Hint: It ain’t Mozart.

A way to reach out to people or a violation of identity and decorum?

You decide.

In St. Stephen’s, the Cathedral of Vienna?

Hint: It ain’t Mozart.


Is this what we need for the New Evangelization?

Reason #87637 for Summorum Pontificum.

I’ll turn on the moderation queue for this one, I think.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    A Rainbow Stole!!!

  2. kelleyb says:


  3. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Ach du lieber!

  4. The Astronomer says:

    When the inmates run the asylum, are we surprised by what happens inside? These days, saddened, but no longer surprised.

    Hold fast to the Blessed Sacrament, Confession and seek refuge inside Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart through the Rosary. This is a sideshow diversion to the persecution(s) on the horizon, when the homosexual agenda turns its full satanic rage against the Church, in public and with the full support of the government.

  5. Giuseppe says:

    Ah, the rainbow stole.

    (I did enjoy Sister Act the movie, though. There’s something very funny about Kathy Najimy coming to grips with her inner Motown diva. And Whoopi Goldberg, as annoying as she seems in real life, is actually a skilled comedian.)

  6. Andrew says:

    I don’t get this: are these the virgins about to be immolated as a sacrificial offering?

  7. Glennonite says:

    I couldn’t see the Blessed Sacrament; was it back there somewhere behind all the noisy-noise? I’m really only here for the Blessed Sacrament…anyone? Could everyone just kneel-down and shut-up for the Blessed Sacrament?
    That would be great.

  8. Pastor Bonus says:

    At worst blasphemous at best irreverent, someone report this to Mons. Eterovic the new Nuncio in Germany, please. [Ummmm… was there another Anschluss that I didn’t hear about?]

  9. J_Cathelineau says:

    Dios mío…

  10. McCall1981 says:

    Do these people truly, honestly believe this was a good idea, or is there some other motivation going on here? I just can’t imagine anyone truly thinking this is appropriate.

  11. Wiktor says:

    @Robbie: One stole to rule them all!

  12. iPadre says:

    Fine outside of Mass, but this is a sacrilege. On the other hand, nice altar rail. Everything is ready for the Extraordinary Form. I wonder when they last had the celebration of the TLM as part of the New Evangelization.

  13. Vecchio di Londra says:

    When the priest said ‘This shouldn’t be the last time that such acts appear in the Cathedral as the liturgy is there to give joy to the hearts of the people’, I was open-mouthed.

  14. disco says:

    We’ve had the Bux protocol on Cardinal Schonborn for some time so I’m at a loss for what else can be done here.

  15. yatzer says:

    I don’t understand German, but the music was catchy. Like iPadre I might have enjoyed it somewhere else, but not in the sanctuary. And what is up with that rainbow stole?

  16. Timbot2000 says:

    A stole worthy of Saruman!

  17. Sonshine135 says:

    Yes- the sacrifice of God in the Eucharist which in no way, shape, or form brings joy to anyone. We must have more singing, dancing, rock bands, acting, and oratory, because entertainment brings people to God, and more importantly, it brings joy (tongue firmly in cheek).

  18. VexillaRegis says:

    While piano playing “Gospel style” is really fun, even for an organist, it’s bad taste to sing such music in (old) Catholic churches. I don’t think it’s appropriate to impersonate religious sisters in a church either.

    One would think that an ancient and wealthy parish like St Stephans´had vestments in different coulours – not needing to resort to a passe partout garment like a rainbow stole. Brr.

  19. Phil_NL says:

    In the Stephansdom, anything can happen. I’ve attended a good, reverent (NO) Mass there, with people kneeling on the bare floor due to lack of seats. I’ve attended a concert there, with advent and Christmas songs, performed by outstanding musicians – but they were similarly in the sanctuary. And there are movies, this is hardly the first, and not the most egregious of them, with things that go wrong – badly. (BTW: looking at the dress of the people in front of the Dom, this has to be at least several months old, it’s way to cold in Vienna right now for shorts)

    The conclusion simply has to be that the cathedral chapter, and by extention Card Schonborn, cares not one bit for what is going on there. Sad but true. The Dom has a great history as a church, and deserves a future to match it.

