Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to Respond When Someone Pulls Away Because You're Catholic

Hannah and a couple of friends were hanging out at a local bar with folks from the rock climbing center. Hannah and Jenny suddenly did a "Catholic high five!" (yes, they're that goofy and I love it).

A new friend said, "You're Catholic?" and pulled his chair away slightly ... half seriously/half jokingly. At which point Hannah and her two friends asked why he did that thing. The reasons got sillier and sillier, ending with examples from Dante's Inferno.

It made me think of this conversation between director Roland Joffe (who has a movie coming out about Opus Dei founder Josemaria Escriva) and a friend of his. I'd forgotten to highlight it, but now seems a good time because it's going in the quote journal. And because I'm going to try to remember it as a way to defend the faith.
Friend: Oh my God, that’s a Fascist organization! I mean, they slaughtered hundreds of people!

Joffé: They have? Really? How do you know that?

F: Well, even if they haven’t, they’re extremely influential in the Church. I mean, they basically control the Church.

J: How would they control the Church?

F: They control the cardinals and the pope.

J: They hypnotize them? How do they do it?

F: They do it through the cardinals.

J: How many cardinals are in Opus Dei?

F: Hundreds.

J: Well, how many cardinals are there [in the world]?

F: I don’t know, but lots and lots of them are definitely in Opus Dei.

J: Well, I think there may be one or two, or maybe in three.

F: Well, that’s what I’m saying—that’s the way it works. It’s all kept secret.

J: Well, okay. Anything else?

F: Bishops. Lots and lots of bishops. How do you account for all these bishops in Opus Dei?

J: How many bishops are in Opus Dei?

F: Well, I don’t know—thousands of bishops …
My guess as to how many cardinals there are in the Church was around 200. The total number varies depending on various factors, but the closest I found to an actual answer was 183 in 2011 thus far.


  1. I once attended a going away party for a girl who was going off to college at a private "christian" university. The talk turned to where people went to college, and when I mentioned the very Catholic name of my alma mater, everyone stopped talking for a minute. Awkward pause, then they changed the subject. Afterward, I looked up the private university on the web, and found that Catholicism is actually a cult. Gosh.

  2. WHAT is a "Catholic high five"?!?!?! I never learned that in RCIA!

  3. Their own invention ... perhaps they will tell us. :-)

  4. I too want to know about the "Catholic High Five!"

  5. So do I. (Sounds way cooler than a secret decoder ring.)


  6. Shhh the high five is top secret only for the our high ranking Jesuit super Ninja's meet me after the Knights of Columbus fishfry to find out about it :)