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Shrove Tuesday, Resistance & Die Linke

What Is the Meaning of Shrove Tuesday?

Dear TIA,

As a traditional Catholic I am somewhat repulsed by such loaded titles as "Mardi Gras" or 'Fat Tuesday' for the day before lent starts. It seems to me that these terms convey a worldly attitude of partying and hedonism.

I understood that "Shrove Tuesday" was a more traditional name for this day, but I do not know what 'shrove' exactly means.

What does 'shrove' mean, and is this the best name for Catholics to use as a means of combating the spirit of hedonism that saturates our world?

I hope that somebody on your staff could help me with this question



TIA responds:

Dear P.M.,

Mardi Gras – in French literally "Fat Tuesday" – has grown in popularity in recent years as a raucous, hedonistic event. But its roots lie in the Catholic calendar as the "last hurrah" before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. The "carnival" celebrated in many Southern European and Latin American countries, and in our own New Orleans, comes from the Latin words carnes (flesh) vale (farewell), meaning "farewell to the flesh," signaling the beginning of the strict Lenten abstinence and fast that used to be practiced in the past. It was last chance to eat well until Easter.

In England the day came to be called “Pancake Tuesday,” because pancakes were made to use up the eggs and fat, which then were prohibited articles to eat during the 40 days of Lent.

You are correct to think that “Shrove Tuesday” is a more serious name. The word shrove is a form of the English word shrive, which means for the priest to hear confessions and for lay people to obtain absolution for one's sins by Confession before Lent begins. It is a spiritual preparation for Lent, alongside the "fat eating" or gorging before the fasting period of Lent.

As the Catholic Encyclopedia tells us, Shrove Tuesday is the last day of Shrovetide, which is the English equivalent of what is known as carnival:

The English term "shrovetide" (from "to shrive" or hear confessions) is sufficiently explained by a sentence in the Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical Institutes translated from Theodulphus by Abbot Aelfric about A.D. 1000:

"In the week immediately before Lent everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him as he then may hear by his deeds what he is to do [in the way of penance]". In this name shrovetide the religious idea is uppermost, and the same is true of the German Fastnacht (the eve of the fast), which was often celebrated with street processions and fancy dress.

We commend your desire to make Shrove Tuesday a more serious day for the season of Lent.


     TIA correspondence desk


We Resist You to the Face

Dear TIA,

Recently you recommended to me the book We Resist You to the Face as a brief, comprehensive guide to the tragic changes in the Church since Vatican 2 and which could be shared with someone who only knows the Church since the Council.

I ordered the book and received it within 4 days, and having read it I want to express my deep appreciation for the recommendation and strongly recommend the book to any of your readers who are also looking for something to share with their Catholic friends about the changes in the Church.

I would also like to encourage you to consider updating the book, which was published in 2000, so as to bring its documentation forward to the period of current Pope.

Many thanks for making such a brief, comprehensive guide available to your readers in addition to your multi-volume works!



Article on Eric Gill

Mr. Odou,

Upon reading your article “Eric Gill, the Pedophile Founder of Distributism,” I was immediately prompted to write the following email to Westminster Cathedral:

Your Excellency,

It is shocking to think that the Stations of the Cross carved by the incestuous pedophile Eric Gill still hang in a Catholic Church. As for making a distinction between the artist and his private life, shall we make a distinction between Hitler’s hate for the Jews and his love of dogs?

“Adolf loved his German shepherds but was very fond of all dogs of a certain disposition. He would often stop to pet the dogs of his many visitors and was especially fond of when Himmler would bring his six daughters by with their schnauzers and dachshunds.” ( a quote from my upcoming book “The Fuhrer’s Favorite Canine’s”)

Aren’t you promoting scandal by displaying artwork that, if a curious viewer were to look into the life of the artist, only represents the morally acceptable concepts of an otherwise depraved mind?

Please reconsider keeping this artwork in a House of God. Take pictures of the works, put that in a booklet along with an explanation of why the works were replaced; sell the works at auction and use the money for supporting victims of child sexual abuse.

Praying for you,

William Shaw

Thank you for bringing out the truth about the matter. We can only hope that things will change by bringing such things to light.


     Bill Shaw


German Communists Quote Francis

Dear TIA-Team,

The German party Die Linke (= The Leftists), which is the successor of the former East German Communist State Party, advertises a Bergoglioism during its current election campaign: “If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance.” Says a spokesman of the former Communist Party: "The Pope's quotation could be right out of our party manifesto."

Can someone imagine the Communists of the ‘50s quoting Pius XII in an affirmative way or Pius XII expressing himself in a way that would have been appealing to Communists? It's hard to decide which is less likely. But with Francis, anything goes.

The photo of the campaign's poster is below, the link is here.

     Kind regards

     F.M.R, Germany

Die Linke Franziskus


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted February 9, 2016

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