    I propose http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfSju3dPZ5c as an antidote.

  20. Muv says:

    I shall have to say the Anima Christi later this evening by way of reparation. After that perhaps I’ll watch James Brown in the Blues Brothers and have a proper laugh.

    PS. Just spotted a parody Sign of the Cross in the dance moves at 2.30. Might just have to say an extra decade tomorrow and forego the Blues Bros as penance.

  21. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Mind you, it’s not that recent, as the summer weather/clothing shows. If the Ronacher sign was filmed at the same time, then it was summer this year.

  22. Is this not the same cathedral that is the home of a blasphemous sculpture of Bl. Restituta Kafka by Alfred Hrdlicka? (Google it: it’s horrible.) Bl. Restituta was arrested by the Gestapo for her outspoken opposition to the Nazi regime and beheaded in 1943. In a cathedral where she is dishonored, I can’t say I find anything surprising.

  23. Cafea Fruor says:

    Moreover, what’s up with the chick in the surplice?

  24. jhayes says:

    It’s apparently from several years ago:

    [Sister Act] “An Austrian production (German Language) opened at the Etablissement Ronacher in Vienna in September 2011.


    Notice “Ronacher” on the title card and the banners in the outdoor scenes.

    So, it’s a stage show being presented regularly at a theater and now for a special (one time?) performance in the cathedral.

  25. Dan says:

    I present the following as perhaps a truer expression of the New Evangelization:


    Expose the Blessed Sacrament. Open the church. Invite people in.

  26. Lucas Whittaker says:

    This reminds me of a time when my wife and I travelled one Sunday to assist at the Extraordinary Form at a quite distant parish from where we lived at that time. We arrived early: early enough to see the Ordinary Form Mass letting out and folks walking out with guitars; there might even have been a drum set in the back if my memory serves me today. I definitely recall having a humorous sense that whatever foolishness might have gone on during that Ordinary Form Mass weighed on the conscience of the few who organized it but knew better while at the same time the beautiful German-built country parish was just waiting for the Extraordinary Form; a beautiful high altar was in place with alter rails separating the sactuary from the pews; the reverend Father was hearing confessions before the usus antiquitor began. I suppose that it goes to show just what can be accomplished with both the right pastor and parishioners who are called to the silence and beauty of the Mass of St. Pius V (the elderly priest who said the EF was not the pastor at that parish by the way). The parish was packed for the EF that Sunday! Folks drove from as far away as North Dakota to assist at that Mass every Sunday. I think that we just need to keep doing our best to support those priests who are willing to provide the EF for us, and also to remember to thank them often. The Extraordinary Form has, quite simply, been a gift for my inner life. And I never would have discovered this part of my Catholic Tradition if not for others making a conceted effert to make such beautiful worship available to me.

    So let the foolish continue in their foolishness: God’s patience is for their salvation. But let the rest of us keep showing up for worship that is worthy of a God who would bestow such dignity as he has on us lowly men and women by sending his divine Son, born of an immaculate virgin, so that we might know his love for us and make a return of that love.

  27. Ben Kenobi says:

    “A stole worthy of Saruman!” @Timbot2000.

    Fantastic comment.

  28. Vecchio di Londra says:

    PS This was longer ago than I thought. I looked it up on some Viennese websites- it took place in mid-September 2012. In the course of midday Mass.
    The invitation came from the Cathedral’s ‘priest-in-charge’ Fr Toni Fischer.
    The Viennese newspapers reported ‘a full church, a complete success.’
    The Ronacher Theatre named their discounted Monday prices ‘Holy Monday’ tickets, with a further discounted add-on of a CD single: ‘Take Me to Heaven.’

    You really couldn’t make this stuff up. I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. As the German saying goes: ‘I just have to put my hands to my behind, as my head is far too good for the purpose’.

  29. JARay says:

    Yes Cafea Fruor, I noticed the one in the surplice too and somehow I didn’t think that they were really Vestal Virgins being prepared for sacrifice.
    The truth is that I am appalled at this sort of carry-on and I find it truly offensive.
    Fr. Ray Blake has it on his blog too and he mentions that it can be found on this blog too.

