Pope Jackass (some instructive humor)

Pope ByersHah! As soon as you saw that title to this post, admit it, you thought I was referring to Pope Francis, whom I love to pieces. Instead, it seems there is a movement in the Church to elect a new Pontiff, for which action, I contend, the world and the Church is not now prepared, not until Pope Benedict clarifies what it is that his Archbishop Secretary said a while back about his sharing the Petrine Ministry. It would not do to have three Popes, two of whom are, you know…

Elizdelphi has, nevertheless, taken matters into her own hands, and has gone as far as to begin a design on, of all things, my own papal coat of of arms. Hah! It being that I’m a simple priest in the tiniest parish in North America, I’m hoping that people will not take this as a serious campaign and condemn me as a mortal sinner for such shenanigans as these. My detractors don’t seem to realize that I’ve done much worse in crucifying the Son of the Living God with my sin. But let’s get on with some art appreciation!

I note the triple crown regarding prophet (the unvarnished glorious truth), priest (the only Priest being Jesus) and king (the latter involving fatherly governance) has returned. She regrets not finding a way immediately to add Saint Michael. I’m thinking that the white background can be filled with vertically placed feathers representing the Holy Spirit and the messengers sent to instruct us in that fiery truth of love.

The motto is wonderful. You will see these words together throughout the Scriptures, and my dad liked to repeat them to me a lot: “Goodness and kindness, George, goodness and kindness.”

Elizdelphi says that the blue is water in honor of Lourdes where I was a chaplain for a couple of years at my request. Perhaps she knows that Lourdes is connected with Our Lady of Mount Carmel with which I have a long and far reaching history, throwing me, time and again, in front of those at the top of the Order. The Immaculate Conception appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel to Saint Bernadette. The water can refer to the bitter sea after which our Lady is named, Our Lady of Sorrows. That follows from the clear vision she had as the Immaculate Conception, seeing clearly what we needed when seeing her Son crucified in front of her. She perfectly saw our horror and could perfectly intercede for us. I’m going to say that the blue is the rain coming down upon Elijah’s seven fold prayer on Mount Carmel after the great sacrifice and conversion of the people. The rain cloud came up out of the sea to end the 3 1/2 years drought of punishment. I say that the water is flowing down Mount Carmel. It’s in the form of Mount Carmel, no?

She says that the Star of David represents Mary. O.K. In that case, the Blessed Sacrament is the seventh point of that star, found in the womb of the star as it were. The donkey, kneeling before Jesus, makes up the three stars of the Discalced Carmelite Order, and  the donkey, you have to know, has for many thousands of years been the symbol of the Jewish people. By the way, I’m Jewish! Christ is the Head of the Body and we the members, as Saint Paul says. Mary is our mother.

There is only a couple of changes I would make with the donkey, and that’s to ditch the bridle, to change the color to gray, and to add the cross which is borne by all palestinian donkeys.

For those of you new to such “don’t follow the rules of heraldry” papal coats of arms, perhaps a reminder is needed that this donkey has been resurrected from the dead. You should remember that Corbinian’s bear on the coat of arms of Benedict XVI was actually a donkey, that is, fulfilling the role of the donkey after he killed the donkey. Benedict called himself that “donkey”. See the outrageously wonderful 2005 article of Archbishop Raymond Burke about the newly elected Pope Donkey, Benedict XVI. And then, to those of you who are fuming mad and flinging the rest of us into hell in all the mortal sin you suppose I and Ratzinger and Burke (who may well be the next Roman Pontiff) are in for speaking of the papacy being filled with the likes of a jackass, to you I say, lighten up. Have some Christian mirth. Rejoice! The Lord is good and kind. Again, I will say it: Rejoice!

donkey blessed sacrament

And, just to say it:

(1) Donkeys are intelligent, only doing what they understand, which really is smart. They are not “stubborn as a mule.” Mules are stubborn as mules as they have a reason to be belligerent.

(2) Donkeys can sing: their braying is their praying, as it were.

(3) Donkeys are always with the Holy Family, carrying Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem, warming Jesus with donkey-breathing at the crib, carrying the Holy Family down to Egypt and then all the way back to Nazareth, carrying Jesus into Jerusalem. I’m happy to be a donkey!

P.S. If I place the donkey in adoration before Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, what with salvation coming from the Jews, I am not thereby bringing the Jews to Auschwitz. I’m Jewish. That’s me and any Christian and any Jew who would like to share this greatest love the Jews have given to the entire human race. Jesus, the Jew, is the best, as is His mom.

And… and… if Chesterton still has anything to say about it, behold:

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.


Filed under Humor, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis

22 responses to “Pope Jackass (some instructive humor)

  1. Liz

    Oh how I love this! Elizadelphi, it’s so wonderful!!

  2. monicaharris58

    Good job, elizdelphi and Your Holiness.

