May they all be given special thorns until they come around.

This is what Huffington Post is offering on 24 February from the pen of the self-amused Larry Doyle.

Larry Doyle is supposed to be a humor writer, a humorist.  He writes for sophomoric TV shows.

I don’t know if he was trying to be funny in this column, but this doesn’t sound to me as if he were joshin’.

This is pretty high test bigotry, worthy of the Know Nothings (which class is making a come back) or the KKK.

The Jesus-Eating Cult of Rick Santorum

It’s time to take a good hard look at Rick Santorum’s faith.

Many of you will be shocked to learn what our possible future president believes, who he answers to, the bloody jihads his so-called church has carried on for centuries, and its current role as the tactical arm of the North American Man-Boy Love Association.

As a former member of same sect (an Irish-Catholic, the worst kind), I have read the texts, participated in the rites, and even seen behind the curtain, as it were, as a one-time altar boy, so help me. I managed to escape, but then, Santorum is in much deeper than I ever was.

Unlike Christians, Santorum and his fellow Roman Catholics participate in a barbaric ritual dating back two millennia, a “mass” in which a black-robed cleric casts a spell over some bread and wine, transfiguring it into the actual living flesh and blood of their Christ. Followers then line up to eat the Jesus meat and drink his holy blood in a cannibalistic reverie not often seen outside Cinemax.


Ordinarily I would be loathe to discuss all this, feeling that issues of faith and religion should be kept out of politics. But it’s far too late for that, and I have an obligation to expose this phony theology that threatens to supplant Christianity as our official national religion.

Need I remind you that only once in our great history has a Roman Catholic been elected president, and how tragically it ended.

Was that a subtle suggestion that Rick Santorum should be assassinated?

Irish ex-catholic anti-Catholic bigot. I’m guessing he isn’t voting GOP these days.

awardThere’s more in his urine-yellow screed, which I will spare you.

Oh, before I forget: Benedict XVI is a Nazi.

I would not get overly worked up about this. Consider the source. What other view of the Catholic Church or of Rick Santorum could these numbskulls have?  It’s Huffington Post, after all.

My suggestion is, rather than write angry notes, right now pray Psalm 68 (Douay).  This is one of the Maledictory Psalms:

[1] Unto the end, for them that shall be changed; for David.

[2] SAVE me, O God: for the waters are come in even unto my soul. [3] I stick fast in the mire of the deep: and there is no sure standing. I am come into the depth of the sea: and a tempest hath overwhelmed me. [4] I have laboured with crying; my jaws are become hoarse: my eyes have failed, whilst I hope in my God. [5] They are multiplied above the hairs of my head, who hate me without cause. My enemies are grown strong who have wrongfully persecuted me: then did I pay that which I took not away. [6] O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my offences are not hidden from thee: [7] Let not them be ashamed for me, who look for thee, O Lord, the Lord of hosts. Let them not be confounded on my account, who seek thee, O God of Israel. [8] Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. [9] I am become a stranger to my brethren, and an alien to the sons of my mother. [10] For the zeal of thy house hath eaten me up: and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. [11] And I covered my soul in fasting: and it was made a reproach to me. [12] And I made haircloth my garment: and I became a byword to them. [13] They that sat in the gate spoke against me: and they that drank wine made me their song. [14] But as for me, my prayer is to thee, O Lord; for the time of thy good pleasure, O God. In the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. [15] Draw me out of the mire, that I may not stick fast: deliver me from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. [16] Let not the tempest of water drown me, nor the deep swallow me up: and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. [17] Hear me, O Lord, for thy mercy is kind; look upon me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies. [18] And turn not away thy face from thy servant: for I am in trouble, hear me speedily. [19] Attend to my soul, and deliver it: save me because of my enemies. [20] Thou knowest my reproach, and my confusion, and my shame. [21] In thy sight are all they that afflict me; my heart hath expected reproach and misery. And I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none. [22] And they gave me gall for my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. [23] Let their table become as a snare before them, and a recompense, and a stumblingblock. [24] Let their eyes be darkened that they see not; and their back bend thou down always. [25] Pour out thy indignation upon them: and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. [26] Let their habitation be made desolate: and let there be none to dwell in their tabernacles. [27] Because they have persecuted him whom thou hast smitten; and they have added to the grief of my wounds. [28] Add thou iniquity upon their iniquity: and let them not come into thy justice. [29] Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; and with the just let them not be written. [30] But I am poor and sorrowful: thy salvation, O God, hath set me up. [31] I will praise the name of God with a canticle: and I will magnify him with praise. [32] And it shall please God better than a young calf, that bringeth forth horns and hoofs. [33] Let the poor see and rejoice: seek ye God, and your soul shall live. [34] For the Lord hath heard the poor: and hath not despised his prisoners. [35] Let the heavens and the earth praise him; the sea, and every thing that creepeth therein. [36] For God will save Sion, and the cities of Juda shall be built up. And they shall dwell there, and acquire it by inheritance. [37] And the seed of his servants shall possess it; and they that love his name shall dwell therein.

I think it is within the bonds of charity to pray for a sweeping failure of all of Huffington Posts’ servers.  Also, for HufPo and for Larry Doyle personally, parking tickets and car towings, flats and transmission problems, unrecoverable hard drive failures for every computer of every employee at work and at home, toothaches and chilblains, an invasion of bedbugs, incessant diarrhea, relentless dandruff and all manner of mange for their pets and for their pets’ offspring.

