I want to put a stop to something

Not a few people have written me e-mails along the lines:

"How could the Holy Father appoint to New York a bishop who celebrated Mass wearing a ‘cheesehead’ hat?"

The reference is to Archbp. Timothy Dolan who has been moved from Milwaukee to New York.

Back in 2002, right after he arrived in Milwaukee, the new Archbishop, very aware of the relationship people in Wisconsin have with the Green Bay Packers, momentarily put on a ‘cheesehead’ hat at the beginning of his sermon time.

He did not say Mass wearing a ‘cheesehead’ hat.

Should he have done that?  I wouldn’t have.  To my mind it was infra dignitatem, both for the moment, the congregation and his person. 

But I am not the brand new Archbishop of Milwaukee, just arrived after years and years of mismanagement under Weakland and the scandal at the end.  Facing these circumstances, he made a decision at the moment to brighten the atmosphere in a time of pain and uncertainty.  It is hard to fault his reasoning.

One lives and one learns.

Even bishops have to have some on the job training.  They must learn from reactions to their decisions.  They make mistakes and hopefully, with grace, grow in their ministry.

So if you are really upset about the ‘cheesehead’ hat thing, I suggest that you cast your first rock at yourself. 

Unless of course you have never made a mistake you eventually learned from.

Good luck to Archbishop Dolan!  He’ll need both luck and prayers.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Bravo, Father! Well said.

  2. pelerin says:

    ‘A cheesehead hat’ – is that something particularly American? I’ve never come across the word before.

  3. Tom says:

    Pray for him indeed. Milwaukee to NY is the same route taken by the Catholic League.

    He’s moving to the modern capital of anti-clericalism in the USA and they don’t give a darn about whether he wore a cheese hat!

  4. Frank H says:

    ‘A cheesehead hat’ is a particularly Wisconsin thing, since the state is well known for its dairy products.

  5. Fr. Charles says:

    Good for you, Fr. Z. I was a novice outside Fond du Lac when Dolan arrived in Milwaukee and donned the ‘hat.’ Yes, it’s not the best thing, but having lived there, I understand. I’m in NY now and I have him back. I pray in thanksgiving for our new shepherd and high priest!

  6. Charlotte says:

    The fact that people are upset about the cheesehead (they think code for “clown mass”) is, in my opinion, more proof that some Traditionalists (I said SOME, not all) have no sense of humor or any flexibility whatsoever.

  7. WvE says:

    actually, Archbishop Dolan is a Saint Louis native, and that obviously made it even more important for him to connect with people in his new archdiocese of Milwaukee

    God bless Archbishop Dolan in his new ministry as “archbishop of the capital of the world” (to quote Pope John Paul II)

  8. RANCHER says:

    The momentary wearing of a cheese head hat to establish some important bonding with the faithful is far more acceptable than the years of cheesey liturgy that some Bishops allow to go on unchecked in their dioceses. Prayers and best wishes to the ArchBp

  9. Bonifacius says:

    If you check across the Internet, you will find photos of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI wearing any number of funny hats, though I would presume outside of Mass. His Excellency was following a precedent to some extent, I guess.

    Archbishop Dolan is not from Milwaukee. I believe he is originally from St. Louis. When he arrived in Milwaukee from St. Louis, he spoke on vocations at Marquette University. During the course of the talk, he took a sip of water and said, “That’s weaker than Miller.” Of course, he was joking about the ongoing war between Milwaukee and St. Louis beers.

  10. Kradcliffe says:

    WvE: Are you saying there’s a Milwaukee/St. Louis rivalry? Is it anything to do with Miller vs Bud?

  11. WvE says:


    I don’t know if there is a specific rivalry between the two cities of Saint Louis and Milwaukee

    But when someone arrives from out of town to take on the position of archbishop, he obviously needs to show that he is sensitive to local concerns

    Just think of Pope John Paul II who told the Romans that “I am speaking to you in your — no our Italian language”

  12. Father Totton says:

    I know this is a rabbithole (Fr. Z can shut me down if he wishes), but Miller v. Bud is really a lot like Kettle v. Pot, neither has a credible claim to taste. [Good point.] The acquisition of A-B by the Belgian firm Imbev may be the greatest thing to happen to American Beer since the repeal of prohibition. FWIW

  13. vox clamantis says:

    The cheese head hat certainly doesn’t merit much notice … unfortunate, but not of much significance.

