Tabula delenda est: Fr. Finigan on The Tablet

His Hermeneuticalness has a very good commentary on The Tablet.


Founded in 1840, the Tablet has been through various different hands, being owned by the hierarchy for several decades, sold to a group of laity by Cardinal Hinsley in 1935, and taken on by “The Tablet Trust” in 1976. Its greatest period was under the Douglas Woodruff who edited the paper from 1936 to 1967. Reading through some back numbers from 1967-1968, it is evident that there was increasing pressure for a change in the Church’s teaching regarding the morality of contraception; but the issue of 3 August 1968 marked the definitive break.

Fr. Finigan concludes:

Tabula delenda est.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Joe says:

    Tabula delenda est? Strong words indeed.

  2. Brian Day says:

    I agree with the sentiment.

    My ignorance of Latin is showing, but shouldn’t that be Delenda est Tabula?

  3. Woody Jones says:

    Come on Father, you’re giving the Carthaginians a bad name.

  4. Baron Korf says:

    So does that mean that the Tablet will march liturgical dancers over the Alps to Rome?

  5. JML says:

    Tablet, defend thyself?????

  6. Josh says:

    The passive periphrastic! Haven’t seen that in a while.

  7. William Tighe says:

    Well, if we’re going to be historically accurate, shouldn’t it be:

    Ceterum censeo Tabulam esse delendam?

  8. IvoDeNorthfield says:

    Tabula rasa est.

  9. Steve K. says:

    LOL good one Ivo.

  10. Ed Peters says:

    Brian, Fr. Z’s Latin is fine there.

  11. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Fr Finigan: I will be posting occasional articles documenting the Tablet’s response, over the past forty years, to the exercise of the Petrine office and to key events in the life of the Catholic Church. This paper has no place in any Catholic home, parish Church, or Cathedral. (From Hermeneutic of Continuity)

    Sounds like the beginning of a long campaign to which there are only two correct responses: “In hoc signo vinces!” “Deus vult!”

  12. Michael says:

    And salt the ground while you are at it.

  13. boredoftheworld says:

    William Tighe,

    No. Neither phrase is “historically accurate”, but they are both correct.

    Yay, I was awake in class that day! :)

    Of course I can’t remember why though. IIRC it’s because neither phrase is actually found as an actual citation but only as references to what Cato said.

  14. LCB says:

    “And salt the ground while you are at it.”

    My name is LCB, and I support this proposal.

  15. JMM says:

    Tabula delenda est

    The Tablet must be destroyed!
    I agree.

  16. What a really weird coincidence. I have access to back issues of the Tablet and was doing some research that took me to the Tablet year 1966. It is very true, they did push for artificial contraception back then, so I have to second the motion.


  17. joe says:

    Would it be safe to say some tablets call for an emetic?


  18. GFB says:

    …or in medical Latin, perhaps “tabella sumenda est” — the tablet was taken!

  19. John Enright says:

    Lots of weird Latin variations in this post It really doesn’t matter very much since we ALL support Fr. F>

  20. Jim says:

    Quo usque tandem abutere, Tabula, patientia nostra?

  21. Tominellay says:

    …thinking ‘quo usque tandem abutere, Tabula, patientia nostra?’…

  22. Pistor says:

    Tabula delenda est —- subjunctive case

  23. Charlie says:

    “Quo usque tandem abutere, Tabula, patientia nostra?”

    Hahaha! I’m translating Cicero’s First Oration in my (classical) Latin class at this very moment.

  24. tzard says:

    “And salt the ground while you are at it.”

    Do you think blessed salt would be called for?

  25. Argh! 1968! Everything bad seems to stem from that year.

  26. MB says:

    Eh, Volpius: God has ways of redeeming that year, ‘tho: some of us were born then!


  27. DCS says:

    1968, I was born that year. God bless my parents for not falling prey to the nonsense of the day.

  28. Corleone says:

    Argh! 1968! Everything bad seems to stem from that year.

    Volpius – didn’t you know that 1968 was the “year of the heroic guerrilla”? It was termed that by the communists as that was the year of massive uprisings around the world. But to be fair, they came from the right as well. Here in Italy is is known as the “decade of ’68” since that’s when all our violence started which lasted just over a decade (culminating with the assassination of our PM, Aldo Moro).

    DCS – LOL! I actually understand your sentiment. Regardless of all the mistakes my parents made, I look back and say, “Geeze. Thank God I’m at least not a bastard.”

  29. Ron says:

    I lived in London for a couple of years in the mid ’90s, and I have to admit was sort of fond of the Tablet. If nothing else, it was head and shoulders above its American counterparts. Yes, it was liberal, but with a far more intelligent, articulate, reflective liberalism than in America, Commonweal, or, ugh, the National Catholic Distorter. And you even read commentary by the occasional conservative, which you never would in any of the American rags. Is it that the Tablet has gotten so much worse, or that conservative Catholics are less willing to choose between varieties of liberalism and demand actual, shudder at the merest suggestion, Catholicism from the Catholic press?

Comments are closed.