5 More Things No One Knows Are Ridiculously Catholic, But Should

A mild follow-up to the unbelievably spicy 5 Things No One Knows Are Ridiculously Catholic, But Should. I’m beginning to develop the belief that you could give me just about anything at all and I could link it to the Holy Roman Catholic Church. And yes, that’s a combox challenge. Up, up and away then:

1. Chief Sitting Bull

Somewhere in the bowels of a stoner apparel store, on the clothing rack next to the incense sticks, between a Rage Against the Machine T-Shirt and “Legalize It” hoodie, you’re bound to find a shirt with this guy on it…

…usually plastered along with a great quote like “The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it.” And thus he is claimed as a free-thinking, proto-liberal, accepting and tolerating sort of fellow who surely would’ve been down with abortion, gay marriage and all the rest. But it’s a conveniently cropped picture. Here’s the real deal:

Can you spot the difference? Hint: It’s the blatant rocking of a God-man dying on a cross around his neck. The best evidence points to Chief Sitting Bull as a baptized Catholic, though he was never fully received into the Church on account of having two wives and being unable to choose between the two. (You know how it is.) Now credit must go where credit is due: The Jesuit missionary Father De Smet was the man largely responsible for introducing Chief Sitting Bull to the Faith, one of the few whiteys — it seems — to behave noticeably unlike a douchebag to the Indians. Of course, all of this means that we need more Hipster T-shirt Re-designs!

2. Crossing Your Fingers

Unsurprisingly, it’s just a quick sign of the cross. Originally, it had nothing to do with luck and everything to do with casting out evil from your presence — Catholics believe that the symbol of the cross is a powerful weapon against Satan and all his works. We’re just old school that way. Of course, if you’re a real old-school Catholic you cross your forefinger and your thumb, but the beauty of the thing is this — what has devolved into superstition for the world can be restored to spiritual reality by the believer. Why not cross your fingers as a quick prayer in times of temptation?

3. Music

Okay, just squidding, the Church didn’t invent music, it’s a supernatural human creation. I’d argue that we invented the most beautiful form of music, but whatever…

YouTube Preview Image

The point here is that the Church is largely responsible for the development of musical notation, the music we read today. Obviously, this was very nice of them, because it meant that fantastic music can be spread and learnt, far and wide, and that pieces don’t die with their composers. The man responsible? Guido of Arezzo (heehee, Guido,) a Benedictine monk regarded as the inventor of modern musical notation. He gave us do, re, mi, deriving the pitches from a hymn to John the Baptist:

Ut queant laxis resonāre fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes.

You’re all welcome. And now for something completely different:

4. Mark Wahlberg

I’m just gonna go ahead and admit the mancrush. There. Now I have license to this picture:

Reason #4927540 to become Catholic -- You are immediately granted the forearms of Thor.

Mark Wahlberg is a great guy. Former crack-addict, prisoner, Calvin Klein model, rapper, current actor and father — you know, the basics. Now he’s a great Catholic, praying daily, attending Mass, and frequenting confession. And he probably still thinks it’s Christmas. (It is.) But what I particularly like about Mark Wahlberg is that he goes to his priest as to what movie roles he should accept, and does not take a role without his go-ahead. So you have this guy…

…to thank for the fact that this never happened:

which annoyed a lot of people. But I guess that this means we also have Rev. James Flavin to thank for this:

Which, if you haven’t seen, you absolutely must, for it is fantastic.

5. The Bible

Thought I’d throw this one in. Matt Warner, who blogs over at Fallible Blogma, has the lowdown.

“It is also undisputed, historical fact that the Catholic Church set and confirmed the New Testament Canon throughout history and definitively at the end of the 4th century. They are the ones who decided which early Christian writings were “Inspired” and therefore included in the canon of the Bible and which writings were not (indeed there were many that were not).

Again, there were lots of writings out there that may have been “true.” But they didn’t make it into the Canon just for being true…they were instead left out because the Church determined them to not be “Inspired.” It was the leaders of the Catholic Church that decided all of this. They are the ones who discerned which writings truly were “The Word of God.”

So the authority of the Biblical canon – and therefore, indirectly, the Bible itself – rests on the authority of the Catholic Church. Either the Catholic Church had the authority and capacity to do this or they didn’t. We can see through history and reason that they did have this authority.Therefore, I believe the Bible is the Inspired Word of God.”