May they all be given special thorns until they come around.

Seriously … pray that psalm. You might also consider an additional offering of a fast. Some demons are dealt with through prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21).

I also recommend to priests and bishops that they consider using the old “Leonine Prayers” after Masses in their parishes, cathedrals, etc.

And there is this.

UPDATE 29 Feb 14:10:

I see that the young papist, Tom Peters picked up on this story also.

He makes a good point: “the double-standard the Huffington Post applies: a standard which allows their writers to publish literally anything offensive about catholics, however untrue or mean-spirited, while other “protected” groups are never portrayed negatively (just compare the HuffPo Religion section and the HuffPo LGBT section to see what I mean).”

But then again, hating Catholics is the Last Acceptable Prejudice.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Green Inkers, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Religious Liberty, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice, Throwing a Nutty and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Daniel Latinus says:

    I’ve been waiting for someone to suggest reviving the Leonine Prayers. Seems very appropriate under the present circumstances…

  2. irishgirl says:

    What that man wrote was absolutely disgusting!
    May he get the camel’s itch!

  3. Augustin57 says:

    Or, as some Arabs might phrase, “May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their hair!” LOL

    Then, again, we can always beseech our Blessed Mother, Queen of Angels, to send angels down to torment them until they convert. As they say in Alabama,”They’d be better off trying to French kiss a rattle snake,” than to mess with Our Lady! Or, “They’d be better off trying to sandpaper a bobcat’s behind in a phone booth,” than to mess with Our Lady!

    Talk about your visuals, hmmm?! :)

  4. servusmariaen says:

    I saw this and I really didn’t know if I wanted to continue to read the whole thing. I knew I would be disgusted. I was. I prayed the Psalm and felt better and then I got a good laugh at the end. I’ve been watching the 1951 version of “Quo Vadis?” and I couldn’t help but think that for all general purposes it could be 2012 with costume and set changes. I think there are a lot of people (unfortunately most Catholics) who just don’t get it. My mother says the pews of their church on the prairie become emptier with each passing year. She’s convinced it’s more due to contraception than deaths of parishioners along with many who left the church. It’s all very disheartening. Yes, the Leonine prayers should never have been done away with.

  5. HyacinthClare says:

    Augustin57, WHAT YOU SAID!! How to turn an insult into a laugh!!

  6. mamajen says:

    Huffington Post is a cesspool.

  7. NoTambourines says:

    You know what this reminds me of? That disturbed woman, the late “Jameela, Messenger of Allah” who sent a pig foot to Rep. Peter King, and became known in parts of the blogosphere for her “dead Jew eating” screeds.

    I pray the novena to St. Jude every night, in part for the conversion of the most seemingly un-convertible souls, including those among my own family and friends. I don’t know how God will do it, but I know He “wills all men to be saved” (1 Tim 2:4), and that all things are possible for Him.

  8. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    This is nauseating in its shallow and callous misrepresentation of Catholicism. Amazing how “open-minded” he lib left can be. Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice.

  9. Scott W. says:

    As a former member of same sect (an Irish-Catholic, the worst kind), I have read the texts, participated in the rites, and even seen behind the curtain, as it were, as a one-time altar boy, so help me. I managed to escape, but then, Santorum is in much deeper than I ever was.

    A variation on the “I was born and raised Catholic…” which Mark Shea pointed out was nature’s way of warning you that what is said next will be a raving farrago of nonsense. And Doyle doesn’t disappoint! Cannibalism? Really Larry? Basically, his swill can be distilled to, “I’m utterly clueless about your position, but you are laughably wrong.”

  10. jonvilas says:

    Well, I believe, this guy should be reminded the words of life by Our Lord himself: ” Then Jesus said to them: “Amen, amen, I say unto you: unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” (John 6, 53-56). I am afraid that this bigot rarely opens the Bible itself. Sed nolite timere, milites Christi – quia Dominus dixit “tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram ædificabo Ecclesiam meam, et portæ inferi non prævalebunt adversus eam.” – “you are Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew, 16, 18)

  11. FloridaJoan says:

    Why did I get the same feeling after reading this H. P. piece as I did while visiting the coliseum in Rome … nauseous.

    pax et bonum

  12. NoTambourines says:

    And for good measure, the Fatima Prayer of Reparation:

    Most Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – I adore thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.

  13. Centristian says:

    Well, I’ve read the whole thing and it seems to me to be some very dry tongue-in-cheek sarcasm mocking, not Catholicism or even Rick Santorum, but anti-Catholic bigotry (if anything).

    “Will child killers and terrorists go unexecuted on the Pope’s say-so? Will we be able to conduct our wars as we see fit, or only the ‘just’ ones?”

    This isn’t aimed at Catholicism…in fact I’m not sure it’s actually aimed against anything. It think the writer is just trying to be an idiot (and succeeding) by way of, perhaps, demonstrating just how absurdly obtuse some people are capable of being at times.

    As to calls for the Leonine Prayers to be restored, there are no private Low Masses celebrated in the Ordinary Form after which to recite them. If some sort of prayers to be recited after Mass were to be ordered, at this point, I suppose they would not be the “Leonine Prayers” anymore. Those are gone; suppressed. The new prayers would be known by whatever name they might be given, for example, “Prayers to be Recited After Weekday Mass” or “Prayers Against the Huffington Post”, or what have you, and, perhaps, commonly, after the pope who ordered them: the “Benedictine Prayers”, for example, if ordered by the current pontiff.

