NEW Z-SWAG: “I am a Self-Absorbed Promethean Neopelagian and proud of it.”

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Are you a self-absorbed promethean neopelagian?*

I have just the thing for you!

I added a new section to my Z-Swag store at Cafepress.

There are bumper-stickers, car-magnets, coffee mugs, buttons and few other items.

Here is a view of the smaller coffee mug.  Picture yourself drinking your Mystic Monk Coffee or tea from this fine beverageware.

Don’t like coffee or tea… or Orange Fanta?  Get one anyway and put pencils in it.

You surely need a sticker or magnet for your car!  Imagine the puzzled looks you’ll get when you stop at a light, drive down the road, and then pull into your parish’s parking lot!

Having fun with impenetrably vague labels… and the liberals for whom they are intended.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in In The Wild, Lighter fare, Self-absorbed Promethean Neopelagians, The Campus Telephone Pole and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to NEW Z-SWAG: “I am a Self-Absorbed Promethean Neopelagian and proud of it.”

  1. Pearl says:

    And, when someone asks me to explain what that means, do I just say, “Ask Pope Francis”?

  2. Father Z: ““I am a Self-Absorbed Promethean Neopelagian and proud of it.”

    Please say it ain’t so. That actually you’ve not finally thrown in the towel and gone over to the side of the leftie progressives (they being the only S-A PN’s I know of).

    [I am reaching out to all my liberal readers. o{];¬) ]

  3. Father Flores says:

    During a conversation over lunch a friend of mine mentioned a homily he had heard that weekend. Money quote: “It was at the same time pelagian and antinomian, I would’ve been impressed if I wasn’t so disedified.”

  4. ralphgiv says:

    Dear Father Z.,
    I hope to read an analysis of the SAPNP statement in EG soon: it confuses, scares, and hurts me, and I’d imagine that I’m not alone. To hear how a Priest such as yourself has dealt with any of these same feelings would be most encouraging to me, and I’d bet, many others.

  5. BLB Oregon says:

    Proud of it, but somewhat skeptical about having Christmas as a central feast day. Something to do with combatting the cumulative effects of natural light deprivation….all the lights and the red and white and whatnot. The tree and cinnamon for aromatherapy. The central story is quaint, too, but it is just a front for the therapeutic value of the observance, which is positive when it occurs in a healthy community context. OTOH, that kind of describes the entire liturgical year, so why not?

  6. dep says:

    Is there not a Latin version?

  7. Robbie says:

    Any chance you can also have some swag made that reads, “Self absorbed retrograde”?

  8. dep says: Is there not a Latin version?

    Would you please find for us the official Latin version of the Holy Father’s Exhortation? Thanks in advance!

  9. yatzer says:

    I looked up this phrase, found a quiz, and apparently am one even though I still don’t know what that means. sigh. What are you talking about Papa Francis?

  10. Andrew says:

    dep

    Svm meipsvm amans prometheanvs neopelagianvs fastv svperbo tvrgidvs.

  11. nighm says:

    Would owning such a mug make one a public heretic? Unless I’m mistaken about what a Neopelagian is…

  12. Fr. Z, pardon me for being crude, but isn’t this basically a big middle finger to the Holy Father?

    [Yes, that is crude of you. I don’t see why it has to be taken that way. That said, some people think that Pope aimed this strange label at traditionalists. If that is indeed the case, then I am poking fun at myself and others who prefer traditional expressions of our Faith. In these stressful times we need a sense of humor. In the meantime, I hope someone out there knows what the phrase means or who these people might be, for sure. I sure don’t.]

  13. benedetta says:

    I would put this one next to my “With your servant, Francis” magnet (also offered in the Fr. Z Swag Boutique!) which I do proudly display nonetheless. And I drink my Mystic Monk from a Lockstep Papist Throwback mug. Someday Fr Z you should add: “out of the box forward thinking sage”. Cf the post about the angry mail you received in New Age guru Matthew Fox’s defense…

  14. benedetta says: “out of the box forward thinking sage”

    I don’t remember that one. Is that something you came up with?

    And that “lockstep papist throwback” line was fun, isn’t it? That was without question aimed at people like me.

    And that “With your servant Francis” car mag was really nice. I like that one. Alas, I have found that the red used by Cafepress fades a little with lots of direct sunlight. But they aren’t very expensive.

    null

  15. LadyMarchmain says:

    Thank you, Father! I can’t tell you how much I’ve been hoping you would do this! But what about the anthropological immanentist bit? Maybe on the verso? Could it be in Latin? Pretty please?

  16. Imrahil says:

    In these stressful times we need a sense of humor.

    Exactly! Thanks for that!

  17. benedetta says:

    Ah, here it is exactly: “thought provoking out of the box sage”. You were accused of insulting the great Mr. Fax. Still makes me laugh out loud to read it again.

