Hard to imagine this is not a joke

I thought my friend Fr. Ray Blake, the illustrious P.P. of St. Mary Magdalen in Brighton, was having us on.

Then, to my horror, I realized he was in earnest.

The English bishops issued a species of chart, attempting to get equivalent terms one might hear in relation to the upcoming Papal Visit with some other sort of secular jamboree, perhaps involving, U2 and Lady Gaga.

I really thought this was a joke.

But then I followed the links to this story in The Telegraph and The Mail.

Back to Fr. Blake for his pointed comments:

I thought Papal Visit Office could only go up after producing Heart Speaks Unto Heart but I was wrong look at this little piece of nonsense produced for policemen, technicians etc who are assumed, not only not to be Catholic but also stupid.

I agree with Andrew Brown there is a frightening waste of money by Eccleston Square, our bishops must realise money is not there to wasted. I spend my time making as many economies as possible and my people have to work damned hard for every penny they give to the Church and those people produce this tripe. And more, some committee of our bishops have approved it. Anyone know who? Or is that another bit Eccleston Square bureaucratic cover-up?

It makes me so angry!

You know… now that I look at this chart… could it be that they have missed a few terms?



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Who da thunk it?
    Oh yeah…we’re in the “Twilight Zone”…Vincenzo, get busy!

  2. A. J. D. S. says:

    I don’t understand. They actually want people to compare the liturgy to a some sort of musical number or show? Surely this is the worst possible comparison they they could make.

  3. TonyLayne says:

    I am … astounded? astonished? flabbergasted? I think this is what people mean when they say, “Words fail me!” A shake-up of the English hierarchy is long overdue.

  4. LouiseA says:

    Fr. Z said: “You know… now that I look at this chart… could it be that they have missed a few terms?”

    Confession …. Counseling
    Sermon….. Lecture
    Servers…. Staff/Personal Assistants
    Incensers… Smokers :)

  5. As a continuation of LouiseA:
    Sacred Music…jammin’ popular muzac
    Reverence…Giving hugs to everyone at the Sign of Peace
    Participation…singing as loud as possible
    Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist….folks who give out the “bread and wine”, yeah!
    Participants/congregation…the assembly of the eucharistic fellowship…
    Oh boy! this could go on, and on…I’ll stop here!

  6. Vincenzo says:

    Z: “You know… now that I look at this chart… could it be that they have missed a few terms?”

    click here


    What They Left Out

  7. Jack Hughes says:

    a continuation of lack of terms

    Saints- goody two shoes
    God- uhh?
    Cannon – fire
    Sacrifice – soooo pre Vatican 2
    Marriage- well you caaaann cohabit if you want to

    I’ve probebly added a few years to my sentence in purgutory so I’ll quit now.

  8. Rob in Maine says:

    I’ll see you when we get these Jack Hughes…

    Liturgical Dance = Mosh Pit ( a cultural reference for those under 40) Grateful Dead Concert (for those over 40).
    Purificator = Napkin
    Mantilla = Burka (Pre VII is oppressive to women, after all)

  9. mike cliffson says:

    Am only surprised Fr Blake seems surprised – shocked and angry he has every right to be, to be sure.

    Anyone as had a kid/nevvy/relative/godchild /personally undergone “religious instruction” in many(Most?all? certainly prevailing ethos) in a UK ( and plenty Yurop too) school with “catholic” over the door anytime moster these past 40 years..

    Don’t got no surprise.
    It’s a horse outer the same stable, a bird of a feather, another leaf from the same book… far less bad actually than a great deal of RI.Dunno if this is people under 50 wrote this …
    Dunno that I want to know….

    Oh Surprise no, other feelings, yes
    Shame,that one’s own lack of prayer etc must have contributed
    godsend not complacency and boastfulness!
    But if you moan, howsoever politely
    You mostly get what seems like complacence and boast.
    Or even incomprehension: what CAN be your problem?
    They mean well.

