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Hats off to the fun and practical saturno

Catholic bloggers leapt to the defence of the clerical headgear known as the saturno last week. An anecdote by Pope Francis about a vain young traditionalist had cast the hat under the shadow of suspicion. Joseph Shaw, chairman of the Latin Mass Society, asked: “How could a harmless hat become the object of such strong feelings?” After all, “saturnos are fun” and, as far as he was concerned, the perfect antidote to “liberal killjoys”.

He said: “Catholic culture is all about innocent pleasures, healthy and often edifying pleasures: about music and art and food and family life, about the joys as well as the pains and perils of pilgrimages, about feasting as well as fasting. Liberals hate those things.”

To its defenders, the saturno is also practical. Fr John Zuhlsdorf pointed out on his blog that “it keeps the rain and snow from going down your neck and it will shade over a book as well”. Pope St John Paul II used to wear a saturno when it was hot.

However, Fr Z issued a word of caution. “Too much of a good thing is too much. If you are a young priest or a seminarian, and you are really into these things, examine your motives and consciences. I’m not saying give them up. On the contrary! I’m saying that if you are too attached to them, to the exclusion of prudence, make some changes.”

Christmas is anything but sentimental

Christmas should be offensive to everyone, said Bishop Robert Barron on his Word on Fire website.

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