    Since the general intercessions have been restored to the Mass, however, prayers for various intentions are better included within the Mass and not recited after it.

  14. Nicole says:

    Whether it’s a joke or not…there are things that should neither be said, whether in public or private, nor written for publication, much less published…

  15. Ed the Roman says:

    I voted for Rick, although he has some serious flaws as a candidate.

    But he sure has the right enemies.

  16. irishgirl says:

    I second Augustin57’s comment! And his maledictions were better than mine! LOL, indeed!
    Probably sound even better with a Southern accent!
    @ mamajen: You’re right-Huffington Post IS a cesspool! If I read the whole post it would aggravate me to no end today….not a good way to start the week!

  17. Blaise says:

    Centristian’s comments almost made me bother to read the whole article.
    Reading the extract reminded me of the supposed anti-Christian views of the 1st century and the commonly held claim that an attribution of cannibalism to Christianity was part of why it was so opposed by the Roman empire (obviously there are many other things). This would actually fit with Centristian’s take on the article as satrie on the criticisms of Catholicism. Whether or not the writer actually believes what is quoted above, there are many who express similar sentiments. May God have mercy on them and strengthen his Church to give faithful witness to the truth.

  18. SonofMonica says:

    I agree with Centristian that it was probably intended to be tongue-in-cheek. However, it fails to do a good job at it. It’s not an acceptable way to make fun of racists by constantly using the N-word and claiming that certain people are akin to primates. The words and statements themselves are offensive to many regardless of whether they are intended to be taken seriously or only as parody. This is the sort of “tongue-in-cheek” that should only be used verbally around friends who know you’re kidding to make a point. Putting this kind of thing in writing on the Internet is ill-advised and certainly will be taken by some, if not many, as gospel truth. Believe it or not, there are many protestant churches out there who still actually believe, teach and preach this stuff about Catholicism.

  19. chcrix says:

    Well, the Oratory here does the Leonine prayers all the time.

    What surprises me sometimes is the ‘anti-intellectual’ memes hurled against Catholicism when my gradual re-acquaintance with my birth religion was because it is in fact the most intellectual of religions.

    Yet this chap Doyle seems to have a world view that is indistinguishable from that of the most meat headed of Biblical literalists.

    Somehow I think this again points a finger back to the dreaded V2 (not the council as it actually was, but the nonsense promulgated in its name).

    The loss of focus at that time also corresponded to a lost of intellectual rigor.

    Fr. Z has a mug that says it best: “To be deep in history is to cease to be protestant”.

    So it became important that intellectual rigor be banished. I suppose that was a further attempt to make the Church more ‘protestant’.

  20. Centristian says:


    “Centristian’s comments almost made me bother to read the whole article.”

    It isn’t worth reading; it’s a failed attempt at sarcastic humor that employs too much bad taste to be savored. Nicole and SonofMonica are quite right.

  21. frjim4321 says:

    Sarcasm does not work well when it is this mean and ugly.

    Doyle’s point seems to have been a attempt to provide a counterpoint to Santorum’s use of the term “phony theology” while promoting a warped view of the administrations’ concern for protecting the environment.

    Doyle’s level of absurdity with respect to his characterizations of the Church matches Santorum’s level of absurdity with respect to his characterizations of the administrations’ stance with respect to the environment. That being said, I find both extremes repugnant.

  22. wmeyer says:

    I don’t mean to be rude, but:
    a) even HuffPo has it categorized as humor,
    b) he wrote for Beavis and Butthead, and you expect anything better?
    c) there are some indications he intended it to be satirical, but his skill is lacking. [I don’t think he was kidding.]

    And over this nonsense we should be hyperventilating? When Obama is bent on making this a socialist republic? When none of the three branches is honestly defending the Constitution? Really?

  23. Jeremiah says:

    Incessant diarrhea and relentless dandruff… Just about had me in tears laying there, Father!

    Laugh to keep from crying, that’s the name of the game these days .

  24. Johnno says:

    Sadly this should serve as a reminder about how many non-Catholics, and how many Protestants view the Catholic Faith and its current sojourn in the world. Absurdity of the highest level.

  25. samgr says:

    A sample of Facebook acquaintances’ view of Santorum:
    A Cathoic college grad:
    The guy is totally nuts…what parent doesn’t want their child to go to college??
    A lawyer: He is one accessory away from a literal tea party at an institution.
    Rutgers history prof: Santorum says that the separation of church and state makes him want to throw up. Well, he makes me want to throw up.
    Catholic HS grad: I will take an order of politics with no religion please as our founding fathers intended.
    Georgetown student: I’m comforted by that Rick Dantorum[cq] is at least pretty honest about his record and ridiculous positions.

  26. shane says:

    I suspect rants like this usually backfire and will make many readers more sympathetic to Catholicism. (The most potent obstacle to evangelisation is indifference, not active hostility.)

  27. Sixupman says:

    Centristian is plain wrong, apart from the efficacy of the Leonine Prayers, they were at a point, before dispersal when Celebrant, servers and congregation become as one.

    Their excision, together with that of the “Libera nos ….. “, was presumably at the behest of the Protestant participants in Vatican II and the Bugnini machinations thereafter.

  28. SKAY says:

    Thank you for the suggestion of the prayers Father. As I read the news today I may have to refer back to them several times.

