Ardent Christian sticks it to the man

For two years now, farmer Joop van Ooijen has been fighting the man. At the heart of the argument? The roof of his farm, and more specifically the letters spelling out ‘Jezus redt’ (Jesus saves). The man, in the form of the municipality of Giessenlanden, doesn’t like that text, saying it contrasts too much with the surrounding countryside. A court order was issued, saying that Mr. van Ooijen had to remove the bright white letters. Well, he did remove the white. By painting it red and orange.

And now the court has said that he is within his rights. Giessenlanden only ordered him to remove the white letters and didn’t say anything about red and orange ones. The monthly penalty payments have had to stop, and the municipality can start all over again.

Here’s to Mr. van Ooijen and his harmless expression of faith on his own roof. He probably will have to succumb eventually, but for now I applaud his tenacity.

Of titles, deaconries and suburbican sees

Still almost a month before the  consistory of 20 November, an interesting question remains, and it probably won’t be answered until the very day of the consistory. What title churches will the new cardinals be receiving?

The College of Cardinals has its origin in the ecclesiastical structure of ancient Rome. Historically, cardinals were the deacons and priests of parishes in the old city, or bishops of small nearby dioceses, the so-called suburbican sees. Nowadays, cardinals come from all over the world, and if they don’t have some function within the curia, they usually do not live in Rome. But still new cardinals go and take possession of their title churches in or near Rome, a tradition that, not unlike the titular sees of bishops who are not ordinaries, firmly ties past and present together.

There are 33 title churches available for the 24 new cardinals who can either become cardinal priests or cardinal deacons. Cardinal priests are usually diocesan (arch)bishops somewhere, while cardinal deacons have a role in the curia. For example, Archbishops Mazombwe (Lusaka), Wuerl (Washington), Monsengwo Pasinya (Kinshasa) and Nycz (Warsaw) will be cardinal priests, and Archbishops Amato, Sarah, Burke and Koch will be cardinal deacons.

The Basilica of San Clemente is the title church of Cardinal Simonis, who is a cardinal priest

Father Z has more information.