“Go back to Hell. Our Church belongs to Christ.”

You’ve got to love an article that winds up with the tag:

And by changing back the flag, by taking back our Mass, we are saying: Go back to Hell. Our Church belongs to Christ.


An article on why more traditional Catholics are… well traditional, by John Zmirak over at Inside Catholic.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    “‘Heretics all, whoever you be,
    In Tarbes or Nimes, or over the sea,
    You never shall have good words from me.
    Caritas non conturbat me.

    If you ask me why I put a Latin line at the end, it was because I had to show that it was a song connected with the Universal Fountain and with European culture, and with all that Heresy combats.” [Hilaire Belloc, The Past to Rome, 105.]

    Heretics helped devise the Novus Ordo which might explain why so many drift from it to heretical churches. Btw: Chesterton was a convert, so you most certainly can be a Trad-convert. I myself have a Deist father and mother who used to go to church once or twice a year and am a Trad-convert myself.

  2. Semper Idem says:

    “And by changing back the flag, by taking back our Mass, we are saying: Go back to Hell. Our Church belongs to Christ. ”

    Now, that’s what I would like to see on a coffee mug.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    Why so many labels? Let’s just be Catholic!

  4. Mark01 says:

    Thanks for the chuckle first thing in the morning Father. Being of a certain age I just started laughing when I read, “All Your Church are Belong to Us!” :o)

  5. Tom in NY says:

    Blessed Karl I, the last Kaiser, couldn’t keep the Empire together after the Great War — but he was a peace activist among the principals. Otto von Hapsburg didn’t complain “The government should do something for the poor.” He joined the SMOM, helped its philanthropies, and joined the European parliament. They can’t bring back the Empire, but their records are noble just the same.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  6. smallone says:

    I liked that analogy of the EF mass being like, say, a submarine – designed by geniuses so that it can be operated by idiots. Very apt based on my (rather limited) experience.

    Though if there had been no OF mass — would the cultural currents seeping into the Church still have created conditions where priests got “creative” with the EF? I know they’d be violating the rubrics, etc. but as the writer mentions, all sorts of disobedience went on and the shepherds effectively asked forgiveness (and forgiveness to continue) rather than permission.

    I also liked the commenter who mentioned that going from the OF as it is typically celebrated to an EF was like going from Keystone Light to…some good beer whose name I can’t remember. (Shoulda used a wine analogy, I’d remember.) What throws me is how many Catholics LOVE Keystone Light and swill it down like there is no tomorrow!

    In our parish, the actual celebration of Mass is more like Budweiser, but the music is pure Keystone Light, and (judging by conversations I have had with fellow parishioners) folks can’t get enough Keystone Light where we are. It is like being trapped inside a church with a radio coming over the PA system set to the “light rock, less talk” station. Occasionally we switch to a bad-contemporary-Christian station. It is really the chief thing that makes me feel less than “properly disposed” to receive at Mass.

    I was relieved last night when we sang “Amazing Grace” despite the theological problems inherent in it from a Catholic perspective. It’s also a hymn that I can belt out by heart, even though OCP skips the “And when this heart and flesh shall fail” stanza. I noticed that most of my fellow Catholics sang this enthusiastically but participation fell off for the contemporary-Catholic-OCP stuff. It’s sad when the song most folks in the congregation obviously love and feel inspired by is one of the most famous Protestant hymns.

  7. chcrix says:

    Although I doubt that I am as young as Mark, I also tweaked up on “All Your Church are belong to us”.

  8. Ana says:

    While I agree with the points the article makes and I love the last line, I dislike this constant need for titles or monikers. I am Catholic not a “trad” or “orthodox”. I love my Church and look forward to the continued reform that is taking place, but our desire to move forward with these reforms will be better served without titles.

  9. Bornacatholic says:

    Dr. John Zmirak is a true Catholic treasure and he is one of the most knowledgeable and funniest men on the planet.

    His books, “The Bad Catholics Guide…” are packed sardine-tight with Catholic Truth and reading them will cause you to, literally,laugh-out-loud.

    His Graphic Novel, “The Grand Inquisitor,” is haunting, frightening, and chilling. I’ve reread it several times. It is smashing.

    He is one of my heroes.

  10. Mariana says:

    “you most certainly can be a Trad-convert”

    Of course you can. I’m a convert and I did miss the kneeling and receiving on the tongue (although it was just a cracker and a few drops of sweet wine) of my high church Lutheran parish. The discovery of everything Trad Catholic has been one delight after another!