Oh the sweetness, it burns. Thanks for reading, Merry Christmas, and leave any things no one knows are ridiculously Catholic, but certainly should, below.

The Blessings of Secularism
The Difference Between a Renaming and a Baptism
The BadCatholic Drinking Game
No, Christianity's Not Eurocentric (But You Kind Of Are)
  • Therese_carmella

    Of all the Catholic actors to choose from, you thought Mark Wahlberg topped them all!? Poor taste, poor taste. ;) But everything else was good. Love your blog!

    • http://traditionalchristianity.wordpress.com/ Laceagate

      LOL…I was expecting this criticism :P However, Mark Wahlberg is the best example because he’s made mistakes just like all the rest of us. Besides, at least he bothers to acknowledge that he consults with his priest. I don’t agree with his involvement with Entourage, but heck we all can’t be perfect.

      Nonetheless, great post :)

      • Therese_carmella

        We can’t judge his heart. But the roles he takes are a testimony (or not a testimony to his faith), and he needs to be held accountable. It says on his wikipedia page, he attends daily mass. C’mon. By Hollywood standards, he’s a great Catholic, though.

        • Therese_carmella

          Sometimes I wish actors didn’t tell us their religion so we wouldn’t jump to conclusions (a fault of mine.)

        • http://twitter.com/espressobean21 Sarah Martinez

          Heck, if he’s going to daily Mass, he’s a great Catholic by anyone’s standards.

          • Therese_carmella

            But continues to take on roles contrary to his Faith?

          • http://traditionalchristianity.wordpress.com/ Laceagate

            Yes, I can see what you are saying but in the end he does have to be accountable for his actions to his priest, for one. And who knows, did his reversion happen after he made poor role choices, or after? I would rather not be scrupulous.

      • BillyHW

        No, we can’t all be perfect, but is “ridiculously Catholic” quite the right description for Mark Wahlberg? How ’bout, “just barely”.

  • http://twitter.com/Katerintree Kate

    I’ve never really read your blog before. After this entry (and this one: http://bit.ly/u8DDta) It’s clear I now have to start reading on the reg. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bridget-Gamboni/619089224 Bridget Gamboni

    Jimmy Fallon-though I’m not sure if he’s still practicing, wanted to be a priest when he was younger. See interview:

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeni.wilmot Jeni Wilmot

      the audio on that npr interview is hilarious

  • Jay E.

    Don’t think you’ve done pretzels, invented by Catholic monks (like most everything else it seems). Do the Lord of the Rings. “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work” in the words of the author himself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeni.wilmot Jeni Wilmot

      Oh yes! great suggestions.

  • Katy

    Keep these coming!

  • Friar Chuck

    You hint at it in the Wahlberg piece, but there’s the twelve days of Christmas, since we’re right in the midst of it.

  • Fisherman

    Those bracelets the dumb, popular beautiful-daughters-of-Jesus at my school are wearing. Seriously, the only people who I see wearing those things don’t even know who they’re pictures of. http://www.giftscatholic.com/saint-bracelets.html

    • Malakh

      Oh no… they turned into a fashion thing too! I see sooo many people wearing those I was happy that Saints are THAT famous :/

      • t.

        Pretty sure it’s because Kristen Stewart was wearing one in Twilight…

  • Fisherman
    • http://www.facebook.com/jeni.wilmot Jeni Wilmot

      That came to my mind too. I think it was the crossing fingers that reminded me.

  • Mswift5

    i thought it was matthew warner over at fallible blogma?

    • Adam Slide

      Ha I noticed that too. I think he still had Marky-Mark on his mind..

    • Marc Barnes

      hahah eeerrrr yeaah

  • DW

    Alec Guinness, aka Obi-Wan Kenobi!

    • Thibaud

      YES ! Definitely !

  • http://Conservamome.blogspot.com ConservamomE


  • BillyHW

    First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes … oh wait, never mind. The order doesn’t matter if you’ve got a tattoo of the rosary.

    • Anonymous

      Care to unpack that a little?

  • Trevor

    The Blues Brothers! The whole movie is about Jake and Elwood trying to save the Catholic home where they grew up.

