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take an axe to it

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Oct 07, 2009

Controversy sells newspapers.

When one prominent Catholic prelate criticizes another-- however politely he goes about it-- you've got yourself a controversy. That's especially true in Italy, where Vatican-watching is a popular pastime. 

So when Archbishop Chaput took exception to the published remarks of Cardinal Cottier, it's no surprise that Il Foglio played up the controversy with a provocative headline. What's surprising-- to American sensibilities, anyway-- is the way Il Foglio shamelessly played on the American archbishop's ethnic background. (He is a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe.) The headline read:

L'ascia del vescovo pellerossa

Which can be translated:

The axe of the Indian (literally "redskin") bishop

In this case "tomahawk" would probably be more exact than "axe," and certainly more in keeping with the delicacy shown by the Italian headline-writer. 


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  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Oct. 15, 2009 12:12 PM ET USA

    God Bless Bishop Chaput - I have Denver envy! Tough guy, Native American, loyal to the magisterium, smart as a whip and sharp as a tack - it doesn't get any better than that! So when Lahey et al all romping in Thailand, I know there's still hope! Immaculate Mary keep your son wrapped in your mantle.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Oct. 08, 2009 10:44 PM ET USA

    Promote Chaput to Cardinal, fly him to Rome and then let him take an axe to the rot in the Curia and let Il Figaro say whatever they want about him, as long as they spell his name correctly.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 08, 2009 10:06 AM ET USA

    Considering Rome's "sensitivity" to differnt cultural groups within our Church, particularly the American Indians who have historically been abused, what this Roman newspaper did in this case borders on the criminal. To say that an apology is due would be an understatement.

  • Posted by: tranvn124757 - Oct. 08, 2009 5:50 AM ET USA

    Archbishop Chaput of Denver is my hero. I admire his courage when he defends Catholic orthodoxy, human life in any form and American democracy. Well he is more American than any pilgrims or descendants of pilgrims. Shame on racists. I beg your Most Reverence to keep using your tomahawk against all enemies of the nation and of the Church as fit a native American by birth and ancestry and a pastor anxious to protect his fold, and by doing so protect the universal Catholic Church

  • Posted by: euripides - Oct. 07, 2009 9:19 PM ET USA

    What do bishops really do all day long?

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Oct. 07, 2009 2:43 PM ET USA

    Long live Archbishop Chaput, tomahawk and all.

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