  30. MAJ Tony says:

    Ach, meine augn! Meine augn! Meiiiiiiiiiine auuuuuuugn! Hilfe, Ich war vablendet!

  31. MacBride says:

    I do not understand German, but from what I make of some of the other comments here, this was done during the liturgy and is not just a performance in this beautiful church. Did anyone notice the priest doing the offertory at 2:13 and 3:03?


  32. Jim Dorchak says:

    Please can we bring back the inquisition?

  33. AvantiBev says:

    Of course I decry the foolishness of these liturgies as I have for 40 years in this country. But kudos to the African immigrant woman who fronted the group and spoke and sang in GERMAN. She apparently didn’t insist they put the liturgy in Swahili, Igbo, Yoruba, or whatever language was her ancestral one.

    How different from here in El Cheeecago!

  34. jflare says:

    They forgot the gangster and the cop, didn’t they?
    …and the outdoor painting of the formerly-graffiti-covered wall and…

    Seriously, this might make a decent Gospel revival meeting showpiece. ..Trouble is, I’m not all that interested in those….

  35. Sword40 says:

    Sorry, can’t finish watching it. Weak stomach, I guess.

  36. LA says:

    The German language sounds horrible when sung to Gospel music, and Gospel music sounds horrible when sung in the German language.

  37. Mariana2 says:

    “I don’t think it’s appropriate to impersonate religious sisters in a church either.”

    That’s my major complaint, too. Of course they may sing gospel if they wish to, but why the unworthy masquerade?

    The stola was terrible, too, Saruman indeed….

    I remember an article in (UK) Vogue years ago, how the Mass in the St. Stephansdom was so beautiful, the vestments so glorious, the music so heavenly, that the writer wanted to take the veil immediately! Said in jest, of course, but still a witness to the effect on people of a beautiful Mass. So I had rather different expectations when I saw the words St. Stephen’s and Vienna…. ouch!

  38. Mariana2 says:

    I hadn’t realised it was a Mass! I thought it was a concert!

  39. Ah yes! It’s Mozart’s Famous Requiem Mass! Offered for the death of liturgical sanity…

  40. And just to restore everyone’s faith in society as a whole, this is what mass is usually like at St. Stephen’s (Deo gratias): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDhh5mcG1SE

  41. Jason Keener says:

    What a beautiful church, surely built long ago to house the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and other celebrations of the Classical Roman Rite. I bet the walls of this church, once accustomed to reverential silence and the timeless beauty of Gregorian Chant, are ready to cry out after so many years of liturgical abuse and noisy sacrilege.

  42. RJHighland says:

    I don’t believe this was a mass, thank God, but when you worship like Protestants, you believe as Protestants, your Bishops lead like Protestants, and you dishonor all that is Holy you might just be a Protestant. The Church by straying from it’s traditional teachings, beliefs and practices has lowered it self to a Protestant level of faith and therefore must market itself like a Protestant faith in a place that was once part of the Holy Roman Empire. I wonder what St. Stephen is thinking of this Shepherd of the Church at this time? This Shepherd is in full communion with Rome, think about that for a moment. As the full weight and power of Rome comes down on the Franscican Friars of the Immaculate crickets from Rome about Shepherds and events like this on Holy Ground. Remove the Lord from the altar and place Him in a side chapel and Churches become Broadway Theaters. These ladies are performing in the House of God at the Gateway to Heaven “Terribilis est locus iste hic domus Dei est et porta Coeli” or is it anymore, thanks to these princes of the Church, Vatican II and the Novus Ordo.

  43. I’ve been there, gorgeous church. This is appalling.

  44. Schwester Auffürung? Im Dom? Nein, danke. Ganz entschieden nein danke!
    Friede and Segen,
    Keith Töpfer

  45. MarkG says:

    A ridiculous act of sacrilege to have it in a Catholic Church. It might have been ok in a parish hall or something similar.
    I don’t like rainbow stoles or any other cheezy vestments. I think the priest should wear proper dignified vestments. It looks like this particular Church should be able to afford them.

Comments are closed.