    • lajmh

      But as “the penguin” says, the way they get the money is not exactly Christian like.

  • Marisa Ramos

    Coffee. Inventd by monks. They found their goats eating it and the goats would get really energized. So they harvested the fruit of the plant, ground it and boiles it in water. Thus we get the delicious, life giving substance we call coffee.

    • Faith

      This is the most beautiful comment I’ve ever read.

      • http://twitter.com/espressobean21 Sarah Martinez

        Sorry to burst y’all’s bubble, coffee was first discovered by a 9th century Islamic shepherd in Ethiopia (he could have been a Muslim monk), was first traded by the Arabs. It was introduced to Europeans in the 17th century, where it was initially *condemned* by Catholic clergy both for its stimulating properties, but mostly because of its connection to Islam. Because Muslims don’t drink alcohol, European Christians believed coffee was “invented by satan” to be a substitute, and because wine was used in the Mass, coffee being its opposite, a sign of the anti-Christ. Things got so bad, Pope Clement VIII had to intervene.

        Now, this is where we can say coffee has positive Catholic connections. The Pope tasted the drink for himself and officially sanctioned the drink as a Christian drink, hastening the import of coffee into the Western world.

        (Look, I know my coffee… ;) )

        • Anonymous

          Somehow I doubt that part about them saying it was invented by Satan, since to assert that the devil can create anything is heresy.

          More likely it was simply the mundane explanation that they didn’t want to drink the drink of their sworn enemies. Especially given how many Islamic commentators used the “Oh coffee’s great, we’re so much better than Christians with their wine” thing—if any Christian did castigate coffee in contrast with wine, it was in reaction to Muslims doing it first.

          • Sarah Martinez

            Um. I don’t know if you realize how superstitious people were back then, but I’ll give you a hint: very. I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to think they hadn’t reached the point where they had all the right heresies straight. After all, this was around the time they accused Galileo of heresy for saying Earth was not the center of the universe.

            I’m sure it could have been a matter of language and a poor description. And I’m sure you’re probably right that it was just an excuse. But that is the excuse, in those words, that they gave. There are multiple sources to back this up.

            I know you must be having a really good time correcting everyone’s history; trust me, I do too. You might know your Native Americans, but I know my coffee, lady. ;)

          • Hatchetwoman

            Actually, Copernicus (also Catholic) presented his theory that the earth revolved around the sun before Galileo did, and he was condemned by Luther for being anti-Biblical. Copernicus dedicated his book promoting the theory to the pope, without any reprisal from Catholicism. Galileo, however, included some ridicule of the pope as part of his work on the heliocentric theory (he portrayed him wearing a dunce cap) , which of course didn’t sit well. In addition, by the time Galileo presented his expansion of the theory, times had changed. The Church was on the defensive against attacks by Protestants that Her teachings were un-Biblical; allowing Galileo to teach as he did could continue to confuse people on that point, so the Church instructed him not to teach the heliocentric theory until it had been fully examined. The Church NEVER forbade him from continuing to study it, nor did they condemn the theory itself. Galileo was put on trial for continuing to teach despite orders not to do so, and his punishment was for that violation, NOT for teaching heresy (again, the Church did not find his teaching to be heretical, only that it “appeared” to contradict Scripture).

            And his punishment? He was directed to recite seven psalms a day for three years, put under a house arrest that was hardly enforced, and … permitted to write and teach.

            Not exactly the way the secular world paints it, is it?

          • Sarah Martinez

            The commenters on this blog give me serious Lulz. They take one somewhat vague and nonspecific remark and tear it to bits, when it really isn’t even that relevant to the overall point. Hatchetwoman, are you sure you’re not “Sophia’s favorite” in disguise? ;)

            Stop taking yourself and your comments so seriously. If you want to lecture people at every turn, start your own blog.

          • Hatchetwoman

            I see, only you’re allowed to lecture people. Interesting. And that was my first post, so the “stop taking yourself and your comments” misses its mark, whoever she is.

          • http://twitter.com/espressobean21 Sarah Martinez

            I just thought it was annoying and supercilious that you wrote several paragraphs on something totally unrelated to my over-all point, which was about coffee and Christians of that time being superstitious.