  3. sanfelipe007

    It most certainly is wonderful. Well done Elizabeth.

  4. Well done, the river on your papal coat of arms also looks like it might symbolize the mountains of NC. Now wouldn’t that be just the thing? Father George, the M.O.M. and holy papa! Christian mirth is fun,

  5. Nancyv

    Christian mirth, Catholic history, art appreciation and classic poetry – you’ve got the whole package Father!

  6. elizdelphi

    I had to wait a week to come back since I am being good (sort of) and controlling myself about the internet during the week (somewhat).

    Yes, my purpose was totally in lighthearted fun and Fr George was brave to post this, since I want him not to be embarrassed over it! Thanks everyone for enjoying my drawing. The donkey is not really wearing a bridle, he is just drawn messy in ink and I totally agree it should be a gray donkey with a cross, but I thought of that a moment too late (I did try to layer some gray over the brown but you can’t really tell, as it is he looks like he could be a mule). It was drawn quite rapidly late at night. I definitely did think of Corbinian’s bear. I love the Carmelite connection and although the pattern of the “water” was based off Pope Benedict’s coat of arms it also does follow the pattern of the Carmelite crest, including the star, which I think was subconsciously why I felt so certain there should be a star there, because I love Carmel very much. Now I wonder should there be a cross on top of the water which would make it decidedly “Discalced Carmelite” looking (since the cross on “Mount Carmel” is what distinguishes the Discalced crest from the Order of Carmel’s crest)? And it goes without saying as being too obvious that the Star of David is (besides representing Mary who is after all the precise locus of Our Lord’s ultimate coming to the help of His People Israel) an allusion to Fr George being Jewish.

    If you want me to do a version that is a priestly coat of arms that would include your suggestions (the donkey and feathers for the Holy Spirit and the angels for instance–should the feathers be firey red colored?) Fr George then the donkey could be done correctly. But I am not sure I have ever seen a religious order priest with a coat of arms. Anyway it doesn’t seem like a religious order priest would have a galero on his coat of arms (not that he would have a triple tiara either unless he was, you know, the Pope)?

    • Father George David Byers

      Yes, that would be great. Yes, a gallery, black, one tassel each side. Yes, a cross! I got an absolute no about the feathers. I was told however, that everything else was just fine according to the rules.

  7. elizdelphi

    Okay, I will see what I can do Father, with a black galero with one tassel, and a cross on “Mount Carmel” and a cross across the donkey’s shoulders. :-)

  8. elizdelphi

    One tassel on each side, you know what I mean… like you said.

    • Father George David Byers

      Here are some examples for the gallero and tassels:


      I wonder if, outrageously, the cross could be the Cross of Jerusalem, the same used by the Custody of the Holy Land. While that mixes religious orders, I am as close to the Franciscans as the OCD crowd…

      • Father George David Byers

        And I’m sure I’ll get shot down for this, but what if instead of the keys, there was a flaming fiery sword (which has been wielded by the likes of the Cherubim in Genesis, by Saint Michael and by Elijah, and then also, crossing this behind the coat of arms, a feather quill pen?

  9. elizdelphi

    I know you understand that my version will not look like it was made by Matthew Alderman but that’s good reference! I will see what it looks like with a Jerusalem Cross, which at any rate is far from nonsensical since the original Carmelites were under the Patriarch of Jerusalem (who wrote their ancient Rule, the Rule of St Albert [of Jerusalem]), besides the association of that with the Franciscans’ Custody of the Holy Land. Though it might look as much or more like a reference to the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, as to the Franciscans.

    Franciscan = three knots in the galero cord? Or is that bad heraldry? :-) It already has Brother Donkey, to me that is already rather strongly Franciscan.

    • Father George David Byers

      Already has the donkey… Of course. So, what about the cross on the saint Benedict medal?

  10. monicaharris58

    Yeah that’s really good, Fr.

  11. elizdelphi

    About the sword and the quill pen, I will have to do some experimenting!

    And, no worries I will get the donkey’s cross right. :-)

  12. elizdelphi

    I kind of like the idea of the St Benedict Medal cross, can it be without the letters or does it need to have the letters?

  13. elizdelphi

    By the way, probably one reason why I made the donkey brown is that when I was younger and lived with my parents, I owned a thorougbred horse that was bay (brown with black legs, mane and tail, and I taught him to bow exactly like that.

    • Father George David Byers

      Wow. So very cool. Wow. Your nickname must be Clare!

      • Father George David Byers

        Galatians 5:22… An example of where goodness and kindness appear together in the Scriptures.

  14. sanfelipe007

    This is all great, Elizabeth and Father, I cannot wait to see the new coat of arms. Speaking of Galatians:

    I went to Confession and Mass(vigil) today, and I think the inside of every confessional door (where the absolved can read it upon exiting) should be inscribed with the following : “For freedom* Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”

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