    “all manner of mange for their pets and for their pets’ offspring.”
    Well — maybe not their pets who are probably much smarter than their owners and know better anyway.

    The Huffington Post has a track record and good taste and common sense are not among its strong suits. Look where Ms. Huffington acquired a good bit of the money to start the thing. Money from that source always comes with strings attached-although Ms. Huffington seems to agree with that idiology anyway.

  29. Centristian says:


    The prayers to be recited after Low Mass (originally instituted by Pius IX within the Papal States and later extended by Leo XIII to the Universal Church) were recited after the dismissal, after the final blessing, and even after the Last Gospel and, therefore, after Mass, but only after private Low Mass (if they were recited after public Masses, that was incorrect). These prayers were never to be said after Solemn Masses, other sung Masses, or even after a recited Low Mass offered as a Sunday parish Mass. They were certainly not recited during Mass. Their excision was on account of the disappearance of Low Mass and the restoration of the general intercessions (the Universal Prayer).

    The Universal Prayer, unlike the prayers formerly to be recited after Low Mass, does occur within Mass (between the Credo and the Offertory) and is the proper point at which to pray for various intentions.

  30. Ellen says:

    I’ve said the Leo prayers for some time now, usually as I’m driving to work. I’ve also pledged to say 1000 memorares over the course of the year (100 down, 900 to go).

    To paraphrase Bertie’s Wooster’s Aunt Dahlia, People like Larry Doyle make me tired.

  31. tealady24 says:

    It really is true, isn’t it?
    God does permit evil in the world, and it walks and it talks.
    May there be a special place in Hell for these scum.

  32. rodin says:

    Please! Spare the pets.

  33. LisaP. says:

    I recently got into a conversation with a person who (seemingly unwittingly) was condoning anti-Catholicism. I explained in great detail the history of anti-Catholic sentiment in America, how it was often ethnically linked, all the old slurs, how today people sometimes need to keep their faith private out of concern for how their peers will treat them. I described how stereotypes misrepresent Catholicism, how I have many friends who disagree with me theologically and we can still be friendly, but lying about what I believe in order to better attack it is only bigotry.

    He replied that he had been “raised Catholic”.

    No great anti-Catholic bigotry than among those calling themselves Catholic in the past tense. There’s a reason they are no longer with the Church. Sometimes it’s because they were scandalized, which leads to bitterness, but is understandable. Sometimes it’s because they were horrifically catechized and really believe the bunk, which is tragic, but there is some responsibility there still to find out what the Church really teaches before criticizing her. Sometimes it’s because the Church tells you not to do what you want to do — but you can’t go around saying, “I used to be a Catholic, but I’m not any more because I want to be free to divorce my wife/ I used to be Catholic, but I’m not any more because I don’t want to have to give up my Sunday mornings/ I used to be Catholic, but I’m not any more because every time I did a hinky business deal then went to Mass two days later I felt guilty, and I didn’t want to give up hinky business deals.” Much better to say, “I used to be a Catholic, but I couldn’t get over that saint worship/ goddess worship/ cannibalism.”

    Santorum is who he is. He is over the top consistent in the way he lives his life and promotes his views. The point of view he promotes could save our country, not just from the last four years or the last eight years, but the last thirty or forty years. I find it more than probable that we won’t let it, but it’s our last best hope and I’ve got to run with it. Maybe I’ll be surprised.


  35. Simon_GNR says:

    “… that threatens to supplant Christianity as our official national religion.”

    As an Englishman, I’m no expert on the Constitution of the United States of America, but I thought it was a fundamental feature of the U.S.A. that there is no official national religion, there never has been, and that it would be unlawful for any congress or president to establish one. This Larry Doyle (of whom I’ve never heard) must surely know that, so why would he display such ignorance of what is, as I understand it, one of the key tenets of the Constitution? I tend to agree with the comment further up the thread that this Huffington Post article may be intended to be a satirical caricature of strident and ignorant anti-Catholicism, not to be taken at face value. Taken at face value, the author displays great ignorance about Catholicism and “Christianity”, which surely Mr Doyle does not want the reader actually to believe he has?
    Or perhaps Mr Doyle really *is* a stupid, ignorant, rude, anti-Catholic bigot!!

  36. dominic1955 says:


    If the Leonine Prayers were only supposed to be said after private Masses, then why is is the almost universal practice amongs traditional groups is to say them after any Low Mass, they are printed in practically every hand missal, and Inter Oecumenici (48) specifically suppressed them along with the Last Gospel? The AAS 16 (1884) says “…in fine cuiusque Missae sine cantu celebratae.” Later ones, not so clear but it seems that at most they were optional at certain times and occasions. It seems that the rubricists and canonists never took “private Mass” in a strict sense.

    I’ve never heard a priest who says the traditional Mass and doesn’t use the Leonine Prayers say that they were only for private Masses but rather than they were made optional or some such.

  37. Clinton says:

    I agree with Frjim4321, above: “Sarcasm does not work well when it is this mean and ugly”.

    However, I’m not so sure this is actually sarcasm. This reminds me more of the sort of passive-
    aggressive spleen-venting engaged in by the cowardly. When such a one is confronted over his
    words, the response is invariably in the line of “Sheesh! I was just kidding! You’re so touchy!
    Where’s your sense of humor?”. If Mr. Doyle is ever confronted over this rant, mark my words,
    his response will be along those lines. No one who has even basic respect for ‘diversity’ (that
    consummation devoutly to be wished of liberals) would write such a column.