  11. Dr. Eric says:

    “On the other hand, the new liturgy, with all its Build-a-Bear options, is terribly easy to abuse.”

    I cracked up when I read that one.

    I agree, “Go back to Hell. Our Church belongs to Christ.”

  12. Justin from Ohio says:

    This was the best quote from Dr. Zmirak’s article:

    “The old liturgy was crafted by saints, and can be said by schlubs without risk of sacrilege. The new rite was patched together by bureaucrats, and should only be safely celebrated by the saintly.”

  13. wolfeken says:

    What is encouraging, to me, is the venue. Inside Catholic’s print edition, when it existed, was Crisis magazine. For years a reader of that publication would not even know there was such thing as a traditional Latin Mass. I tried several times to get simple pieces on the TLM published but was always denied.

    A new pope — and new hope.

  14. Mary Kay says:

    Someone named Rich left a post at Inside Catholic that said close to what I thought:

    Oh well
    February 17th, 2010 | 5:25pm
    As someone who grew up in the 1970s in mass every week, I do not at ALL feel as the author does.

    I could rail that I am offended by some of what is written here, but it would make no difference, and I know down deep that being offended is a choice anyway.

    I simply disagree with the over zealous (I might even say: cheap and easy) characterizations that are made about those who were part of my upbringing as they lived through those times in the Church.

    Written by Rich

    and my response:

    February 18th, 2010 | 3:11pm
    Rich, that’s exactly how I feel. They gripe about how horrible others are, yet feel no remorse at the cheap shots they themselves make.

    “being offended is a choice anyway”
    It’s more than being offended. They’re attacking their brothers and sisters in Christ and rationalizing their doing so.
    Written by Mary Kay

  15. maynardus says:

    Not only can you be a trad-convert but I’d venture to say that the percentage of converts amongst traddies is higher than in the Church at-large.

    I obviously don’t have the resources to take polls and surveys to try and prove this, and I know that the plural of anecdotes is not “data”, but I’ve encountered this in a number of well-established traddie congregations and I cannot believe that my experience is unique.

  16. Thomas S says:

    Fantastic article! He is spot on with his analysis. It really does come down to a question Of Catholic CULTURE. The destruction of faith and morals can’t come without first an erosion of Catholic culture. The rug can’t be pulled out from under you without you knowing it, but over time it can be worn down to the floor.

    Now it’s our turn to turn the tide of incrementalism. Time to put up the old flag.

  17. Maltese says:

    maynardus: The family who oversees the fine publication the New Oxford Review, the Vrees, are trad converts from Anglicanism all….

  18. Denis Crnkovic says:

    “And by changing back the flag, by taking back our Mass, we are saying: Go back to Hell. Our Church belongs to Christ.”

    In 1967 I was permanently drummed “out of the altar boys” for expressing a similar sentiment about the “new liturgy,” using similar words, (without the masterful and lengthy essay preceding it, of course). Four decades later I am struck by the irony that the fight is still going on. Plus ca change…

  19. TJerome says:

    Denis, I guess they didn’t want Catholic altarboys.

  20. Denis Crnkovic says:

    TJerome — 1967 was a few years before the promulgation of the Paul VI Missal and a few years into the unintelligible tinkering with the Mass. Even at that early stage I was greatly upset. A consequence of their not wanting “Catholic altarboys” was that my deep interest in the priesthood declined rather quickly along with my rising alarm at the recklessly careening liturgical practices.

  21. Maltese says:

    Geoffrey: “Why so many labels? Let’s just be Catholic!”

    I wish it were so simple my friend!

  22. Geoffrey says:

    “O Sancta simplicitas!”

    That which is difficult is often of our own making.

  23. Dr. Eric says:

    “This book isn’t the place for the critique of recent liturgical changes in the Church-particularly the method of dispensing Holy Communion. But we’d like to suggest an experiment.

    From now on, to get a movie ticket, Americans should have to kneel before a consecrated celibate wearing ceremonial robes and take the ticket between their teeth – never daring to touch it with their hands. Within a generation or so, they’d all develop certain ideas about movie tickets and their significance.

    Now take the Eucharist and reverse the process, treating it like a movie ticket…Enough said.”

    Page 70. The Bad Catholics Guide to Good Living. John Zmirak & Denise Matychowiak

  24. An American Mother says:

    Years ago, I found on the internet a Greek ikon of the Trinity with a legend that could be roughly translated as “We are the Foundation of the universe”.

    In other words, “ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US.”

    I lost it in a hard drive crash and have never been able to find it again.

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