    But what about his utilization of his predecessor for confirmations instead of packing him off to a monastery to reflect on his indiscretions? Or the Archbishop’s failure to undo the devastation of Milwaukee’s cathedral inflicted as a parting salvo by that same predecessor?

    And what is his record of support for the Traditional Latin Mass in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee? This I do not know and would enjoy learning.

    I wish Archbishop Dolan well in New York City (he is the Holy Father’s choice for the job), but there are any number of other fine bishops whose appointment there would have brought more joy to my heart.

  14. Henry Edwards says:

    Charlotte: The fact that people are upset about the cheesehead (they think code for “clown mass”) is, in my opinion, more proof that some Traditionalists (I said SOME, not all) have no sense of humor or any flexibility whatsoever.

    I wonder why — in the absence of any such indication — you might assume those complaining about the bishop donning a cheesehead hat were traditionalists?

    I know both lots of traditional Catholics and lots who aren’t. On the whole, it seems to me that a larger percentage of the progressive Catholics are inflexible and humorless. You should hear the laughter outside after the TLM I attend on Sundays. I never hear anything like it after daily OF Mass.

    So, if that were the criterion, I’d have to assume the complainers are non-traditionalists.

    Seriously, though, assuming this took place at an OF Mass, I’d assume that anyone who took issue with it would do so because of reverence for the ordinary form. Would it make sense, otherwise?

  15. Dave says:

    Vox Clamantis:
    Archbishop Dolan has been most generous with the TLM in Milwaukee.
    He welcomed the ICRSP to St. Stanislaus, the oldest Polish parish in the Archdiocese and an historic structure in its own right, giving that community care not only of the parish itself, but also creating an Oratory there for those attached to the extraordinary form. He has provided for the celebration of the TLM in Sheboygan, on Lake Michigan and to the north of the City of Milwaukee, at Holy Hill once monthly, and has recently determined that the pastor of St. Stanislaus will be responsible for training for the TLM in the Archdiocese.
    A laudible record…and God love the Archbishop for donning the cheesehead. He knows his people.

  16. Dr. Eric says:

    I don’t know His Grace personally, but I did meet him once and he is a genuinely nice guy. There is a rivalry between Milwaukee and St. Louis, although not as great as the one with Chicago. And His Grace made a very quick reference to the fact that he was becoming “one of them” with the cheese head hat. I’m told people in the area are nuts for the Packers.

    This really goes to show how much some of the characterizations of “Traditionalists” are true. Sometimes I’m ashamed to be one, mea maxima culpa!

  17. Susan says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how critical people are of our Bishops. Do they take time to pray for them? Have they ever wondered how hard their job is?

  18. Henry Edwards says:

    Dr. Eric: This really goes to show how much some of the characterizations of “Traditionalists” are true.

    Same question as I posed of Charlotte at 2:02 pm. What’s this cheesehead question got to do with “traditionalists”? (Although I’m obviously a TLM supporter, the fact that I attend an OF Mass every weekday ought to absolve me of the vile charge of being a “traditionalist” myself.)

    Really, there’s a whole spectrum of human personality types in every liturgical camp, but those who are purse-lipped and even hyper about mention of the other are — in my own considerable experience — definitely more prevalent among the more progressive types. So much so, I’m really puzzled bu claims of predominately contrary experience.

  19. Matthew says:

    Is there any chance the complaints came from Bears fans? :-p

    But really… we need to pray more and more for our bishops that they receive the wisdom and courage necessary to complete their missions.

  20. TJM says:

    I wonder what mode of head-dress awaits Archbishop Dolan in New York? Tom

  21. ckdexterhaven says:

    He should have been more “inclusive”. Worn the cheesehead hat, swung the terrible towel, then the tomahawk chop. Everybody happy!

  22. Charlotte says:

    “SOME, not all.”

  23. Dan says:

    Isn’t the cheese hat a Green Bay Packers rally item?

  24. Aspen says:

    I have never met anyone from Wisconsin, no matter how tradiational”ist” or simply ornery, who
    (1) didn’t understand why Archbishop Dolan donned a cheesehead hat for 30 seconds, or
    (2) wished he wouldn’t have.

