From the brilliant Jester:

This news came out earlier this week, but I have been working with my contacts to try to get more information. In a world exclusive I have gotten hold of the new document which is being released in a format that up to now has never been used before by the Vatican. I don’t know how it will be received by some bishops, but I think the new format will be helpful for them.

And here is a sample page.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. techno_aesthete says:


  2. Matt Q says:

    Oh, I so wish this was a real product. Father Z, if only!!

  3. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    still laughing so hard that my ribs hurt!

  4. Vincent Uher says:

    Tremendously funny, and oh how I wish you would write such a book !!!

  5. Father M says:

    I love humor and this is very creative, but…although some of us have struggled with our bishops over this, I hedge about anything that detracts from the office of Bishop. “Bishop” has become a nasty code word for some, and that should make us uncomfortable. Besides, lack of intelligence or perspicacity is not the reason for the troubling reception of the Summorum Pontificum among some bishops. We need a strong clarification document (unfortunately) coupled strong enforcement, but done always in a manner that respects the sacred orders of the Church. And that is no less true if some of those who hold those sacred offices have not always respected priests or the Church’s rites in the past. We want to do this in a Catholic way, after all.

  6. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    So — Write the book!

  7. Guy Power says:

    Oh please someone!!! Send this to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei … and make sure the Holy Father sees it.

  8. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Yes, Father M, I entirely agree.

    It would be horrific if anyone held the office of bishop in any disregard whatsoever. Those who attack the office of bishop as such are simply anti-Catholic. There are, unfortunately, some who have let themselves become bitter, and who, ironically, turn out to be much worse enemies of the church than any perception they may have had.

    To help us out, the Lord said that He would shorten the time of the trial, for the sake of the elect (see, e.g., Mt 24,22; Mk 13,20).

    However, a bit of pedagogical humor about some individuals who happen to fill the office of bishop is not entirely out of order. Sometimes this is the most effective way to shake up those who need shaking up, and this, as an act of solidarity with them. If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t do anything. Truth in Charity is absolutely essential.

    Sometimes people may get the wrong idea, and be scandalized. However, we can’t just refuse to live because some want to get the wrong idea about anything for whatever reason. I should hope that those who come to this blog see that the one who runs it and many of its participants have a profound love and respect for the Church, for the office of bishop, and, yes, for individual bishops, wishing them the best in the faith, even if this wishing sometimes takes the form of humor. We must presume, must we not, that bishops have the capacity to see the truth behind the humor, and appreciate the true message that is there. Charity and respect.

  9. Paul, South Midlands says:

    Fr M and Fr Renzo, I sadly have to disagree.

    In 1536 Henry VIII declared himself head of the Church in England. Only one member of the English Bishops Conference did not go along with this, St John Fisher (who was executed). All the others quite happily went along with it.

    If the laity are not prepared to stand up and say to bishops, “sorry your grace you are WRONG”, we may before too long see the same situation again.

  10. Francis Brennan says:

    Fr. Z.,

    Maybe the book’s title should be changed. It’s not so much that bishops who are resisting Summorum Pontificum are “episcopal dummies.” I would characterize them as “episcopal rebels” who have re-defined and downsized the extent of papal authority to suit their own theological/ ideological purposes.

    And if they seek unilaterally to re-define the authority of the Pope, they forfeit to some degree (to use a well-worn phrase many of the rebels are fond of) the “respect due to the successors of the apostles.”

  11. Jon says:

    Calling Father Trigilio, calling Father Trigilio…

  12. Nathan says:

    + JMJ +

    Father M’s points are well taken, we do need to be careful to respect the office and dignity of bishops. Nonetheless, there is a long and honored tradition of the faithful calling individual bishops or groups of bishops on the carpet in both satirical written works and “to the face” as well.

    Perhaps the most widely read version of this in the West was Dante’s “Inferno,” where he somehow finds a significant number of bishops and popes (whom he names) in hell. An interesting example for the liturgical geeks among us (and who of us who reads this blog isn’t to some degree a liturgical geek?) is that the faithful of Rome (if my history is correct) almost forcibly removed St Gregory the Great for shortening and rearranging the Roman Canon.

    I would suggest that as long as we show due respect to the dignity of their fullness of Holy Orders (and I think that the parody on Summorum certainly met that requirement), we should be able to publicly comment on public actions of bishops. Sometimes true charity requires us to admonish, even a playful way, those in lawful authority over us.

    In Christ,

  13. Jordan Potter says:

    Francis said: Maybe the book’s title should be changed. It’s not so much that bishops who are resisting Summorum Pontificum are “episcopal dummies.” I would characterize them as “episcopal rebels”

    Yes, but that would ruin the joke, as there is no popular series of books known as “(X) For Rebels”, but there is one known as “(X) For Dummies”..

  14. Well Fr. John, will you and Fr. Ken take up this project? Not if you don’t want to get your sacerdotal backside in a sling. Still laughing at the prospect. LOL

  15. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Paul, South Midlands, will have to reread my comments. Now, isn’t that irony?

  16. TJM says:

    Father Z,

    You brightened my day with this one.

    What fun! Tom

  17. Eric says:

    Bishops are not and should not be above reproach. Throughout history there have been many weak-willed, heterodox or downright heretical Bishops. I think of St. Catherine admonishing Pope Gregory about returning to Rome or good old Bishop Milingo in our time. We, as laity, can’t do nothing as certain Bishops lead people astray or silently rebel against the faith and the Church just because we need to be respectful of Bishops. I think we too often emphasis the role of the Bishop to the extreme, saying that they cannot be criticized or corrected.

  18. EVERYONE: I have deleted some comments.

    This is not an occasion to be vicious to bishops, who merit respect because of their office.

    The satirical images above are some gentle ribbing. I do not consider them to be over the edge of charity and respect due to successors of the Apostles.

    First, there is a famous series called [fill in the blank] For Dummies.  I have bought a few of these myself, though I don’t think I am much of a dummy.  I don’t think others who buy them are either.

    Second, Summorum Pontificum is of huge importance to the Church.  It deserves to be understood.  If some gentle humor can be of use in getting across the point that the Catholic faithful are not being fooled by the games being played with the Motu Proprio, then by all means let humor be used.

    Third, we might keep in mind that Archbp. Ranjith of the CDW has said that bishops and others who create unreasonable obstacles in the implemention of Summorum Pontificum are allowing themselves to become “instruments of the devil” and are perhaps committing the grave sin of pride, then I really see very little harm in applying a little irony to lighten the gravity of the situation.

    That said:  Don’t be vicious with this.  Keep it light and don’t pile on.

  19. Chironomo says:

    Fr. M, Fr. Lorenzo, et al…

    Wouldn’t it be the Bishops themselves who have “detracted from the office of Bishop”? Didn’t we just go through a huge humiliation in the Catholic Church (Child abuse) precisely because people “out here” decided to have respect for the office of Priest and Bishop and not say anything? Is it disrespectful to speak up when we see wrong? I agree, the name calling and parodies can sometimes get to the level of disrespect, but I can’t help feeling that it is somewhat useful to have the kind of “pressure” that this media can bring.

Comments are closed.