    For my part, I’ll just treat this sort of trash with the stony contempt it deserves. It’s cowardly.
    It reveals the hypocrisy of Mr. Doyle, Huffington Post and all their ilk as they mouth platitudes
    about respecting diversity and the horrors of hate speech whilst publishing ‘humor’ like this.

  38. shane says:

    I note he describes Irish Catholicism as “the worst kind” of Catholicism. I assume he buys into the very widespread myth that Irish Catholicism was influenced by Jansenism. (The prevailing narrative of the modern history of Irish Catholicism is saturated in myths.)

    The comments section to this piece is a lot more moderate. Some point out that this is in the ‘comedy’ section; others point out that there’s nothing particularly funny about it . I suspect Mr Doyle has probably done more damage to his own reputation than that of the Church’s.

  39. Maltese says:

    Larry Doyle is right: Catholicism is absurd to much, if not most, of the world. So are other belief systems, including atheism.

    Even James Joyce said: “Why would I trade a logical absurdity for an illogical absurdity?” Vis a vis Catholicism v. Protestantism.

    Believers in God believe in the absurdity that God always was; atheists believe the greater absurdity that matter always was. I say greater absurdity because atheists believe form came from undirected chaos. Notwithstanding a million monkeys typing a Shakespeare sonnet after a million years, or William’s blind watch-maker argument, how can something exist without nothing, and in nothingness?

    As an ex-atheist I can genuinely sympathize with them: that even one child suffering gives pause, no less millions suffering terribly. Survival at Auschwitz author Primo Levi despaired into atheism, and, eventual suicide.

    Being a Catholic requires sustained faith; the gift of faith; the great gift of faith which should be cherished. Even if you don’t believe, believe; even if you can’t pray, pray. It is the one and only thing we can hold onto on this earth and into eternity.

    But we have signs from God, which no other religion has, things to sustain us on this side of the “dark curtain”; I’m thinking specifically of the Great Sign at Fatima, but there are many others. Still, God does not force Himself on us–it is up to us to draw to him through free-will, receiving his free grace with our love, freely-willed by us.

  40. mrsmontoya says:


  41. John Nolan says:

    Centristian seems to have ignored the fact that until 1962, when the so-called Leonine prayers were dropped, the term Missa Privata simply meant Low Mass, i.e. a Mass deprived (privata) of the ceremonies pertaining to the Missa Solemnis. To suggest that they should not have been recited after, say, a Sunday Low Mass is quite simply incorrect. Low Mass was always followed by Hail Mary (thrice), Hail Holy Queen, the prayer for the conversion of sinners, the prayer to St Michael, and the three-fold invocation of the Sacred Heart.

    In 1962 John XXIII replaced the term Missa Privata with Missa Lecta and made it clear that even when a priest celebrated with only a server and sine populo, it was still a public Mass.

  42. rcg says:

    The best thing that can be said about the piece is that it’s funny to people who know better. Unfortunately the majority of Americans, and most post Vat II Catholics, don’t.

  43. Centristian says:


    “If the Leonine Prayers were only supposed to be said after private Masses, then why is is the almost universal practice amongs traditional groups is to say them after any Low Mass, they are printed in practically every hand missal, and Inter Oecumenici (48) specifically suppressed them along with the Last Gospel?”

    Beats me. If what you say is accurate, you’d want to ask the groups to which you are referring that question. Since, as you correctly point out, the prayers after Low Mass were suppressed, it does, indeed, beg your own question “why do they do it any way?” I don’t know why. And for what intention, I wonder? The Roman Question is resolved and Catholics in Russia are now free to practice their religion, publicly. Those were the first and second intentions attached by the Holy See to those prayers. No pope has ever added a new intention since, again, as you say, the prayers were suppressed. So what on earth would a congregation be praying those prayers for, I wonder?

    I have not encountered the Leonine Prayers at the Tridentine Masses celebrated in my diocese. If you are referring to renegade traditionalist groups, well, then, I suppose a renegade group will do whatever it wants to do, regardless of what the rules say, right? That’s what renegades do. I suppose they can make up their own intentions, pope be damned, and pray for whatever they please. I suspect that some of them may be under the false impression (as many are) that the prayers were “for the conversion of Russia” and perhaps they offer them for that fabled intention, whereas the Church never did. Who knows? Again, you’d have to ask them.

    The thrust of my comment had more to do with the Ordinary Form of Mass, however (and was not at all concerned with what renegade traditionalists do). Praying for specific intentions at Mass is now done during Mass (in the Ordinary Form) at the Universal Prayer. It would be rather out of place to call to mind intentions the other way (after Mass), not merely because the custom has been abolished, of course, but because it was long ago deemed liturgically absurd to dismiss the congregation only to compell them to stay. This is why the Last Gospel was also eliminated, and why the last blessing now occurs before the dismissal, rather than after it.

    Now, what congregations do AFTER the recessional amounts to a private devotion, entirely voluntary, unconnected to the public corporate worship of the Church. If, after the clergy process out, a large number of parishioners elect to stay and pray aloud, say, the Prayer to the Archangel Michael, fine. Excellent, in fact. Perhaps the celebrant might even unvest and return to lead in prayer any who chose to remain for it. Beautiful. Love it. But that’s not the same thing, of course, as the pre-Conciliar post private Low Mass custom that is often, as you say, incorrectly applied to publicly celebrated Tridentine Low Masses (evidently) by “traditionalist groups”.