    The brouhaha over the hat says more the condescending opinions of others towards Wisconsin than it does about impropriety on behalf of the good archbishop, who knew his people.

  25. Luigi says:

    If anyone has ever had the priviledge of hearing Abp. Dolan give an extended talk as he did in Baltimore last year speaking on Church history, one thing you realize about him immediately is his wonderful sense of humor. Whether it was a great idea or not, I can’t say the cheesehead thing is totally out of character. The man is just plain funny, AND his love for the Church is pretty obvious when he speaks too. Seems like a good combination to me.

    May God bless him in his new post.

    “If he can make it there, he’ll make it anywhere.”
    -Frankie “Blue Eyes”

  26. Tom says:

    Well said, Father.

    I’m originally from the Milwaukee area, and while I usually would also say that there’s a time and a place for everything, and perhaps that was neither the time or the place, let me just say that Archbishop Dolan was exactly what we needed. God put him in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. You can’t imagine the shock and horror and holy anger we all felt after the scandal that brought down Archbishop Weakland. A little levity was exactly what we needed in Milwaukee. You can’t imagine how far gestures like that went in winning the people’s hearts over to their new Archbishop after what we had just been through. It isn’t just a matter of walking in his shoes for a day – but ours too! Our hearts had just been trampled by our shepherd – what a blessing for Archbishop Dolan to come and shepherd us as one of us.

  27. Holly says:

    Yes, the cheesehead is a Green Bay Packers thing. Mostly. The fact that Dolan wore it was a bigtime nod to Wisconsinites in saying he identified with them as concerns something they are generally obsessed about – the Pack. I think it was funny and appropriate, and I think anyone who believes he was showing irreverance to the church is off the mark.

  28. Johnny Domer says:

    I think I recall hearing that Cardinal O’Connor put on a Yankees and then a Mets hat during his opening sermon…

  29. Nathan says:

    Somewhere in this thread there’s the potential for another Fr. Zuhlsdorf/Fr. Longenecker discussion on the clerical “cappello di formaggio.”

    (Respectful enough, I hope. Just aiming for a little levity.)

    Congratulations to the Archbishop–

    In Christ,

  30. Clinton says:

    Vox clamantis, you take the good Archbp. Dolan to task for not undoing the wreckovation that +Weakland inflicted
    upon the Milwaukee cathedral by way of a parting gift to his flock. I think that may be unfair — I doubt that the
    Milwaukee Archdiocese has the means at present to undo the spoilation.

    Keep in mind that +Dolan came to an Archdiocese that was reeling from the previous administration. He could only
    work with the means and the personnel left him by his predecessor. One cannot summon new chancery staff out of
    nowhere — and +Weakland seems to have made sure that solid, orthodox priests were rather thin on the ground.

    Clearly someone whose opinion matters much, much more than yours and mine has felt that the good Archbishop
    has proven his abilities.

  31. r7blue1pink says:

    I suggest that folks re-read the Epistle from yesterday and contemplate on the words CAREFULLY…

    We all have a tendency to be un-charitable and have negative things spew out of our mouths.

    Can we not, for heaven’s sake- or for our own soul’s sakes- make a conscientious effort today and during LENT to RID ourselves of the negativism and pessimism?

    We are created for the Glory of Heaven.. thank you Father for the gentle reminder!!!

  32. Breier says:


    You raise a good question. Who knows more about the character of a priest or a bishop; the faithful under said prelate, or the Pope who is responsible for thousands of bishops and hundreds of thousands of priests? Is the process currently in place for selecting prelates effective? Someone living in a diocese gets to specialize on just one diocese, the Holy See has to focus on the whole world. I don’t think we can easily dismiss the experience of the faithful.

  33. Dave Pawlak says:

    Abp. Dolan put a lot of time and effort into vocations. WE have more seminarians now, more ordinations (six this year), and a rector who is a model priest.

  34. Elizabeth says:

    I have known Archbishop Dolan since he was an assistant at Immocolata Parish in St. Louis. Trust me……he is the best and everyone in that parish predicted that he would one day be a cardinal. He has been so good to so many people through all these years and has done an absolutely outstanding job for the Church.Let us all pray for this wonderful Priest of God who will certainly be loyal to our Holy Father.