          • Penny Farthing1893

            So why bring up Galileo? Your point was to demonstrate that Catholics were superstitious back then, so Hatchetwoman simply explained that he was in trouble for bad form, not his actual theory, thereby showing your argument for the red herring that it was.

            Also, Sophia’s Favorite said it was heresy to assert that Satan can create anything. This is true. Now, Joe Catholic out in the countryside may have been superstitious enough to think something was a creation of the devil, but not the pope. Sorry.

          • Theotokos19

            I just wanted to show some love to Hatchetwoman for her factual account of the Galileo escapade, it’s good to know that people out there actually know real history and not just the propaganda circulated among the masses.

          • bobthechef

            Actually, the the Galileo affair was even more complex than that! Heliocentrism was no better than geocentrism at the time, yet Galileo kept insisting on it. He also had made personal enemies (people with huge egos often do) who made sure his obnoxiousness spilled into areas that would get him in trouble. It really wasn’t anything like what atheists or Protestants like to paint it as. In fact, this whole fabrication that everyone “knows” today intentionally concocted in the 19th century by foes of the Church and friends of the rabid Enlightenment. Funny how Protestants have the “Reformation” (which was more of a Revolt as nothing was reformed; RCC is still there) and secular “rationalists” have their Enlightenment (which arguably led to serious intellectual errors manifested more fully in modernism, hence why some Catholics call it the Darkening). Personally, I think we should send peasants back to their farms to keep them off the internet and from voting. No offense to the peasants out there (i.e. most of you). After all, those rabid secularists that like to take pot shots at the Church (out of full ignorance in 99% of cases) are usually ignorant peasants.

          • http://twitter.com/espressobean21 Sarah Martinez

            Also, for what it’s worth, “invented” does not mean the same thing as “created.” Thomas Edison (and by Thomas Edison, I mean Nikola Tesla) invented the lightbulb; he didn’t create it.

            And, again, while I’m not saying it wasn’t an excuse for some, the Europeans of the 17th century *were* superstitious to a degree that could very well be considered heretical nowadays.

            At any rate, it doesn’t matter what their motivations were in saying that. Frankly, it doesn’t matter what they said about it at all. The main thing I was trying to point out was that coffee was not discovered or first brewed by Christians, and that the Catholic connection came with Pope Clement debunking the “Coffee = Evil” myth.

          • Penny Farthing1893

            While I agree with the gist of your point, I must quibble, because this is a particular subject of geekiness for me. Thomas Edison did invent the lightbulb, as we usually think of it (carbon or tungsten filament incandescent bulb, and someone in his workshop invented the convenient screw-in base for it) while Nikola Tesla invented 3-phase AC, the radio, remote control, etc. Tesla seems to have invented something like a fluorescent light or neon sign, but he never patented it (a common screw-up for him). Sorry for getting sidetracked; I just have to geek out about Tesla….

        • Tally Marx

          “If this is evil, let us Baptize it!”

          Isn’t that what the Pope said–or something along those lines–when he first tasted coffee?

          • http://twitter.com/espressobean21 Sarah Martinez

            He did say that! Love it.

        • James H

          Better late than never: I thought the Europeans started drinking coffee after the siege of Vienna.

          The story was, the Turks had swamped eastern Europe, and were steadily knocking down all the Christians in their way. It looked like they were going to wear down the Austrians, but in the nick of time, Jan Sobieski of Poland led an army of Poles, Lithuanians and Ukrainians to Vienna and kicked the Turks’ arses so hard, they left behind all their coffee (now that’s a story to re-read). The Friar who brewed some up for the Pope was a Capuchin (little hood on his habit), hence Capuccino.

          Also why German coffee-houses have a pedigree equal to Italian ones.

          • http://twitter.com/espressobean21 Sarah Martinez

            Sounds a little legend-y. I’ve literally never heard that story *anywhere* while I’ve heard the other one repeated in multiple sources.

            Though, now that I think of it, the two stories don’t necessarily contradict each other. The Turks having to abandon their coffee could have easily been either what introduced coffee to the region (either before or after people decided it was evil, as the times seem to overlap a bit), or was a means by which that region had lots of extra coffee to experiment with.

