The following article was found amongst Burrito’s effects, on his ‘thightop’, as he used to call it. Messy, pungent, shaggy creature that he was, I am tearful as I present it for your enjoyment:

It wasn’t until quite lately that I bothered to look up the meaning of the word ‘hypocrite’. It is an oft used word of insult intended to imply that the hypocrite is somebody who doesn’t practise what they preach.

The word actually means ‘actor’, from the Greek.

A hypocrite? Or an Actor?

I propose that every human being (except children, the mentally retarded, the asleep, and living Saints) IS, in fact, a HYPOCRITE. It helps explain a lot. Christ loved children because of this characteristic of theirs, and to this day, Wisdom issues from the mouths of babes. He bade us suffer them, for “theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”. This is important to remember when one of them scratches your Mercedes. Of course, we must differentiate ‘child-like’ from ‘child-ish’.

So, we are mostly all: Actors. Christ was very hard on hypocrites. The worst kind are those who play the part of holy man (or woman), for by their false performances, many souls can be unwittingly led to madness and damnation. The danger of falling into hypocrisy is like leprosy: It numbs and disables our extremities, and makes us ugly and outcast. We should copy the lepers who are trained in ‘visual surveillance of extremities’. Catholics call it ‘examination of conscience’.

If we are all actors, this presupposes a script and director(s). Any suggestions?

This is, of course, a blog post. It is meant to provoke comment. Comment forth, dear Theophili! Don’t be shy! We love ‘luvvies’ here. Go, break a leg!

The fun, and the wisdom will be distilled thenceforth, to great applause from everyone, but I doubt we will earn a review in the Daily Telegraph ‘Arts’ pages.

(In the meantime, I must start practicing what I preach: Lord give me a holiday to do it in. Puh-leese.)

About Yoda

Accidental illegal alien. Earth base: Merthyr Tydfil. Sith slayer and troll vivisectionist.
This entry was posted in Catholic Moral Teaching, Living Catholic lives. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Hypocrisy

  1. toadspittle says:

    The late Brother Burrito…

    Continues t0 guru us from the grave. Must must not speak ill of the dead, so I will proceed with discretion here.
    This posthumous piece is problematical to say the least.
    For a start, the word ‘Hypocrite, though it certainly meant ‘Actor’ in ancient Greek, Latin and Old French, it does not do so in 21st Century English.
    And the 21st Century is where we find ourselves, or should do, like it or not. The meaning has changed over the last few hundred years. Things do.
    This seems obvious, but apparently not.
    According to my very excellent Hello!’ sub-editors’ dictionary, the definition of ‘Hypocrite,’ is:
    “A person given to the practice of professing beliefs, feelings or virtues that he, or she, does not hold or possess. Someone who acts falsely.”

    Lots of words change their meanings over time; ‘awful,’ ‘terrible,’ ‘impertinent,’ ‘momentarily.’ (that last one in the process of changing right now, sadly.)

    Nobody is acting ‘falsely’ on CP&S, of course. Unless the donkey is not really dead. As an old ‘ex-newsman’ myself, I smell a story. And, as we hacks were wont to say, “I think we should be told!”

    (And I had always imagined Burro somehow, as being better looking than that. Oh, well.)


  2. joyfulpapist says:

    At the time the word ‘hypocrite’ meant actor, actors wore masks. Hypocrites are people who hide their real motives and feelings behind masks. As BB says (or should that be said?) – all of us, except children, saints, and the mentally impaired.

    Like most people, I wear a number of masks, which I take off and put on as the occasion seems to demand: wife, mother, writer, reader, strong-minded woman, kind person, daughter, intellectual, humourist, gardener. Sometimes, I wear several at once. Sometimes, I wear a mask for so long it grows to my own shape and reveals some of the ‘me’ that God sees. Now and again, I feel safe enough to let my mask slip enough for a very trusted person to see behind.

    So am I a hypocrite? Even by Toad’s definition, at least some of the time: “A person given to the practice of professing beliefs, feelings or virtues that he, or she, does not hold or possess.” Indeed I need to be, for if I do not profess the feelings and virtues that I wish to hold or possess before they are in fact mine, they never will be!

    Fake it, as the saying goes, till you make it. A profound philosophy which I recommend to all hypocrites of good will.


  3. toadspittle says:

    Joyful is, as always, right.

    As some horrid old skeptocynic (not me, oddly enough) once said, “When you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made!”


  4. yoda says:

    “And I mean that most sincerely folks”.

    Hughie Green, now there’s a story.


  5. joyfulpapist says:

    I’ve been telling my children for years, Toad, that they call me a writer because I’m always right. It works better spoken than printed. 🙂


  6. rebrites says:

    It´s hypocritical to play silly games about the presence or absence of the people whose characters and opinions form this blog, whilst on the other hand nattering on about papal visits and Nativities and angels. If the Good Doctor is dead, let me know so I can pray for his family. If not, this joke is not funny.

    I am dismayed at the silliness. I wish someone would tell me if the BB character will be returning or not — is he truly ill or gone to his reward? Is he taking a break from the internet? Or has be been drummed out of the corps? (or the Corpus, as the case may be…) Enough coyness. Give it up, CPandnotsoS. Where´s Burro?


  7. yoda says:


    All the answers are at my pub. I’m off to bed, but feel free to poke around, and pour yourself a pint. Click on my name to get there.


  8. joyfulpapist says:

    Masks within masks within masks.

    “How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”


  9. toadspittle says:

    Rebrites, don’t get all bent out of shape…

    How can ‘playing silly games’ be ‘Hypocritical?’ Prevaricatory, perhaps. Idiotic, for sure. What we are doing here is ‘Acting.’See above.
    A masque. Mummery. Theatre of the Absurd. Grand Guinol. Hamming it up.

    The Show Must go On. It’s What The Noble Ass Would Have Wanted.


    We shall never know.
    Not in this vale of tears, at least.
    Maybe they know something
    on the planet Omvendt.
    They do things differently there…

    (Curtain. Applause. We hope.)


  10. kathleen says:

    Is hypocrisy another word for not practicing what one preaches?
    And if so, then who amongst us can say that they never trip up sometimes into doing just that? Not me! Yet I would not like to think I were a hypocrite! But perhaps not admitting I sometimes commit the very sins I abhor, or behave in a way that is contrary to a true Catholic, I am being hypocritical…….. Oh dear; beware folks, I think scruples can wiggle themselves in here!

    After all, even St. Paul bemoans his constant falls into doing that which he hates, and not that which he would want to do (Romans 7, verses 15-21).

    WE ARE ALL SINNERS. Once we recognise that, we shouldn’t have to worry whether we are hypocrites or not. We can just pick up the burden of our weaknesses and limitations, and fight against them the best we can. And to do that we need all the assistance we can get from our “helpers” on the way: Our Blessed Lady, all the angels and saints…….. and not forgetting prayer and the sacraments (especially frequent Confession and Holy Communion).


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