  44. jflare says:

    I’m inclined to wonder about what manner of fairy tales Mr. Doyle would profess.

  45. PostCatholic says:

    Again I’m amazed that your default response to anger is to be angry and to call others to join you in it. I think you ought to give that some meditation.

  46. AnAmericanMother says:

    There’s such a thing as righteous anger. “Beware the wrath of a patient man.”
    In response to this level of bigotry, anger is a reasonable response. We’ve tried being nice for years, and all it’s gotten us is Obama’s belief that he can roll us (funny how he can’t see that his practice of apologizing to all our enemies puts him in the same embarrassing position).

  47. SonofMonica says:

    I’ve never understood how adults could reckon that it is a feature or characteristic of the Christian religion never to get angry. Sure, there are stern warnings in scripture about not letting anger take us over, not letting it lead to sin, being slow to arrive at it, etc. But it is not a sin in itself. And it is certainly warranted at times, as demonstrated by the example of Our Lord.

  48. filioque says:

    I am old enough to remember the pre-Vatican II Mass and it was always followed by the Leonine prayers, except when sung or followed by a procession.

    I can’t think of a single liturgical change since 1965 that has borne good fruit. Nonliturgical changes, such as dropping Friday abstinence, have also been disastrous. We have lost our public Catholic identity. When anyone much younger than me says, “I was raised Catholic,” I say, “I doubt it.” It seems that most of these “former Catholics” really had little understanding of what they were leaving and therefore no reason to stay in the face of a hostile and alluring culture.

  49. oldcanon2257 says:

    There are many examples of expressions of righteous anger in both the Old and the New Testament, the most vivid are of Our Lord Jesus Christ driving the sellers and money changers out of the temple (John 2) and of His woes to the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23).

    Also, there was something in the Book of Proverbs saying, “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he imagine himself to be wise.” (Proverbs 26:5)

    In his epistle to the Ephesians, Saint Paul teaches, “Be angry, and sin not.” (Ephesians 4:26) He never said not to be angry. There is a clear distinction between the anger rooted in divine righteousness vs. one which is the ordinary “anger of man” (the phrase came from James 1:20)

  50. Cristero says:

    Per a Decree of the Congregation of Sacred Rites on the 9th of March of 1960, it says that the Leonine Prayers may, MAY be omitted in various circumstances. They MAY be omitted. It does not say that they SHOULD be omitted. Besides, has the intrinsic purpose of the prayer died?

    It is also after Mass has concluded, so how can further prayer be harmful? The Last Gospel was not a part of the Missal, but was a glorious addition. I would hate to get rid of that as well.

  51. Uncledan says:

    People, do not pray for this man to go to hell!
    Do not wish evil upon this man!
    Do you NOT understand how Satan works? Satan wins every time a soul is lost.
    Pray instead that this man wakes up to Christ and like Saul, becomes one of our most fervent brothers.
    Pray for this man – pray for him NOW.

  52. Rich says:

    Let us pray for Mr. Doyle’s conversion using some good, traditional Irish Catholic devotions, e.g., three Hail Mary’s every day for a month for such an intention and in reparation of all our sins.

    In the meantime, I would like to know more about the maledictory psalms. I think they would be powerful prayers for spiritual warfare.

  53. dominic1955 says:


    Both the FSSP and ICRSS use them as far as I’ve seen. Hardly “renegades” either one of them. The Leonine Prayers are even on the FSSP training video. The main prayer prays in general for the “freedom and exaltation of Holy Mother Church” so, even though the two main reasons might have been accomplished, this general intention is very much appropriate.

    It was the custom before ’62 to do this and they have kept up the practice. The various oddities contained in Inter Oecumenici do not apply.

    As to things being “liturgically absurd”, well, I guess it depends on who’s judging that. I think making everything rationalistic and cutting out all sorts of traditionally customary things in the name of a misunderstanding of “noble simplicity” is liturgically absurd.

    As to the NO, the people get dismissed, but no one gets to run for the door right after the Ite missa est. One usually “has” to stay for whatever ditzy song that gets sung. If priests want to do the old Leonine prayers or some variation thereof in the NO, I say go for it.

  54. thefeds says:

    I am happy to say that at our parish in the Oakland Diocese we’ve been reciting the prayer to St. Michael at the end of Mass for over a year now.

  55. bookworm says:

    “unrecoverable hard drive failures for every computer of every employee at work and at home, toothaches and chilblains, an invasion of bedbugs, incessant diarrhea, relentless dandruff and all manner of mange”

    I’d add uncontrollable flatulence to that list….

    Seriously, though, I have to agree with previous posters who say the last thing we need to do is return hate for hate. However, we should not hesitate, in time of either physical or spiritual warfare, to pray that our side will win.

  56. bookworm says:

    “I’m no expert on the Constitution of the United States of America, but I thought it was a fundamental feature of the U.S.A. that there is no official national religion, there never has been, and that it would be unlawful for any congress or president to establish one.”
    You are correct, and more of an expert on our Constitution than many Americans are. The problem is that many people assume that secularism or total indifference to religion is, by design or default, the “official national religion” of the U.S.
    Also — most people have forgotten this — the Constitution technically does not forbid STATES from establishing official religions (though none would do so today). As late as 1833 Congregationalism was the established religion of Massachusetts.