            I’m encouraged to hear coffee houses in Germany are high pedigree. I am moving there, and I don’t know much about Germany’s coffee options. I was worried I’d never have the good coffee I’m accustomed to unless I made a trip over to Italy.

        • Ronk

          Ethiopia has been Christian (Catholic/Orthodox) since the first century. Coffeee was indisputably discovered in Ethiopia at a tinme when it was (as it still is to this day) an overwhelmingly Christian country. And there is no such thing as a “Muslim monk”.

          So coffee was invented by Catholics, but as Ethiopia has been surrounded for centuries by Moslem-ruled countries, the discovery of coffee came to the West VIA moslems, leading many in the west to falsely conclude that it was a Moslem invention (as they did about so many other inventions which the moslems had copied from the Indians, the Chinese, and the pre-Islamic Middle Eastern/Central Asian Christians and Zoroastrians whom they had put to the sword.

        • Nicholas

          Would it be too far fetched to think that he tried in on a particularly groggy morning? :P

  • Thibaud

    Hey, I’ve got another one : Henri Bergson (1859-1941) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Bergson). One of the (or probably simply “the”) greatest philosopher of the 20th century. He single-handedly annihilated the so-called “rationalistic” (actually meaning “dogmatically rejecting the supernatural”) philosophy of the so-called “Enlightenment” (Kant, Hume, Voltaire and all those others poor bastards).

    Bergson was Jewish and he wanted to convert to Catholicism pretty much his entire life. To quote wikipedia : “he wrote in his will on February 8, 1937: My thinking has always brought me nearer to Catholicism, in which I saw the perfect complement to Judaism”. He ended up not being formally received into the Catholic Church because he did not want to appear to be abandonning the people of Israel during 1930′s-1940′s Nazi persecution, an admirable but quite naive view, since the Nazi would still have considered him Jewish even if he had become Catholic (see saint Edith Stein’s life story).

    Wikipedia again : “On 3 January 1941 Bergson died in occupied Paris from pneumonia contracted after standing for several hours in a queue for registration as a Jew. A Roman Catholic priest said prayers at his funeral per his request”.

    I think we can all agree this qualifies as a baptism of desire.

  • Anonymous

    I must correct the “one of the few whites not to act like a d-bag to the Indians”.

    There were Indians and Indians. The Navajo and Cherokee and (mostly) Ojibwa were largely peaceable, and so treating them hostilely was wrong. The Sioux, like the Apache, made a great proportion of their living as raiders. They were basically land-Vikings. Some of the steps taken to subdue them were excessive, but subduing them was an entirely valid action.

    Other tribes were worse. Notably, the Comanche: who could’ve been effectively genocided without violating justice. That’s not an emotional remark or an exaggeration: their entire male population could’ve been hanged as war-criminals. Because every Comanche man was a warrior…and every Comanche warrior was a rapist many, many times over. Like the Sioux and Apache they were raiders, and did much of their raiding for slaves—and the first step when a woman (which they defined as “any female who’s had her menarche”) was captured, was for her to be gang-raped by the raiders, generally in front of the corpses of her male relatives, often to the accompaniment of those male relatives’ screams as they were tortured to death. They also routinely murdered babies their captives had or gave birth to while en route back to their camps, since they slowed them down—usually they would road-haul the babies behind their horses till they died.

    2/3 of their population dying of smallpox, which is what finally ended their reign of terror, is a sign that there is justice even in this world. The fact the US government forced them into a reservation—rather than, again, executing their entire male population as the war-criminals they were—was an unprecedented act of mercy. They were easily as bad as the Turks or the Mongols at their worst; thanks to the Comanche, the Aztecs were only the second biggest monsters in the Uto-Aztecan language group.

    • MA

      FYI: The blankets the “White Man” gave the Indians were intentionally laced with the smallpox. Is killing women and children justifiable just because they’re Indians? It became Genocide. And that’s not a very Catholic thing is it? Secondly, hundreds of treaties were signed between the American Government & Indian tribes,….and they were ALL BROKEN and not kept by the “White Man.” And how would anyone feel when you and your people are slowly being pushed out of a land your ancestors have lived on for so long. You go from vast, fertile & land as far as your eye could see to a small, infertile land? Is is no different from the hundreds of cases of the white man landing & “discovering” a new land, claim it for themselves & oppress/suppress the native people. The natives now has to play by the White Man’s Rules, have them govern them & pay taxes to them on a land their ancestors have lived on for who knows how long! How do these white men get off saying they “discovered” a new land when there’s people living on it already? So, NO ONE deserved being pushed out or wiped out, specially women or children. No one had a choice who their parents were going to be, what culture, ethnic group, what continent, not anything. All I’m saying is, to put yourself in other peoples’ shoes. How would you feel then if you were an Indian in that tribe.

