Wherein Fr. Z agrees with …. Fr. James Martin… !?

Words I never thought I would write.  I agree with Fr. James Martin, SJ, on this one.

The article in question is in Hell’s Bible HERE. Here’s a screen shot with the highlighted text:

Each language has it’s conventions of address and each major publication has a style sheet.  This is seriously wrong.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Biased Media Coverage, Liberals and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. PostCatholic says:

    I think in this instance the New York Times would agree that they got the style “seriously wrong.” But I do like their software that adds a Mr. to surnames, because I remember an article that amusingly referred to rock star Meat Loaf as “Mr. Loaf.”

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  2. Darrin says:

    Oh, Holy God, Eternal Judge, please we beseech thee, return ever so soon, cease the transgressions of mankind against Your Holy Name and judge us as we deserve to be judged. We ask this in the name of the Holy Trinity. Amen.

  3. Lori Pieper says:

    Yeah, it should be “Herr Professor Ratzinger,” or “Dr. Ratzinger” at the very least. They guy’s got some serious academic cred, it should be recognized!

    Totally hopeless. Total incoherence. The NYT should just collapse and die already. . .

  4. Lori Pieper says:

    They have software to copy-edit now? That explains a lot!

  5. SpittleFleckedNutty says:

    Ms. Teresa of Calcutta.

  6. Peggy R says:

    I found this little tidbit in the NYT article. I can’t resist highlighting it here:

    “Francis’s ability to communicate derives from empathy, not individual actions. Only Bill Clinton and the early Barack Obama showed the same ability to get on other people’s wavelengths.”

    NOTE: “the EARLY Barack Obama” Uh oh. The love is fading….the thrill is gone…

  7. Seamus says:

    I read an article in the Washington Times once that referred to the late emperor Haile Selassie as “Mr. Selassie.”

  8. Patrick-K says:

    One of several absurdities in this article… How about, “The new pope promises new takes on homosexuality, on couples who divorce and remarry, on relations with other religions and on the importance of conscience.” It’s unclear what is meant by “promises” (or by “takes”). Obviously, the pope didn’t actually make any such promises. So apparently the Times means it in the sense of “reason to expect something.” But there again this is, at best, pure speculation. At least this is marked “op-ed,” although I wouldn’t put it past the Times to sneak such predictions of the future into their regular “news reporting.” And then there’s “Don’t be surprised if Francis starts quoting John Lennon.” I wouldn’t hold your breath.

    Really, I understand that everyone has their own personal biases and chooses to highlight some things and downplay others. That’s just human nature. But the simpleness with which the Times categorizes everything into “bad, old, mean” and “good, cool, nice” is really just sadly unworthy of a major national newspaper. The author of this piece appears to inhabit a mental world akin to high school, where being popular, fashionable and easy going — in a word, cool — is the most important thing in life.

  9. Nancy D. says:

    Peggy, empathy requires that we respect the fact that persons have the inherent right to come to know, Love, and serve God; withholding this information from any person is known as the sin of omission. The purpose of ecumenism is conversion.

  10. SpittleFleckedNutty says:

    Nancy D. says: The purpose of ecumenism is conversion.

    I agree, Nancy. The Catholic Church is converting by degrees to Protestantism.

  11. moconnor says:

    The NYT’s policy is address all men as “Mr.” but there are exceptions. I doubt seriously that they will address a future king of England as “Mr. Windsor”.

  12. Peggy R says:

    I have no idea what point you are making to me. I found the “early Barack Obama” reference funny. The journalist is comparing what he sees is Francis’ “style” to the styles of politicians Bill Clinton and the “early” Barack Obama. I don’t have any other comment otherwise on the text. But yes, I do think the point of Catholic ecumenism should be conversion to Rome.

  13. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    This reminded me of Churchill referring to “Mr. Hitler” (when I think the London Times’s style was “Herr Hitler”).

    What is the adjectival form of ’emeritus’ ? Could one properly say something like, ‘His Emeritual Holiness, Herr Professor Doctor Ratzinger, called Benedict, the Sixteenth of that Name’?

  14. Dave N. says:

    “Each language has it’s conventions of address….”


  15. Supertradmum says:

    I think this is on purpose. Remember in the Protestant Revolt in some countries, no priest was allowed to be called Father, but only Mr. It is a denigration of the office of priesthood and the offices in the Church.

  16. Katylamb says:

    I do find it strange. But then, I find it even more strange that people sometimes refer to Pope Francis as “Bergoglio” on here and think it would probably look better and more respectful if they at least added a “Mr.” to it.

  17. Frater Gregorius says:

    Most people misuse “Mr” anyway, which is a title of a gentleman; most people possess it only as a courtesy title, rather than by right. While it is correct to refer to Pope Benedict as “Dr Ratzinger” – one can imagine situations when this would even be appropriate – he far outranks a gentleman; he, at least, ranks alongside a royal prince, if not above.

    I am reminded of a minor debate in the 19th century as to how Queen Victoria should reply to a letter sent her by Pius IX at the start of his papacy, as the British government had sought to curry favour with him, as he was seen as a liberal who would more well disposed to the protestant powers than some of his recent predecessors. He had called her “most serene [i.e. not majesty] and potent sovereign, illustrious Queen of England”.

    She wrote back: “Most eminent sir”

    As an aside, one should be careful about claiming the use of “mr” is a protestant invention for priests. It is not; priests were regularly called “mr” – which is quite proper – or even “lord” – if appropriate – before the reformation. In Germany, I believe, secular priests were addressed, “Herr”, and religious priests, “pater”.

  18. BLB Oregon says:

    My thought was that it is impossible to believe that he’s taken this long to realize that the Times’ coverage of the Catholic Church has been put into the hands of someone who seems to be high, unconscious or both. (A simple “clueless” would actually cover it, without invoking mind-altering drugs.)

  19. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I just happened to read today that when Pius VI died in exile in Valence after having been forcibly carried off by Napoleon’s Revolutionary French, it was announced that “citizen Braschi” had died – which reminded me of Supertradmum’s comment.

    “Mr.”, being less brazen could be curiously incurious ignorance where titulature is concerned, or impudence which can fall back on a plea of ignorance if challenged.

Comments are closed.