  57. PostCatholic says:

    There’s also such a thing as bloodlust and a desire for revenge. I didn’t accuse anyone of not having a legitimate reason to take offense at such a hamfisted attempt at humor. Anger is a dangerous emotion, speaking spiritually, to entertain and it seems to me this blog does it very often.

    A quick scroll back through a few pages of the blog will show you that there’s an awful lot angry posting here from the author and commentators alike, to be sure motivated by and directed at people with whom Catholics have intellectual disagreements, but the sheer quantity of it gives me pause. For the sake of your own happiness and effectiveness in service to others, be careful with so much anger. And even if you think every bit of is justified, it’s nevertheless at least worth some quiet reflection from time to time.

  58. Supertradmum says:

    Sounds like the stuff I am reading and hearing here in Ireland. The spinning out of control of anti-Catholicism is a hate which must be outlawed, but of course, will not be…

  59. From the Douay
    When things like this were concerning me, my spiritual director, may he rest in peace, would always remind me of Psalm 2 below…especially 4 and 5

    Quare fremuerunt. The vain efforts of persecutors against Christ and his church.

    [1] Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things? [2] The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord and against his Christ. [3] Let us break their bonds asunder: and let us cast away their yoke from us. [4] He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them: and the Lord shall deride them. [5] Then shall he speak to them in his anger, and trouble them in his rage.

  60. SonofMonica says:

    bookworm: That would have been true for states prior to the passage and subsequent application of the Fourteenth Amendment to the states. Massachusetts is not free to establish a state religion today–not even technically, due to the fact that the Supreme Court has held that the fourteenth amendment causes most of the Bill of Rights to apply to the states.

  61. Sissy says:


    “The person who does not become irate when he has cause to be sins. For an unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices. It fosters negligence, and stimulates not only the wicked, but above all, the good to do wrong.”
    St. John Chrysostom

  62. wmeyer says:

    Sissy: That is an excellent quotation! Makes me feel better, too, about my inability to remain placid in the face of what is being done to my country, and to my Church.

    Fr. Z: You may be right–Doyle may not be kidding. But I remain far less concerned about a rant from a writer of puerile comedy than similar messages from more serious sources.

    The one essential message all Catholics need to understand is that there is no possible rationale which would permit a Catholic to vote for Obama. And I dare hope all the bishops will get it, this time.

  63. PostCatholic says:


    The person who allows anger to become her or his public persona imperils happiness, both for the self and those s/he encounters. Or as Nietzsche put it, “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” Another appropriate response to injustice is sorrow. There is a balance to be had in life between dealing with the fact that there is much to be angry about in life, and much to rejoice in. I don’t think that spiritual balance is struck very well here lately and that is something to cautiously reflect upon.

  64. Sissy says:


    You’re engaging in dichotomous thinking. To express righteous anger over injustice and oppression is not the equivalent of allowing “anger to become [ones] public persona”. Since you are more persuaded by the thinking of Nietzsche to the good counsel of St. John Chrysostom, you are unlikely to be interested in the difference. But, ignoring the evil around us and sorrowfully hoping it will all magically go away isn’t a virtue.

  65. wmeyer says:

    Postcatholic: It is also good to remember that in any compromise between good and evil, evil wins. The pursuit of “balance” and “nuance” is what has undone many self-proclaimed Catholic politicians.

  66. Sissy says:

    Sorry for the typo; I meant to write: “Since you are more persuaded by the thinking of Nietzsche than by the good counsel of St. John Chrysostom…”; my apologies.

  67. Sissy says:

    Well said, wmeyer!

  68. AnAmericanMother says:

    Poor old Nietzsche has much to answer for! If you look at his work as a whole, not to mention his miserable life and horrible end, he’s not the person we should be looking to for advice.

  69. PostCatholic says:

    AnAmericanMother, you’ve just engaged in what in logic is known as an ad hominem fallacy. That an author has other faults doesn’t negate the validity of a particular point under discussion.

    The rest of my interlocuters seem to have looked into the abyss and satisfied themselves that it’s not gazing back into them too deeply. I thank you for studying the question; that’s all I asked. From my limited view into your world based on what gets typed here, it’s easy to form an impression that might not bear up elsewhere.

  70. PostCatholic says:

    Sorry, should have included Sissy in the above, and also I misspelled interlocutors. I’m not perfect, yet.

  71. Centristian,

    Though not a major matter, I find your odd views about the so-called Leonine prayers puzzling in their eccentricity, and can only assume that they result from surely quite interesting past experiences that evidently none of the rest of us share, for no one else (to my knowledge) shares these particular misconceptions. Perhaps they result from not understanding the difference (which John Nolan points out) between a missa privata–a Mass “deprived” (privata) of some of the ceremonies of a missa solemnis, thus corresponding to the later missa lecta–and a private mass, one celebrated without a congregation.

    In any event, every low Mass (missa privata) I have ever attended– whether daily or Sunday, public or private, whether pre- or post-Vatican II, whether diocesan or FSSP or ICKSP or neither–has been followed by the Leonine prayers, which are also shown in a low Mass video I understand to be approved recently by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

  72. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Post-Catholic: Thoughtful posts, but in the spirit of perfectionism, perhaps it might be more eloquently stated as “I don’t think that spiritual balance is struck very well here lately and that is something upon which to cautiously reflect.


  73. LisaP. says:


    I believe ad hominem would more accurately apply if the commenter had disparaged yourself rather than the person you quoted, and done so in a way irrelevant to the subject discussed. For example, “I’m sure Nietzche didn’t say that, you can’t trust anything PostCatholic says because he/she is a known puppy killer.”