      • Anonymous

        The myth of the intentionally smallpox-laced blankets has been debunked—the only evidence for it is one letter suggesting the idea, from a British soldier with absolutely no authority.

        Besides which, even if it were ever done, the area in question is the Northeast and Great Lakes region, in the 18th century; the Comanche were in Texas, and most powerful in the 19th. But no, I know, they all look alike to you, right?

        The Sioux broke treaties just as often as the whites did, as did the Comanche, and even when they kept them they finagled the wording in a manner that’d do the sleaziest Hollywood lawyer proud.

        And as for women and children, and genocide, tell it to the Plains Apache: fully half their population was murdered by the Comanche. And not gently, either. Virtually all Natives simply butchered women and children, in war; the most merciful they ever got was taking the women in marriage-by-capture and raising the children as their own. Quite frequently, both women and children were enslaved, which for women, again, usually meant being gang raped.

        Look, you don’t really have a right to an opinion on this matter—seriously, how many Indians do you know? I know lots; my town is 1/8 Native (mostly Navajo and Hopi). You can’t go to the freaking Wal-Mart without hearing at least one Native American language.

        You, on the other hand, are repeating a series of Hollywood Noble Savage stereotypes. Here’s an idea, bilaghaana, judge Natives by the same standards as white people—actually treat them as adults, responsible for their actions. When a tribe, whether white, black, “red”, or plaid, behaves the way the Comanche did, it is a good thing when they are subdued—and they probably caught the smallpox that subdued them from their victims. Do you really mean to tell me that if the Lord’s Resistance Army were decimated by AIDS complications, the Ugandan government would be in the wrong to use it as a chance to defeat them? Because the Comanche were pretty much just as bad as the LRA.

  • http://twitter.com/espressobean21 Sarah Martinez
  • http://twitter.com/bcsny47 Brian Sullivan

    “Blue Bloods” on CBS (another Wahlberg!) Jim Gaffigan.

  • A.M.K.T.H.D.

    Sign Language?

  • Emily

    If you could find a way to connect Eminem and Catholicism, I’d be forever grateful.

    • Marc Barnes

      He makes the sign of the cross in his music videos. ( :
      In general, I have high hopes before his conversion…I’ve been praying for it for a while actually, haha

  • Me in Vegas

    Read the Mark Wallberg link. Such poisonous lost people. Very sad and not worth trying to respond to.

  • Anonymous

    You hit the nail on the head when you said, “it burns”. It truly does burn. I experience this sensation often. Were our hearts not burning within us? Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of your Holy Catholic Church.

  • John


  • Callie K

    Adriana Lima! She has publicly spoken about being a virgin and waiting for marriage. Her and her husband’s daughter was born 9 months after their wedding on St. Valentine’s Day! =]

    • Malakh

      seriously?? THAT GIRL??? A virgin till marriage!! I applaud her husband for that!! I as a girl would stare if she passed by!! Imagine what her male fiance would do!! Well done husband, well done!

  • lajmh

    I know the real Micky Ward (well, Dicky and his uncle Gerry anyway), and I can tell you Mark Wahlberg really is a nice guy.

  • Tally Marx

    Forgive me if someone has already mentioned this, but I didn’t see it.

    How about the printing press? Gutenberg was Catholic; he invented the printing press (for the express purpose of printing the Catholic Bible, which was the first book ever printed). Think of all the printed newspapers and novels we have now!
    That’s a lot of books and education made possible thanks to a Catholic.

    • Anonymous

      Except that, apparently, the movable type press was invented when Gutenberg was a child. All he can be proved to have invented was a way to print the capital letters in a different color (which I can see being important for printing Bibles).

