19 July 2010

Fun Footage of Bishop Sheen on "What's My Line?"

I saw this on Susie Lloyd's facebook page, and wanted to run it here. I love this clip. It evidences a time when being a Catholic Bishop was held in higher esteem by the general public, that's for sure.

Note the natural modesty of His Excellency when answering questions about whether he is well-known, and note the warm welcome and admiration by the audience and panel.

Oh, and note that Dorothy Kilgallen kisses his ring at the end.

Of course, this is before the aggiornamento...


Completely unrelated, but just FYI, I checked out Dorothy Kilgallen's wikipedia entry, and it is very interesting, particularly the circumstances of her demise.


StGuyFawkes said...


This is so great. I loved Sheen's attempt to hide his well known voice through his mischievous use of French. The obvious esteem for the Church as found in the manifest respect for His Excellancy's person is something that is palpable.

My favorite Sheen story:

Convert Clair Booth Luce lost a baby in childbirth, or lost a very young child. I don't think she was a convert yet but she went to see Bishop Shneen for spiritual advice.

Mrs. Luce, the playwright and stateman complained to the Bishop what all victims complain, "How could God do this to me, why would God do this to a child."

Sheen's answer:

"To bring you here today."

By the way, the comment about whether the mystery guest is Pierre Mendez France contains about three embedded nuggets of comedy.

Mendez-France was the Jewish Resistance leader who was put on trial by the Vichy government and sentenced to death in absentia for the crime of serving the Third Republic as Prime Minister.

StGuyFawkes said...

Tim and readers,

I goofed. The reference by the panel to French politics regarded Pierre Mendes France who was in the government of the Third Republic and sentenced to prison, not death by the Vichy government for desertion.

Mendes France was a socialist and I presume shared all the anti-clerical biases of his party.

Latinmassgirl said...

The ladylikeness of the women is quite a contrast to many women now. Their lovely attire and hair and their clear diction minus the slang is very refreshing. Seeing the men is suits is nice as well. I was surprised to see the Bishop in pants, though. I hadn't realized that priests were already not wearing cassocks at that time. I really liked that the host added more money in the end!

longpants said...

"It evidences a time when being a Catholic Bishop was held in higher esteem by the general public."

And whose fault is it that this is no longer the case? Their own.

just wondering said...

i enjoyed watching that clip very much. thank you timman.

StGuyFawkes said...

Here's a question for the panel.

Dorothy Kilgallen kissed the bishop's ring. It was certainly very lovely and a joy to see in our troubled times.

However, I always thought that kissing a bishop's ring was a sign of fealty to one's own local bishop and through him the Universal Church. In other words aren't you supposed to ONLY kiss the ring of your local ordinary.

The question is important because I think the symbolism of the act depends on medieval ideas of fealty and specific obligations between lord and vassal.

We are all vassals to Christ and his Church of course but my understanding is that this gesture is meant to show our loyalty by means of a demonstration of SPECIFIC local obligation.

Sorry to be pedantic. Tim, do you have an answer?

St. Guy