by Kieran Healy on July 17, 2007

As “Atrios points out”: the Pope is indeed a Primate as well as a primate. This reminds me of watching RTE news years ago reporting on the death of “Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiach”:, Primate of Ireland. The newscaster asked some talking head whether he preferred to remember the Cardinal as a man or a primate. I know which PZ Myers would pick.



Matt 07.17.07 at 5:25 pm

I sometimes watch the autistic son of one of my professors. Among the various conversations that we have (along with who and what can or cannot be put in various cages at the zoo) is whether different people are primates or not. Now I worry that I’ve been giving the wrong answers, as maybe we’ve been having theological/canon law discussions rather than zoological ones. (We also spend a lot of time discussing whether you could or could not get to heaven by various means of transportation and the size and diversity of the collection of DVDs in the celestial library, so theological discussion should not be ruled out out of hand.)


Troll 07.17.07 at 6:12 pm

And then there are Cardinal Law (Boston) and Cardinal Sin (Philipines), any violation of the first being an instance of the latter. It is not known whether Cardinal Law was ever violated per se, but he was accused of helping cover up Boston’s child abuse scandal.


ed 07.17.07 at 7:57 pm

The Pope was also a Nazi. Really.


Patrick Carroll 07.17.07 at 8:16 pm

One of those “put a spade and a shovel against a wall, and ask him to take his pick” moments.


mollymooly 07.18.07 at 12:52 pm

Ó Fiach was not “Primate of Ireland”. The Archbishop of Armagh is “Primate of All Ireland”; the Archbishop of Dublin is “Primate of Ireland”. Similar to Canterbury vs. York in England.


john b 07.18.07 at 1:39 pm

Matt – I’m guessing the kid in question is aware of the impossibility of reaching heaven by roller skates, jumbo jets, skis, limousines, etc?


Matt 07.18.07 at 3:03 pm

John- I’d actually forgotten that song (I’d known it as a kid, of course) but that might well be where my friend started thinking of the question. Our own contribution was that you also cannot get to heaven on the Philadelphia Zoo Balloon nor on a pogo stick.


Joel Turnipseed 07.18.07 at 7:12 pm

A little late, I know: but we named by daughter’s stuffed monkey “Disraeli.” It’s her favorite & she takes it everywhere.


P O'Neill 07.18.07 at 7:41 pm

I’m pretty sure Paisley must have used that Primate joke at some point.

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