Catholic fact check

On the Mythical Pius XII Thanksgiving Indult

Every year around Thanksgiving, a flurry of social media posts make the rounds in traditional Catholic circles, concerning a mysterious “Turkey Indult” from the 1950s.

St. John Chrysostom on wifely obedience

Artwork: Greek Miniaturist, “Homilies of Ioannes Chrysostomos.” c. 1078. Manuscript (Ms. Coislin 79) Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris The following quotation, attributed to St. John Chrysostom, is extremely popular in Catholic and Orthodox circles: When we speak of the wife obeying the husband we normally think of obedience in military or political terms, the husband giving orders and the wife obeying them. But while this type of obedience may be appropriate in the army, it is ridiculous in the intimate relationship of marriage.

Pope John XXIII and Fresh Air

Continuing the theme of Catholic fact-checking, today's exploration is of Pope St. John XXIII and fresh air. As the story goes, when Pope John XXIII was asked why he called for a council, he walked over to his window, threw it up, and said something like, “I want to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in.” This is cited in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations1 but it is the only quotation of his that has the dubious label “attributed.

St. Basil and St. Peter Damian on pedophilia and homosexuality

Every so often, a quotation attributed either to St. Basil the Great or St. Peter Damian circulates. The quotation reads: Any cleric or monk who seduces young men or boys, or who is apprehended in kissing or in any shameful situation, shall be publicly flogged and shall lose his clerical tonsure. Thus shorn, he shall be disgraced by spitting into his face, bound in iron chains, wasted by six months of close confinement, and for three days each week put on barley bread given him toward evening.

Veterum Sapientia and High Altars

There is an anecdote that circulates in the Catholic blogosphere about the promulgation of Pope John XXIII's apostolic constitution Veterum Sapientia. In one example, the story goes: “Veterum Sapientia is proud to announce its Fourth Annual Latin Conference for priests, deacons, religious (male and female), and seminarians, hosted this year at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. from July 31 to August 6. The program is called Veterum Sapientia after the Apostolic Constitution which Saint John XXIII signed at the high altar of St.