      And by the bye, movable type was invented in China first—and first done with metal in Korea (a major national treasure of South Korea is a printing of the Tripitaka Sutra that’s the oldest printed holy text in the world).

  • http://twitter.com/espressobean21 Sarah Martinez

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but people keep trying to add to the list things made or invented by Catholics, even if the thing itself has no direct connection to Catholicism…

    If we listed everything produced by a Catholic, we’d also have to include Mel Gibson’s tirade, the Spanish Inquisition, and the mess in my bedroom. (All things produced by Catholics, but are not necessarily Catholic things.)

    • CPE Gaebler

      Read the title again. Specifically, the bit about “no one knows.” As in, there are is a large cohort of people who don’t know that crossing your fingers came from Catholicism.

  • bigstupid

    For films, add “It’s a Wonderful Life” and pretty much everything Hitchcock did.

  • Ercchrstpher

    Markie Mark should be excommunicated for his crimes against music. New Kids on the Block is worse than any satanic death metal band ever conceived in the basement of some kid’s suburban home.

    • Mel

      Markie Mark was not a New Kid on the Block. His brother, Donnie, was the boy in the groupie-group. Markie was (is?) a rapper, not a balladeer. However, in my former teenage estimation, they both were squeal-worthy.

  • Bg4190

    Ok, I thought of a few more: three leaf clover as a symbol of good luck (the three leaves representing the trinity), and the Gregorian calendar (the calendar we use today). There was a show on The HIstory Channel called “Secret Access: The Vatican” which talked about the Church discovering the inaccuracies with the Julian calendar thus the formulation of the Gregorian. Protestants refused to follow the new calendar for nearly 2,000 years and continued celebrating the new year in the end of March. This is why April 1st is considered “April fools day” (fun fact: that’s my birthday).

  • http://mikesnow.org Michael Snow

    The Sitting Bull T shirts I have seen have this line: “You can Trust the Government…Just ask an Indian.”

    As to the canon of the New Testament, this happened long before the Great Schism so this should be labeled an Apostolic Othodox Catholic contribution.

  • Renee Roden

    Saying good-bye! http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=good-bye&allowed_in_frame=0
    Talk about a blessing-in-disguise. :)

  • Therese
  • Jay E.

    You should also do pinatas, which were originally meant to symbolize man’s struggle against temptation. The seven points represented the seven deadly sins, and all the candy inside the attraction of evil. The person is blindfolded to represent faith. When you beat it, and get the candy, it symbolizes the rewards of faithfulness to Christ. It is thought to have come about as a tool for evangelizing.

    • Penny Farthing1893

      That is awesome! I want piñatas at every party now!

    • Claire

      Why are you rewarded for faithfulness to Christ with the “attraction of evil”?

      • Cal-J

        Ridiculously late response to a ridiculously late question.

        Evil is a privation of the good. Nothing is evil in and of itself, but evil corrupts good things.

        In this example, the pinata is evil while the candy is good. Evil is basically standing in the path of the good things you want. So you MURDER IT WITH A STICK without looking (this would be the faithfulness to Christ part), which gets you directly to the good stuff.

  • Jody

    How about saying “God Bless You!” when someone sneezes. Also the ‘practice’ of placing ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday. Both ‘implemented’ by Pope St. Gregory.

  • Malakh

    Wow… I used to hate Marky Mark… I am seriously proud of him!! And the muscles of course :D He ditched a movie that would have been the “oh look at me in a gay role, become my fans” movie. It sucked though… good for him, and his priest, for refusing the role. Wow, an actor who lets a priest decide on his roles. Well done. Now… I still have to go to Confession for actually watching the movie :’(

