As a Catholic with a Louisiana-Catholic grandmother, I could not resist posting this letter from the Archbishop of New Orleans from a few Lents back. If you want to read the hilarious comments from when it was first posted (and you aren’t afraid of The American Conservative), then check them out.
For the Monty Python fan:
“Now given that witches are made of wood and thus float, does that mean that alligators, being a species of fish and thus also float are witches? Or does it mean that alligators are made of wood?”
For the Byzantine:
“I’ve heard that both Catholic and Orthodox Lenten Fast laws classify beaver meat as a kind of fish, not that I’d every take advantage of that loophole.”
For the Bible geek:
“While I’m in total agreement with you concerning Abp Aymond’s apostolic authority, please remember that ancient Hebrew had no word for reptile. Ergo, just as the Hebrew words “brother” and “sister” actually mean cousin, auntie, BFF, and old lady from down the street when referring to the family of the Lord; in the same way “fish” in Hebrew actually refers not only to alligator, nutria, and capybara, but to crocodile, cayman, eel, and platypus as well.
As an alternative exegesis of John 21, it is entirely possible that the apostles were grilling alligator with a bit of platypus by the shore of Genesseret, but our Lord thought it was icky and changed it into tilapia when they weren’t looking.”
Seriously, this is one of the best comment threads I’ve come across in a long time. There’s even a Lenten recipe for bayou delicacy nutria. (Don’t even ask ….)