Lino Rulli: Our favorite radio 'bastard'

On Tuesday’s Catholic Guy Show, as usual, Lino Rulli treated us to “Free Therapy Tuesday,” a segment where both listeners and fellow Catholic Guy crew members alike are encouraged to mock Lino’s emotional distress and take glee in his pain.

Lino often says that priests tell him if more people went to confession, therapists would be out of business. The late world renowned Catholic smartass G.K. Chesterton felt that sitting on a shrink’s couch was much less meaningful than taking advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He once said, “Psychoanalysis is confession without absolution.”

But Lino does often go to confession on Tuesdays in addition to therapy. And his example has encouraged many listeners to return to that sacrament.

Maybe someday Lino will be a priest himself and have the great blessing of hearing confessions and knowing just how many times per week his parish choir director masturbates (and be rightfully creeped out when the guy asks to be transferred to the Mass Greeters’ Ministry). But, for now, Lino will have to remain on the scared s*!@less and sweating side of the confessional screen.

Whatever criticisms the Catholic Taliban or anyone else would like to throw at Lino Rulli, no one can ever accuse of him not being aware of his faults. But although a humble Catholic Guy will have a much easier time getting into heaven than a cocky (hmm) Lino Rulli, it seems that our favorite radio host may be too hard on himself at times.

In the faux introduction by “Pope Alexander VI” in John Zmirak’s "Bad Catholic’s Guide to Good Living," the long-dead pontiff reminds readers that most of us are “walking wounded, morally speaking.”

The “pope” then goes on to offer us some down-to-earth advice to avoid digressing from good ol’ healthy Catholic guilt to unnecessary self-loathing and despair:

“Believe [in Catholicism], do what you can, admit that you’re basically a bastard, and turn to the font of infinite Mercy as humbly and as often as you can. If there’s one thing that’s incompatible with Christianity, it’s pride, or what we today would call ‘healthy self-esteem’ and a ‘clear conscience.’”

Now, this doesn’t mean that we should try to help Lino out by dialing up the show and calling him a “bastard.” (If you’d like to, though, feel free). But the late 15th century Vicar of Christ does make sense -- even if his words of wisdom are really the brainchild of eccentric whackjob (but wonderfully orthodox) Zmirak.

If Lino is looking forward to the day when he’ll finally have that allusive “healthy self-esteem” or “clear conscience,” he’s likely to always end up disappointed.

Hopefully Lino sees his therapy as a process and not a means to an end. If he’s looking forward to the day he’s “cured” and gets to “graduate” from therapy, that day may never come -- just like Dr. Pazzo’s printed completion certificate from his online psychology correspondence school will likely never arrive.

But hopefully Lino’s learning more about himself, why he does the things he does, and, more important, how to better integrate God’s will into his life.

Pehaps Lino will even be sane enough someday to enter into an actual lasting relationship with a woman. He already has a winning formula for success based on his relationship with Dr. Pazzo. All he has to do is find a woman who he only has to see for a half hour once a week, won’t get mad that he’s late, and will be OK with the conversation being always about him.

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7 Responses to Lino Rulli: Our favorite radio 'bastard'

  1. I honestly feel like Lino will be married in less than four years.

  2. "Married Lino" is an oxymoron.. kinda like "humble Lino."


  3. Well Dan - as far as I'm concerned, that probably wins for best blog post of the month.

    I'm still laughing my (insert word that Catholic Taliban would be offended about and write to my archbishop about -- again by the way) off at...

  4. Thanks Father Jim! I realized today one of the goals of my life is to be the ordained priest version of John Zmirak (except a less less insane).

  5. I think we might be the only blog listed at St. Blog's Parish that used the word "masturbates."

  6. "I think we might be the only blog listed at St. Blog's Parish that used the word 'masturbates.'"

    We can only hope.

  7. Doug INK says:

    Great post Dan. Made me laugh out loud several times. Father Jim is right. It made me reminiscent for your old CG recaps. Although sporatic, I enjoyed your straight forward sarcasm. It seems we both were touched (CREEPY) by Free Therapy Tuesday. I blogged about it a day late.