    • laursaurus

      Actually seeing a movie before you form an opinion a good call. This is one of those lessons I have learned from experience on several occasions.
      I had no interest in watching a movie called “Fight Club.” Gratuitous violence is the opposite of entertainment for me. The title and even the trailers gave me the impression the film was likely one bloody beat-down after another.
      Years later, my 18 year old son urged me to watch it streamed through his lap top. Wow was I wrong! The plot was incredibly original, surprisingly deep, and engaging. This was one of those few movies I wanted to see again to find the hints that went over my head before the surprising end.
      This has been the case particularly when something is judged as offensive. I remember an art exhibit years ago in New York. Mayor Juliani publicly denounced the collection, especially a portrait of the Virgin Mary crafted using rhino dung. What he didn’t understand was that the artist was a devout Catholic. In his African culture, rhino dung is commonly used to create art. He was glorifying his faith through his culture. The church did not considerate the piece offensive, as that was the opposite of the artist’s intention.
      “The Last Temptation of Christ” didn’t offend me. The movie demonstrated how his obedience to God, rather than giving into temptation, brought about our Salvation. But a lot of people decided to be offended without really knowing what the movie was about.
      The “controversial” song that Eminmen performed with Elton John at the Grammy Awards (I think), didn’t offend me when I heard it. He was portraying a loser, obsessed fan with no life using the 1st person.
      Maybe you were joking about Confession. But it is not a sin to withhold judgment until you’ve examined something for yourself. God gave us each our own brains so we could use them.

  • Emily

    The song “The Cave” by Mumford and Sons. It’s taken directly from GKC’s biography of St. Francis. :)

  • Marie

    Georges Lemaître developed the big bang theory. OH WAIT SORRY I meant MONSIGNOR Georges Lemaître ;] check it out! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lemaître

  • Eastern Orthodox Angel

    Just as fyi, almost all Native Americans were very accepting of LGBT people, even called them two-sporited and were regarded with high honor and given the highest positions in their societies. So…… Don’t give me that bullcrap that he wouldn’t stand for gay marriage. Спасибо!!!

    • poetcomic1

      Yeah, effeminate men, hunchback dwarfs and anything else that awed and scared them got to put on a ‘medicine man act’ freak show and extort all kinds of ‘gifts’ and horses and such for ‘healings’. There were genuine herbal healers also ceremonial elders but the so-called ‘medicine men’ were grifters. Black Elk, the Lakota was a great visionary and regrets having made a living as a ‘medicine man’ till he was at the side of a dying child doing his hocus-pocus. A skinny little German priest who had come to give Last Rites took Black Elk’s voodoo crap and threw it and him out of the hut.
      Black Elk stopped then and there being a ‘medicine man’ and became a devout Catholic, some even say he was a saint. The supernaturally brave priest who he named ‘Little Father’. The medicine men and phony healers and even fake indians have staged a huge comeback. A bunch of con artists.

  • Natalia

    So, Gregor Mendel, father of genetics, was an Augustine. Aaaand Giuseppe Piazzi, the discoverer of the asteroid Ceres, was a Catholic priest. Nbd. Catholics in science. And all anyone seems to talk about is Galileo…
    If anyone didn’t know, the Catholic Church LOVES science.
    The Vatican has its own astronomical observatory.
    Also nbd.

  • Tim

    Love the blog, and even the idea of the post, but seriously, this is one of the first times that I have had to disagree with you Marc.
    Please do not hold Mark Wahlberg up as someone who is ‘ridiculously’ Catholic, unless what you mean by that is ‘really off on the types of movies he is making that are in direct violation of what he supposedly believes.’ I don’t care how much you talk about how important your faith is to you, and pray daily, visit Church, go to Mass, etc – if you then, in your public life, as if there is no problem with it, make movies of the likes that Mark Wahlberg continues to make, you can’t be held up as someone who is ridiculously Catholic, in the sense of someone we should imitate, and look up to, or brag about as a Catholic brother we’re proud of. And, sadly, seemingly with the approval of a priest he is choosing to do these films! I am all for the fact that Mark seems to value Catholicism, and his relationship with God on some level. But to hold him up as a reason that you love being Catholic? Check out the amount of language and gross violations of modesty/chastity in his latest movie Ted – over 30 times it breaks the 2nd Commandment, uses the f-bomb over 50 times, and so much more.
    So many Catholics have a huge disconnect between what they believe and profess, and how they apply this to their media habits, particularly with television, movies, and music. Here’s a really short sermon on movies by a priest that would have told Mark not to be involved with Ted, or many of his other movies: http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudio/Sermons/Disk1/Movies.mp3

    Or, if you want a longer, more in depth look at the issue, try this: http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudio/Tulsa/Music.mp3

  • Mike

    Mark Wahlberg, a good Catholic? Have you not seen ‘Entourage’? Look what that promotes… Really?