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/05/mystic-monk-coffee-break-reader-feedback-edition/

    [Ah yes! I smiled again, as a reread it.]

  18. CharlesG says:

    I suppose this is good for a yuck, but I hope that everyone remembers at the same time that Pelagianism is truly a heresy condemned by the Church at the Council of Orange and by St. Augustine. We can’t achieve salvation on our own merits and works, but need the grace of God to help us. On the other hand also, we are not Calvinist completely predestined robots either, as we do have free will and must make some tiny bit of self effort to cooperate with God’s will, as Mary did most preeminently in her Fiat.

  19. LadyMarchmain says:

    Charles G., I agree. Perhaps if the terms were placed in quotation marks, it would make the irony clearer?

  20. benedetta says:

    CharlesG, Good points. What is the “no need to go to the church/pray/receive sacraments/perform the works of mercy for God is everywhere anyway” heresy called?

  21. Mr. Green says:

    What I don’t understand is why some people are so disturbed at the Pope’s use of this term. It’s an amusing turn of phrase, and while I can understand not understanding it, it isn’t that hard to figure out what Pope Francis is getting at (as has been done in various other posts on this site, for example). [Right, it both perplexing and, darn it, amusing!]

    •self-absorbed or self-referential = referring to one’s own authority
    •pelagian = not needing grace from the Church
    •neopelagian = not needing the authority of the Church
    •self-referential neopelagian = putting more faith in your own authority than the Church, or “more Catholic than the Pope”
    •self-referential promethean neopelagian = more Catholic than God

    Anyway, I guess any self-referential promethan neopelagian worth his salt would have to be proud of it, since it is at root a sin of pride.

    (“If you’re … self-referentially prometheanistically neopelagian and proud of it,
      Clap your hands!
    If you’re self-referentially prometheanistically neopelagian and proud of it,
      Clap your hands!
    If you’re self-referentially prometheanistically neopelagian and proud of it,
        and sedevacantist enough to tell Francis to shove it,
        If you’re self-referentiallyprometheanisticallyneopelagian and proud of it,
          Clap your hands!”)

  22. SpesUnica says:

    Not everyone is getting the joke.

    I’m not positive that I am, either, but then again, where do mugs and bumper-stickers lie on Fr. Z’s “hierarchy of media teachings?” Way below rants, I’m guessing, well, under the Latin originals of the rants, at least. [I think Pope Francis would call them “sour pusses”. That’s just a guess.]

  23. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    If someone were to receive one as, say, a Beethoven’s Birthday present (while, say, listening to Leonid Hambro’s 1970 ‘Happy Birthday Dear Ludwig”, as heard on YouTube), he could always remark, “Self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism is wrong. But in my life I have known many self-absorbed promethean neopelagians who are good as people, and because of this I don’t take offense.”

    [That’s the spirit!]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  24. av8er says:

    My brain hurts! ;-)

  25. Denis says:

    I hope that the current papacy will disabuse traditionalists of the notion that they can both defend tradition and be patted on the head by every man wearing a mitre or a tiara. In short, I hope that this is the end of the worship of episcopes and pontiffs. Respect their authority, yes. Seek their smiles and high fives for everything one does? No. “It’s easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission” should be the traditionalist motto. Celebrate the EF, respect tradition, and then soften the local bishop’s anger with generous gifts and hypnotic rhetoric. If you apply this principle consistently, tradition will be implemented, and the aging modernists will be handed a fait accompli.

  26. Mr. Green says:

    Benedetta: What is the “no need to go to the church/pray/receive sacraments/perform the works of mercy for God is everywhere anyway” heresy called?

    Neo-gnosticism, of course! At least, Pope Francis calls it gnosticism in the very same paragraph (94) wherein he introduces self-absorbed promethean neopelagians. He lays out the two extremes which distort the balanced view: that the rules are not everything, nor are they nothing. The neognostic isn’t bound by the rules, he has his own “purely subjective faith”. And at the other extreme, the rules are all that matter: the neopelagian has a “supposed soundness of doctrine” that elevates him above everyone else. And it’s important that he describes both poles: we all are tempted one way or the other; some to a greater degree than others, some of us more one direction than the other, some of us vacillate back and forth. But we all should examine ourselves and make sure we are following the golden mean.

  27. Lori Pieper says:

    Mr. Green, I think that’s an excellent interpretation.

  28. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Mr. Green and ralphgiv,

    Paragraph 94 does indeed (it seems to me) invite to a lot of careful brooding over. The “two” are distinguished clearly, yet are also said to be “deeply interrelated ways” which fuel or feed “especialmente” the one “spritual worldliness” and both are said to be “manifestations of an anthropocentric immanentism”. Curiously, in paragraph 93, the Holy Father specifies Our Lord’s reprimand as to “the Pharisees”, perhaps on the basis of comparison with 12:42-43, for that specification is not in chapter 5 of St. John’s Gospel, and he immediately goes on to the breadth and variety of “It [= “spiritual worldliness”] takes on many forms, depending on the kinds of persons and groups into which it seeps.” As Mr. Green well notes, “we all are tempted […], some of us more one direction than the other, some of us vacillate back and forth.”

