Wednesday, October 15


Cleanliness is Next to Something-or-other

"In connection with the way the Devil's Advocate proceeds I was once told a rather curious episode by an official of the Congregation of Rites. The Congrgeation was examining the beatification cause of a Polish monk, a famous seventeenth-century preacher, and everything seemed to be proceeding smoothly. Then the Devil's Avocate announced he had discovered in some old archives a description of the monk by a contemporary. This reported that the monk in question was very dirty, was covered in fleas and lice, and he actually had a bad smell. The supporter of the monk's canidature, known as the Postulator of the Cause, replied that this might well have been true, but that it just confirmed the ascetic life led by the Polish preacher and his desire to mortify the flesh. The Devil's Advocate was not convinced. He retored that when the monk entered a church to preach, most of the populace instead of gathering around him fled and that this was not too good for religion. The cause of this monk's beatification has never made any progress since."

--Corrado Pallenberg, Inside the Vatican, 1960

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