  10. Rob Cartusciello says:

    We can dumb this up even more:

    Precious Body = Cookie Thing
    Chalice = Sippy Cup
    Holy Mass = Magic Show/Puppet Show

  11. eyeclinic says:

    Sign of Peace=High five, gimme some skin,fist bump

  12. Joe in Canada says:

    If this is not a joke it is truly awful. I wonder if the whole thing was created to get in the line that what ordinary people call a TICKET, costing 25 Pounds, is actually NOT a ticket, but a PILGRIM PASS. That way, you know, no one is paying to attend Mass, etc.

  13. RickMK says:

    It makes me glad I’m not English, whom the English bishops consider to be a rather stupid lot. Now if they gave any indication that they thought we Americans were as stupid as think the English people are, that would really be infuriating.

  14. Henry Edwards says:

    Perhaps someone in the U.K. can tell us whether it would be against some law there to require that all Catholic chancery functionaries actually be Roman Catholics.

  15. SimonDodd says:

    When is Rome going to clean house? How long will this be tolerated? This nonsense hurts not only the English/Welsh Catholics who have to suffer under it, but English/Welsh non-Catholics, evangelization of whom is stunted by this kind of rot. If the Holy Father wants to reevangelize Europe, which is a worthy and necessary project, he’s going to have to start by picking better coworkers.

  16. MikeM says:

    So the priest is an actor and the Mass is his show where he pretends that bread and wine are a “Blessed Sacrament” ??

    That’s about what I would get out of this!

  17. Fr. Basil says:

    I understand how many people would be distressed at this list.

    But consider this:

    Great Britain is, alas, a post-Christian country. I’ve heard of churches there that have baptistry, pews, and such with signs telling their functions, like a museum.

    Maybe the intention was to explain things about the Church in terms the secular media would understand.

  18. Catherine says:

    So the blokes are going to join the crowd attending the exciting and fun gig, where bread and wine will be given out to the audience. Performers and artists [maybe clowns?] will join the main act in gathering around the table on the stage, where they have processed from backstage.

    Come one, come all! (Cue Barnum and Bailey entrance music….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8vINCq_IAI&feature=more_related)

    When I learned about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in 2nd and 3rd grade, no one had to diminish the terminology. I find this list of “helpful terms” appallingly insulting and not at all helpful.

  19. If you think this is bizarre, you should see the list of Gaelic expressions and instructions on how and when to use ’em, that’s used by BBC Irish and Scottish broadcasters (and the comparable one for Radio-Television Eireann, for that matter). This one seems to be modeled closely after those, so it’s probably a broadcasting thing that’s doomed to be bizarre.

    Of course, we expect better from the Church and should do.

  20. Rachel says:

    “Simon Cowell” — HAHAAAAHAAAA!

  21. JonM says:

    The most charitable thing I can say is that I am surer each day that Our Lady of Fatima grieves for us.

  22. Gail F says:

    It does look stupid but, hey, it might be useful. Great Britain is supposed to be a religious wasteland, maybe police and fire and so on really do need a helpful list of terms to keep them all on the same page and make sure they know what the organizers are talking about and where they’re supposed to be if they are called to the “sanctuary” or told to be present for “benediction.” In that case, I’m all for it.

    The funniest part to me is that it looks like the nutrition guidelines chart on all food packaging in the United States. But I don’t know if there is a similar thing in the UK. Maybe this is just a standard design for charts for the media — as Suburbanbanshee said, they make similar lists of Gaelic terms for use when the media types go to Ireland. When I visited Wales on a tour as a student, I was shocked to find that the professional (British) tour guide did not know how to pronounce any of the Welsh place names, or care to find out. This is BRITAIN we’re talking about, after all. Just because something is in their own country doesn’t mean it’s not “foreign.”

  23. Jack Hughes says:

    inspired by Gail F

    Benediction = air guitar

Comments are closed.