What’s under the miter?

LaCroix International

June 19, 2019

By Father William Grimm MM

When I was a boy, I watched a narrow clamshell bucket dipping into a sewer up the street from our home to clear muck.

I was still too young and too inexperienced in the ways of the Church to be aware of the irony of it, but I found it amusing that the muck-filled bucket looked vaguely like an upside-down version of the hat I had recently seen filled by the head of a bishop who came to our parish for Confirmations.

Several years later, I learned to use a post hole digger, and noticed the similarity between it and an upside-down miter. That similarity points to something in Dante’s Inferno (hell).

In the 19th canto of that 14th-century poem, Dante on his tour of hell encounters bishops and other church leaders who have been turned upside-down and placed in post holes while their feet burn.

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