  35. pontificum says:

    I find it amazing that people would be so nit-picky about this man briefly wearing the local hat as a warm introduction.

    You people might as well have robots celebrating Mass for you, you’re more rigid and frigid than the Pharisees!

  36. Breier says:


    Have you noticed that practically nobody in the comments section has a problem with the cheesehead hat? You need not be concerned.

  37. Bonifacius says:

    In 2003 or 2004 I took a theology course at Marquette University on the history of Catholicism in America. The good Archbishop stopped by one day to teach a class on the founder of the Catholic Extension Society. I’m glad he’s been promoted to New York, by which I mean he’s a good choice, not that Milwaukee is losing him.

  38. yeoldeacolyte says:

    If the Archbishop of Milwaukee is known for wearing a funny hat before his sermon and it apparently doesn’t concern the pope, why should Catholics be outraged? On the other hand, what will really outrage a whole lot of New York Catholics is that a bishop from New York or the northeast wasn’t selected. There was a time when that would have been absolutely unthinkable. Perhaps, it tells us more about Pope Benedict’s views of the present state of the archdiocese of New York, and what he expects of Archbishop Dolan in the future.

    It will be interesting to observe how he oversees the New York church.

  39. GOR says:

    For the uninitiated (i.e. those not from Wisconsin…), ‘cheesehead’ was a pejorative term used about Wisconsinites (because we’re ‘The Dairy State’) by people from less-enlightened States (smirk). Just like we in WI called Illinoisians ‘flatlanders’ (and worse…!). Being nothing if not innovative, Wisconsinites took the negative appelation and turned it into a positive – the sign of a Packer Backer… Hence Packer supporters sport the cheesehead at Packer games. It’s a Wisconsin thing…

    The occasion of Ab. Dolan donning the hat was the annual open-air Mass at Irish Fest. He did it momentarily at the beginning of his sermon to signal his ‘conversion’ from Missouri to Wisconsin. While you would be hard pressed to find a rubrical basis for this (“Say the black, do the cheesehead”…?) – and I doubt Lewis and Short has a rendering lingua Latina for cheesehead (perhaps Fr. Z can enlighten us on this…?) – the Archbishop’s gesture was not intended to display any disrespect for the Liturgy but to relate to the congregation.

    And it was OF, not EF…:)

  40. Bonifacius says:

    I remember the good Archbishop also said a Mass for the huge crowds of bikers who descended upon Milwaukee for Harley Davidson’s 100th Anniversary (Harley Davidson is based in Milwaukee). I remember Fr. Rausch at St. Mary Help of Christians (the former Indult parish, before the community was moved to St. Stan’s and St. Mary’s closed) telling the Indult parishioners in his homily not to pass judgment on the bikers. Apparently he was worried that some people would look down their noses . . .

  41. wmeyer says:

    “It never ceases to amaze me how critical people are of our Bishops.”

    Susan, it never ceases to amaze me how slow some people are to question anything their own bishop says or does. The only bishop about whom I know enough to raise any issue at all is my own, and the only issues I have are these: a) there is only one parish in the entire Archdiocese in which a Latin Mass may be found, and per my own pastor, it is very much a quarantine zone, in the eyes of the Archdiocese; b) my bishop gave almost no instruction to his flock in advance of our recent Federal election, and I have a very strong suspicion he voted for Obama; and c) my bishop’s public position on several matters of great importance has been weak to nonexistent, and these are matters clearly resolved in doctrine.

    I pray for him, and I pray we will get the leadership from him that we need, rather than that which we may deserve.

    We are not in a time of good roads and good weather; we need bishops who adhere closely to doctrine, and who take clear and vocal positions, making plain to their flocks where the right path lies.

    Or so it seems to me, sinner that I am.

  42. Papa Z says:

    The Archbishop is a good and godly man, and will be greatly missed in Milwaukee. He was greatly instrumental in my own conversion, and has been unfailingly kind and generous to my family and to myself. Sadly, our loss is New York’s gain.

