Another motivation parody

Orthometer strikes again.

Some bishops are fighting the Holy See’s norms for liturgical translation and the most recent draft prepared by the reconstructed ICEL.  They essentially think that the language is too hard, which implies that they think people are not very smart.

Thus, words like "ineffable" are "unspeakable" in the Mass.  They are tooo haaard!

This applies also to "gibbet".  No one could ever understand what "gibbet" means!

So, visual aids are often helpful for liturgical catechesis … and basic English vocabulary.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    “No one could ever understand what “gibbet” means!”

    Uh…. isn’t that the innards of a turkey at Thanksgiving ;)

    The wikipedia says “Giblets are the edible offal of a fowl, typically including the heart, gizzard, liver, and other visceral organs. ”

    Gee, now I have to look up those words too :/

  2. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Insofar as one of the historically conspicuous users of the phrase “gebbit of the Crosse” was St. John Fisher (Works 416), my feeling is that every time an English-speaking bishop claims there is a problem with the word we pray to St. John Fisher to intercede for their arrogance.

  3. Derik Castillo says:

    Dear Fr Z. I think I get your point, but perhaps human rights groups
    will protest against the use of gibbets. May I suggest exorcism?

  4. Derik: Let’s compromise and use both.

  5. elizabeth mckernan says:

    Could it be that Americans are not familiar with the word ‘gibbet’ because they did not have highwaymen? In England highwaymen, when caught, used to be hung from a gibbet and even children know this gruesome detail of our history! A popular pencil and paper game among school children here is called ‘Hangman’ and they all know how to draw a gibbet.

  6. Padre Steve says:

    There is a special gibbet waiting for those who scare children at Mass with spooky costumes!

  7. Let me be the first to hip to the new album by my band, Georgie and the Ineffable Gibbets, entitled “What Trout-man Hath Wrought.”

  8. Let me be the first to hip you to the new album by my band, Georgie and the Ineffable Gibbets, entitled “What Trout-man Hath Wrought.”

  9. Aelric says:

    As bizarre as the masked bio-puppets might be, even more disturbing is the woman in the background wearing what appears to be a stole (or pseudo-stole or simulacrum of a stole or semi-demi-hemi-stole or …).

  10. Emilio III says:

    CC: I’m sorry , but your album title is much too hard and politically incorrect. “What Fish-person has done” would be more appropriate for these times.

  11. Mary says:

    CC, you made me almost choke on my nectarine!

  12. Excellent posters! Who will be the first to make a Bsp. Trautperson video like the ones at

  13. The photo posted by Fr. Z puts me in mind of the witches in Macbeth , as they circle the cauldron, stirring their evil brew.
    It is worth remembering what these witches stand for. They represent treason and treachery in its worst sense. The way in which they urge Macbeth on to his bloody deeds, closely resembles the way the Devil tempts men, planting a wicked idea in the mind and letting it develop into a wicked act. And to drive home the point, the witches are usually depicted as ugly old hags. Why, I wonder, do the people in this photo, wearing those sinister puppet masks, want to dress up as ugly old hags ?

  14. Mary says:

    “words like “ineffable” are “unspeakable” in the Mass. They are tooo haaard!” Perhaps in their education, the bishops did not read T.S. Eliot or seen the very popular MODERN musical, Cats. The Eliot verse goes:

    “When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
    The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
    His mind is engaged in rapt contemplation
    Of the thought, of the thought,
    of the thought of his name:
    His ineffable effable
    Deep and inscrutable singular Name”.
    (From The Naming of Cats by T. S. Eliot, The Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats)

  15. Fr D says:

    Has anyone else noticed the costume colours of the “witches” in the picture? Traditional wimmins’ suffrage livery…spot the (not very) subliminal agenda here. Kyrie Eleison!

  16. Gloria says:

    Since our public school system fails overall to provide an adequate education, vocabulary really is limited in too much of our population. I almost fell off my chair when a congresswoman, who shall remain nameless, took umbrage (hmmm) when someone used the word “niggardly,’ calling it a racist remark. Of course, even if we poor lay people may not understand a word here and there, are we too lazy or stupid to look it up? When I was a children’s librarian, I sometimes encountered parents who thought that I should change words in a story so that little ones would understand. I pointed out that certain words were necessary to the meaning of the story and that the author used it for a reason. Children will hear a word, unconsciously put it in context with the sentence and when they see or hear it as they get older, they will know what it means instinctively. I think that the majority of us are intelligent enough to “get it.”

  17. pdt says:

    I just finished watching the 7-part HBO series John Adams. In the course of the series, characters used both the words “ineffable” and “gibbet”. Admittedly John Adams is slightly more highbrow than normal television fare, but HBO doesn’t require graduate degrees in linguistics. I guess they figure people can learn something along the way.

  18. I think “gibbet” has a hugely important connotation for English Catholics since when they hear it, they think of the English martyrs that went to Tyburn Tree.

    Moreover, I think it would do English speaking Catholics, even American English catholic speakers, well to learn what a gibbet is, and learn a little about what the English went through.

    Keep the word “gibbet.” It means “gallows” more or less.

    PS. The pollyannas in the progressive set should be glad we don’t tell them what else happened to those martyrs at Tyburn Tree besides being put on the gibbet. It was truly one of the more grisly episodes of English history, and English history has a lot of grisly episodes.

  19. ckdexterhaven says:

    Which one is Joe and which one is Mary Catholic?

  20. milanta says:

    The new Prefect of The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments WILL BE Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, now Archbishop of Toledo, Spain; and He WILL BE fight against this king of terrible things in Liturgy.

  21. Warren Anderson says:

    What is it with the return of big puppets these days? Even in the photos of the procession through Quebec City, there be big puppets ( – “Quebec Procession”).

  22. joe says:

    What strikes me as odd is that our current crop of bishops — pray for them, I prefer Ps. 108:8 — is that the words they consider too hard for John and Mary Catholic are used (in their Spanish or Portuguese equivalent) by Juan & María Católico with nary a peep of complaint. Are they suggesting that U.S. Catholics are less intelligent than less-than-well-educated Latin American peasants?



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