Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm In Trouble, but I'll Cope

I added a post yesterday about TV religion and poked fun at a few TV clergy. I was very ecumenical in the process since I iwas inclusive of Protestant Christians, a Catholic Bishop and a Muslim Cleric. And if that doesn't sound like the set up line of a joke, I don't know what does.

Anyway in telling my sweet wife about my blog posting she was not amused. She did not think it was right of me to mention Bishop Fulton Sheen or the good Bishop's cape, as the Bishop is a candidate for sainthood.

My idea for yesterday's post
originated from a newspaper article I read about a Muslim TV cleric. It struck me ironic that the Eastern side of the world has similar television shows as the Western side of the planet.

For good measure I included my thoughts as a youngster about the Bishop Fulton J Sheen Show. If you are unfamiliar with the Bishop, he was quite dramatic and wore a cape. Well my favorite superheroes likewise wore a cape. When I played like I was Superman, I took my blanket around my shoulders and made a cape. So the Bishop was alright in my 5 year old mind.

If I would show a picture of Bishop Sheen to my 3 year old grandson who also wears a cape and is a superhero. He would probably ask me if the Bishop fights bad guys.

If I upset anyone else, I am indeed sorry.

I am always up for learning new things. Since my wife pointed out that the clergy had capes prior to superheroes cashing in on the cape franchise, I thought I would investigate this matter.

Although what the Catholic Clergy wear certainly appears to be a cape it is in fact not a cape. The garment is called a Cope. And that is the truth. In Latin it is known as a Pluviale (rain coat) or Cappa which is translated cape. But it is still known as a Cope. It is not just common to the Roman Catholic clergy as the Evangelical Lutheran Church clergy also wear a Cope.

It can be worn by all clergy. If it is worn by a bishop it should be accompianied by a Mitre (hat) and have a highly decorated clasp. The Cope originally had a hood also known as a cowl, but after it became a vestment rather than an article of clothing the hood shrunk to the point of being merely ornamental.

The Cope is not worn by the celebrant during Mass. The celebrant wears a Chausable. In my oppinion the Chausable looks like a very decorative poncho sans the hood.

So I hope I have set the record straight. Clergy wear Copes and superheroes wear Capes.

I believe we can all cope with this.

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