    It is reasonable to take a quote and examine it in the context of the author ‘s overall world view and other writings. That is not ad hominem, it’s common sense. Several decades ago it was common to examine writing in light of what the author meant it to mean, rather than what it says independent of intention, as became popular in literary criticism in my day (the “but what does it mean to you?” school of criticism). It is also certainly permissible to take a quote and examine it based only on its own merits on the page (a la “An idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it”). In this case, attribution would not be needed or even the specific quote, but just an expression of the idea itself (which I read to be that becoming too involved with the things you are fighting can incline you to become like them). Since you attributed the quote, I have to assume you wished the author’s credentials to have been part of the point you were making, so I had a similar reaction to the writers above.

  74. Meredith says:

    I’m guessing he wrote it to make fun of anti-Muslim/anti-Mormon hysteria. Still leaves a biter taste in the mouth…. although “barbaric ritual dating back two millennia” is kind of awesome.

  75. PostCatholic says:

    LisaP, two points. One, I quite correctly identified an argumentum ad hominem; if you still think I’m wrong why not Google the term and find a discussion of it?

    Two, were the rest of your reasoning so, Origen’s writings would not have a place in the Liturgy of the Hours. The point of logic is to evaluate the cogency of an argument independently of the identity of the author.

    As a post script: I’ve never killed a puppy.

  76. PostCatholic says:

    Perhaps a simpler metaphor: Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  77. LisaP. says:

    Ah, well, PostCatholic, if you say that you used the term correctly and I’m wrong, and if you say that’s the point of logic, then it must be so.

    Google and Wiki also have info on “proof by repeated assertion” as a logical fallacy.

    One of my favorite quotes, though, is “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    I would note, if it’s helpful, that a quotation is not an argument (generally, although some people are just that darned good!), and repeat that by attributing a quote instead of just making an independent full argument you were using the attribution as part of your “defense” (“see, this person thinks this, too, so I’m more likely to be right”). Therefore, it is appropriate and not fallacious to address “the man” in the discussion, since you had introduced “the man” as part of your point. If you were not, in fact, referencing the author for that purpose you can at least grant it reasonable that others may have taken it that way.

    I’m afraid I don’t take your point on Origen. If the compilers take into account the potential imperfections of the whole of the man (Origen) but believe he had very good writing that enlightens and should be included, essentially that his potential imperfections are more than balanced by his genius, that’s different from including his passage because they had not considered “the man” at all. Certainly, if the exact same passages had been written by Hitler, or even just by Calvin, they would not have been included? So I don’t see how that example applies?

    I hope you did understand the puppy reference to be an attempt at humorous exaggeration to make my point clear. Obviously it failed to clarify, hope it didn’t completely fail as humor, too.

  78. LisaP. says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry. I tried to bold one word! Bolding the whole passage sure makes me look even more obnoxious than I am! I am sure I was being argumentative, but I didn’t mean to come off as completely overbearing, I apologize.

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  80. AnAmericanMother says:

    Whether you call it ‘ad hominem’ or not, it’s still a valid argument. Particularly in the area of philosophy as applied to morality, the character, conduct, and history of the writer are directly relevant to his opinions on moral and ethical issues. You can’t disentangle him from his thinking — particularly since he seems to have put a good deal of it into practice, to his own great detriment.
    Many aspects of Nietzsche’s philosophy call into question widely (even universally) accepted moral values and standards. He adopted a good number of them in his own life, with unhappy consequences. Others (I will name no names so as not to cause you to invoke Godwin’s Law) adopted them and used them as an excuse to perpetrate crimes against humanity.
    His thinking was disordered, his life was disordered, and the net result was misery for him, the few friends he managed not to drive away, and the world. While he might occasionally have said something worthwhile, it would be purely by accident and his lack of judgment and morality would taint his conclusions.

  81. PostCatholic says:

    Indeed, to all that, AnAmericanMother. Perhaps because when one looks into the abyss, the abyss returns the gaze?

    Whatever. My point was watch how you behave–such overwhelming anger at all times is unhealthy, whether it’s justified or not.

  82. AnAmericanMother says:

    I think it’s possible that Nietzsche, reflecting back on his miserable existence, had a moment of uncharacteristic clarity (that statement was written just a couple of years before his final mental breakdown).
    But having been around some really angry people (I work in the criminal justice system), I just don’t see this rather light-hearted persiflage (which really just amounts to what my country friends call “trash talking”) as overwhelming or anywhere near the abyss. I would submit that this is what is called in some circles “deflection” or a safety valve in the face of truly offensive insults from a group that makes a habit of insulting Christians in general and Catholics in particular. If we were members of another ‘faith community’ much in the news, we would be calling for them to be burned alive, have their heads sawed off with a dull knife, or hanged after a show trial.
    On the other hand, Doyle’s distance from the edge of the abyss is somewhat debatable. And I agree that he needs prayers.

  83. PostCatholic says:

    As I said above, my perception that Rev. Zuhlsdorf and many of his regular commentators have a default to anger may be incorrect and I don’t want to make presumptions. I appreciate that you considered the question; I think it’s one that needs revisiting frequently in one’s spiritual life. I’m glad you know you’re not near the abyss. As you work in criminal justice, I’m sure you know just how deep it gets and why anger can be destructive when it is entertained too often.

    I didn’t say Nietzsche needed prayers, though?

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