  43. Daniel Latinus says:

    On one hand, I tend to believe donning a foam rubber cheese wedge while dressed in Mass vestments is not a great idea under any circumstance. And allowing oneself to be photographed in the pulpit while wearing a cheese wedge makes matters worse. But I also believe a prelate wearing a cheese wedge while wearing Mass vestments is extremely funny.

    When the photographs of Abp. Dolan first appeared after his installation, I was on a message board where the thread began with jokes about cheese, and ended with a discussion of the merits of various brands of beer. After all, we do have to keep things in perspective.

    Ironically, it was a liberally-inclined fellow who failed to see the humor in any of this. He compared Abp. Dolan wearing the cheese wedge to the Archbishop of Chicago wearing a Cubs or White Sox cap.* However, I think this fellow was mistaken, because I thought wearing the cheese wedge was more akin to the Archbishop of Chicago wearing a Chicago Bulls cap with inflatable horns.

    But still, in the interests of progress, may I suggest that in the Province of Milwaukee, the following protocols be observed:

    That priests and clerics may wear the ordinary cheddar-colored cheese wedge.
    That bishops and monsigniori wear a cheese wedge clored to resemble blue cheese.
    That if there is ever a Cardinal in a diocese of the Province of Milwaukee, he be required to wear a wedge with a red skin.
    And finally, that a Supreme Pontiff visiting the Province of Milwaukee wear a Swiss cheese wedge. [Or perhaps a white cheddar?]

    I am sure the new Archbishop of Milwaukee will want to call a synod of the Province of Milwaukee to enact these directives.

    * No Archbishop of Chicago in his right mind would be seen wearing either cap, as it might incite the fans of the other time to lapse in schism.

  44. Nick says:

    I hate the distrust some American Catholics show thier bishops. I believe it was Ignatius who said, “Gather around the bishop as sheep around the shephard.”

  45. Patrick says:

    New York doesn’t know what’s about to hit them, and it is reason to be glad.

    Imagine if you will:
    An ever-cheerful, highly charismatic bishop with extensive training in Europe was plucked out of Midwestern obscurity to lead a diocese in New York. On top of that, suppose that this bishop is immensely faithful to the Church and is dangerously media savvy.

    Okay, now let’s add that he is an organized administrator and I would not bet money against his ability to charm a donation from a hardened atheist.

    His weakest point is that he measures his progress in reforming the reform on an epochal scale. Sure, it seems to take forever for changes to occur for the better, but they do happen – unnoticed by the progressivists until it is too late for them to stop.

    If there were an American cardinal in my lifetime that could possibly considered papabile, it would be Archbishop Dolan.

    P.S. As for restoring the Cathedral, Archbishop Dolan elevated Bishop Callahan (O.F.M. Conv.) as his auxiliary to be groomed as his successor. Bishop Callahan, when he was pastor of the Basilica of St. Josaphat, managed to raise funds and coordinate a multi-million dollar restoration and repair effort. The church was decorated to reflect its pre-whitewashed glory.

    As beautiful as the Basilica is, I doubt it will have TLM mass regularly anytime soon, as St. Stanislaus is within walking distance.

  46. Gen X Revert says:

    No one with any sense of humor or good will can begrudge the few minutes of sporting a cheesehat. On the other hand, if the good Archbishop were to don a Yankees cap, even for a second………

  47. Henry,

    Given that it is this blog, a haven for traditionalists (and thank God for that!), and the complaint was one of liturgical abuse, it’s a pretty fair assumption that a good percentage of those complaining to Fr. Z about his wearing of the cheesehead were traditionalists.

  48. Nick,

    While this is not relevant to Archbishop Dolan, there is good reason to distrust many American bishops. We don’t exactly have the strongest track record of orthodoxy. I’m very happy that Cardinial Rigali, my own archbishop, oversees the appointment of American bishops now. We need a far stronger episcopacy in the U.S.

  49. Clinton says:

    The Holy Father has stated that he believes his appointments to the Sees of New York and Westminster are probably the two most
    important of his pontificate. Of course he’s sifted all the possibilities. As you mention, he is responsible for thousands of bishops,
    and it’s safe to say he takes that responsibility seriously.

    I don’t believe that having episcopal appointments entirely in the hands of the Pope means that the experience of the faithful is
    dismissed — you can be sure that +Dolan’s Vatican dossier has reports inside from people in Milwaukee, St. Louis, and many
    other parts.

