derives from the days in Roman protocol when the Pope was surrounded by his papal court.
Oh, and congrats on this side of the Pond to the newly-drizzled Msgr Patrick Dempsey of the archdiocese of Washington. (Lest anyone be confused: no, "Dr McDreamy" has not been given a papal honor... though stranger things have happened in this business. This Pat Dempsey is private secretary to Cardinal William Wakefield Baum and the legendary Msgr Gillen.)
As we wish our own here in the River City, may they never be made to wear alb-and-stole when choir dress'll do.