    I wonder if part of the distinction between the ‘gnostic’ and ‘neopelagian’ ways or manners of especially feeding worldliness is between a more inward, private manner and a more outward, activist publicly-organizing manner. To say, “because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past”, may sound very specific as to one “group”, but (with “historical divisions” from para. 100 in mind) one can also see it, for example, as applying to different Rites improperly perceived as in competition, or, with a “past” of half-a-century, now, to different ‘particular styles’ within the Roman Rite. Is a valid ‘Use’ or ‘Rite’ used properly, or abused as a means to “feel superior to others” as part of an “authoritarian elitism”?

    Where the “self-absorbed” quality of “promethean neopelagianism” is concerned, it is worth noting that both the Spanish and Italian versions use “autorreferencial” and “autoreferenziale” respectively, twice, once each in paragraphs 94 and 95, the second of these being in the phrase which appears in English as “an obsession with programmes of self-help and self-realization”.

    (Curiously, the “immanentism” in para. 94 is prepared for by, and echoes, a related form in the Spanish and Italian where “en la inmanencia” and “nell’immanenza” respectively characterize the ‘gnostic’ being ” imprisoned in his or her own thoughts and feelings.”)

  29. Pingback: PopeWatch: Self-Absorbed Promethean Neopelagian | The American Catholic

  30. benedetta says:

    Mr. Green, and so when rules are obsessed over / enforced which are based upon some parallel magisterium established in the past, say, the 70s, is that gnosticism or is it more neopelagianism?

  31. Sonshine135 says:

    I have to say that I am in the pool with the people that do not understand the mug. I understand the Pope’s point in Para. 94 that there are people on the extremes of Catholic society. In this case, as someone aptly put, you are “more Catholic than the Pope”, I don’t know that I would boast about it, and I certainly wouldn’t double down by saying “and proud of it”. If that is supposed to be the joke, than perhaps it is to me as many of Dennis Miller’s fine jokes- incomprehensible to my IQ level.

    Now, if you did a mug that said: Just slightly left of a Self-Absorbed Promethean Neopelagian, you’d have a sale!

    [In some ways, the phrase more aptly describes liberals.]

  32. Jim of Bowie says:

    Risking a rabbit hole, but I’m just glad to hear that someone else has trouble understanding some of Dennis Miller’s jokes.

  33. Mr. Green says:

    Benedetta: when rules are obsessed over / enforced which are based upon some parallel magisterium established in the past, say, the 70s, is that gnosticism or is it more neopelagianism?

    Good question… interestingly enough, I think I could go either way. Some people really don’t care about rules — if you want to follow your rules, that’s fine by them, they just want to continue doing their own thing regardless. And there are others who fight against rules when they don’t like them, but absolutely insist on the rules they do want. Some people probably end up neopelagian and neognostic at the same time! That’s the problem with being wrong: the only way to be completely consistent is by sticking to the truth. As soon as you accept one error, more will inevitably follow, even errors that are “opposite” to your original starting point.

    Venerator Sti Lot: but (with “historical divisions” from para. 100 in mind) one can also see it, for example, as applying to different Rites improperly perceived as in competition, or, with a “past” of half-a-century, now, to different ‘particular styles’ within the Roman Rite

    I think you’re right… As Fr. Z has noted, this phrase is even more apt for certain liberals, and surely Pope Francis is aware that there are people who are fixated on an imaginary idealised 70s. And I think that’s one reason why he’s speaking, not vaguely, but generally: he cannot hope to identify in detail every possible variety of error, but he points out the extremes, and invites us to shy away from error on both sides. After all, this Exhortation is not about classifying all the sins the other guy is committing; it’s about recognising these temptations so that I can escape them myself, and thus be able to credibly spread the Good News.

  34. The Cobbler says:

    Personally, I just can’t figure out what Prometheus has to do with it. (And yes, I am familiar in above average detail with the myth.)

  35. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I like the way the inscription simultaneously takes to task the pride of anyone insofar as justly called “a self-absorbed promethean neopelagian” and ironically heads the call to “be glad and rejoice” (St. Matthew 5:12) when unjustly characterized as one – all the while reminding of the dangers of pride.

  36. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    (My apologies: “heeds”, not “heads”!) I will add, and does it with such a light touch.

  37. Aspie says:

    Neo means new and Pelagianism is an old heresy that denied original sin and the Catholic view of grace. Maybe he’s talking about the new view that some people have that most people are saved without the sacraments by good works alone.

  38. Timbones says:

    How about some papal zuchettos with the phrase on it? Or is that over the top? (pun intended)