    However, as recent events in Linz and the continuing situation in Communist China have shown, it’s not a good idea for episcopal
    appointments to be affected by regional or national politics. The Church fought for centuries to remove the privilege of appointing
    bishops from local rulers. Our current system, while imperfect, strikes me as the best available. Imagine for a moment what state
    Milwaukee would be in if +Weakland and his chancery had the final say on his successor’s appointment. Imagine the mayhem
    and political posing if bishops were voted into office. No thank you.

  50. Patronus says:

    I suggest a moratorium on blanket, polemical terms like “traditionalist” and, above all, “modernist.” In particular, the latter is thrown around by so many so-called traditionalists, but it is a word that has no real meaning or effect if one wants to intelligently dialogue with today’s culture (and all that is wrong with it).

    Just a general thought, after seeing “traditionalist” used so much above. As for Dolan, the cheesehead thing bothers me not.

  51. Henry Edwards says:

    Michael: Given that it is this blog, a haven for traditionalists …

    How the world has changed since the early days of WDTPRS, when neither it nor any other respectable place was a “haven for traditionalists”! Actually, from the perspective of a former (long ago) Wisconsinite and (then) a devoted Packers fan, it seems a surer assumption that these grousers are closet Packer opponents. And it ought to be a non-issue for traditionalists who regard the sermon — when Ab. Dolan briefly donned the hat to show solidarity with his flock — as not part of the liturgy, but an interruption to it, so non-liturgical gestures are not necessarily inappropriate.

    In any event, I note that — in 55 posts at this “haven for traditionalists” — not a single apparent traditionalist has set forth any objection to Ab. Dolan’s gesture. Case closed!

  52. Postumus says:

    So here is some Dolan color from the NYT: “In New York on Monday morning, including an 8 o’clock Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the archbishop. . .put his stylistic stamp on his new archdiocese: He grinned at congregants during holy communion. . .” “The archbishop is no crusader. . . .He seems wary that crusading could distract, not least from the fund-raising needed to keep the church afloat. Nor is Archbishop Dolan known as a particularly sophisticated theologian; his homilies are homespun, often touching on baseball and football.” “As he walks into church, head bowed, he peers here and there, seeking eye contact and flashing smiles.”

    Another jolly performer who wants to be your best buddy. And of course a good money man. Hardly sounds like the PRIEST we would have hoped for to set an example here in the most visible diocese in the nation.

  53. Paschal Grace says:

    Will Archbishop Dolan now wear a Big Apple Hat

  54. I not very recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my 150th comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading and that I think the Archbishop should have worn a Vikings helmet to reach across the St. Croix to his neighbors. Nice blog. I will keep drinking Belgian and Asahi Japanese beers while visiting this blog very often.

    Fr. Deacon Daniel

  55. Charlotte says:

    Henry – maybe there is no grousing about the cheesehead in this commbox, but if you read the blog entry Father Z says people sent him personal emails grousing about it. Thus, even while they won’t show their face publically, there ARE people who were complaining. And yes, this IS a traditonalist blog. It’s open to all Catholics and people of varying opinions within the faith comment here. But if you think Father Z’s blog isn’t written from and to a traditionalist mindset, what ARE you thinking it is?

  56. Michael J says:

    In the grand scheme of things I suppose this is relatively minor. Still….

    For those who take “those traditionalists” to task for not haveing a sense of humor, what separates this incident from the infamous potato head Mass discussed a while back?

    Why is donning a ridiculous hat acceptable, presuming the intent is to “connect” with the laity, buty donning a ridiculous costume, for the same reasons is not?

  57. Frank H says:

    Michael J –

    The good Archbishop’s fleeting, good natured, obviously lighthearted nod to his new flock, at the beginning of the homily, is not at all comparable to the potato head, giant puppet, clown, etc Masses. Those were presented – presumably – in all seriousness with the intent of making the liturgy somehow more relevant to a particular “audience” of the faithful.

  58. Postumus:

    Good grief! You are faulting the man based on a New York Times article?

    Did it occur to you that the NYT is choosing to put its own “spin” on this appointment: i.e., making the best of it reflecting their own, ill-informed, cramped world-view; and also, setting him up as the fall guy, if and when he doesn’t live up to the expectations they put upon him?

    Did your mother wean you on a pickle?

  59. Postumus says:

    Oh come on, Padre. Why would you doubt the paper’s observations when this is how 99% of modern clergy behave? The NY Post, then: “Dolan bounded up the altar steps at St. Patrick’s yesterday morning, where he concelebrated Mass with Egan.” Fox: “He does not deny Holy Communion to Catholic lawmakers who support abortion rights.” Compare the grinning and bounding and seeking eye contact and back slapping with the traditional way of celebrating Mass: eyes downcast, humble, reverent, measured, dignified, focused only on the sacrifice at hand. He’s another performer who thinks his job is to entertain people and make them feel good. No surprise, and 99% of Catholics now think that’s how it’s supposed to be anyway. We must be entertianed 24/7. It’s all about us. We are Church.

  60. supertradmom says:

    Aren’t the really loud critics of Bishop Dolan’s wearing of the Cheesehead Hat all Chicago Bears’ fans? I guess we can’t blame them for not having a sense of humor.

  61. Dave Pawlak says:

    think the Archbishop should have worn a Vikings helmet to reach across the St. Croix to his neighbors.


    – a Packer Fan

  62. Dave Pawlak says:


    I have been to several Masses offered by Archbishop Dolan. When it comes to the Consecration onward, he’s “all business”, so to speak – very reverent, very aware of the Mystery before Him. He may not be the most liturgically astute prelate (he never turns his wireless mic off, for example), but he’s certainly not irreverent.

  63. Henry Edwards says:

    Charlotte: But if you think Father Z’s blog isn’t written from and to a traditionalist mindset, what ARE you thinking it is?

    Welcome to WDTPRS! The success of this singular blog depends on continuing to attract new participants from all perspectives, with fresh and varied viewpoints to contribute to the mix.

    But I’ve been here since there was just Father Z, one other regular commenter, and maybe just me in addition. This is not a traditionalist blog, and never has been. Any real traditionalist– as the term is generally understood–will tell you that Father Z is not a traditionalist, and never has been. (Indeed, even the mention of the capital letter Z is essentially banned at a real traditionalist blog I know of.) And this blog’s principal continuing participants are not traditionalists, and never have been.

    So — contrary to your first impression, based perhaps on the particular issues of recent days and weeks –WDTPRS is a Catholic blog, pure and simple, passionately devoted to Faith and Tradition, Pope and Magisterium in all their fullness.

    In particular, regarding liturgy, WDTPRS originally was devoted exclusively to what we now call the ordinary form. For many years, What Does The Prayer Really Say — in both the column and the blog — meant solely what do the prayers of the Mass of 1970 really say, with it’s principal focus being the reform of the newer Mass that is now the principal focus of the current papacy. Before Pope Benedict put the extraordinary form on the Church’s front burner — mainly to this end (the gravitational pull, and all that), I believe — the older Mass came up here mainly only in passing.

    But now that the Mass of 1962 is suddenly (since Summorum Pontificum) front and center in the Church, so it is here at the blog. Naturally enough, a fair number of traditionalists are attracted by this “fair and balanced” environment, which may even seem a relatively safe “haven” for them in a still unfriendly world. But WDTPRS remains what it’s been, with it and the majority of its continuing participants squarely in the mainstream of Catholic thought, fully supportive of and open to all valid forms of Catholic liturgy.

  64. wsxyz says:

    Charlotte and Michael: Of course when you use the word “traditionalist” it isn’t always easy for everyone to know what you mean.

    For example, I am a member of an FSSP parish, and so I regularly receive the sacraments in their traditional forms. I am a member of this parish because I very much prefer the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and I very much appreciate the no compromise approach to Catholic doctrine taught from the pulpit. Am I a traditionalist?

    Not according to some people. After all I attend an FSSP parish, not a “true” traditional chapel. I also go to various Ordinary Form Masses throughout the year because I think it is important for all Catholics in the diocese to join together in participation in important common Masses, processions, etc. of the diocese. The very fact that I am willing to sit through an Ordinary Form Mass makes me a modernist in the eyes of many who call themselves traditionalists.

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