Pope Francis to change the name of St. Peter’s Basilica

As we look around the faith landscape of these USA, we see clusterings of parishes, such that the Churches of St. Christiana the Astonishing, St. Alphege the Bald, and St. Olav the Thick are all merged into one parish called something like One Faith Catholic Community. We see, on the other side of the river (Tiber? Styx?) Protestant mega-churches. On Sunday I was driving home from the early Mass at St. Mary’s (sounds kind of boring by comparison) and passed by the local mega-church of our doctrinally-challenged brethren only to see a lane backed up for half a mile with cars waiting to get into the parking lot. I guess the only solution to making ourselves popular with the world is to abandon all sense of doctrine and reason, get together a pop-combo, and go for the feel good stuff (with a little fear of the “rapture” tossed in for spice and fundraising).

At least Pope Francis might have a handle on this problem.

You might think that the following originated at Eye of the Tiber, but no. I saw this at Church Pop:

St. Peter’s Basilica Renamed “Tiber Creek Community Church”

ROME, Italy — Pope Francis has changed the name of St. Peter’s Basilica to “Tiber Creek Community Church,” Vatican spokesperson Fr. Federico Lombardi announced this morning.

“The greatest church of Christendom, built on the holy grave of the martyr-prince of the Apostles, has been known as ‘St. Peter’s Basilica’ for 1700 years,” Fr. Lombardi explained. “It was long overdue for a rebranding.”

He continued that this was just the next step in Pope Francis’ greater program of trying to make the church more relatable to the average person.

“How many Catholics today even know who St. Peter is?” Fr. Lombardi asked reporters, eliciting murmurs of agreement. “And besides, referencing St. Peter is a dead giveaway that we’re Catholic.” Fr. Lombardi said that naming the church after it’s geographic location without any denominational identifiers was more in line with how modern people felt about religion.

Fr. Lombardi also announced that projectors and screens would be installed throughout the basilica in the coming week, that a “totally rocking” worship band was being formed, and that Pope Francis planned on making his sermons “relevant to every day life.”

“The Trinity, the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, these are all interesting — to dead theologians,” Fr. Lombardi said dismissively. “But how does that apply to my everyday life? How will that help me advance in my career? That’s what Pope Francis is going to be focusing on.”

Please follow?

According to an anonymous source within the Vatican, when some of his advisors voiced concerns about the name change, Francis informed them that he had already purchased the new sign.

“He was really proud of the sign,” the anonymous source said. “He told us he already had some great jokes to post up there.”

We need some serious rebranding, don’t we?  We have to rethink all our names and terms for things.  For example, instead of Holy Sacrifice of the Mass let’s call it “liturgy”.  No, wait.  We already do that, don’t we.  Instead of “Hell” let’s call it, say, the “Sam Hill Catholic Community”, as in, you know, “What the ‘Sam Hill’ are we doing here?  It was only sacrilegious Communions!”  People might be able to relate to that more.

Jokes apart.  Friends…


Call it “reconciliation” if you want.  I don’t care.  JUST GO!

And no matter what you call your mortal sins, …. please …. go.

This last Sunday in the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass we were reminded by St. Paul:

Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For what a man sows in the flesh, from the flesh also will reap corruption. But he who sows in the spirit, from the spirit will reap life everlasting.

I say to you, we may be few and we may soon be many fewer, but we are true leaven.

We may be the small and persecuted church very soon, but our persecuted minority will be creative… and patient.

But to be leaven and creative, we have to be in the state of grace.

Go to confession.  Fathers, go to confession.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in GO TO CONFESSION, Lighter fare and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. APX says:

    Reconciliation suggests that I might have done something super bad like smoke, drive an emissions emitting pick-up truck, or be judgmental, thus need reconciling with my sisters and brothers. I prefer to call it a friendly chat with my priest where we talk about all the good things I’ve done over the past 6 months over tea and scones. You’re being too negative and judgmental.

  2. Magash says:

    Father, to be quite honest about it anyone who has listen to the message of most of the Mega-churches knows that there are things one can almost always guarantee hearing in any sermon given there. One is sin, the other is salvation, almost certainly Satan’s war on humanity will be mentioned. In other words subjects which seem to be lacking in many Catholic parishes when it comes time for the minister (priest or deacon) to speak from the pulpit. Could that be why so many Mega-Churches are filled and so many Catholic churches are empty?

  3. Wait Just A Minute! Donuts & Coffee? In Rome? An Abomination! Surely my long lost cousins over there could come up with something more culinarily interesting than that?

    On the other hand, I dare say that the volume of Sunday Masses at the “TCCC” would be enough to keep a Krispy Kreme donut conveyor machine running wide open all day.

    Confession Done, Father. Thanks for the constant reminders.

  4. LarryW2LJ says:

    Did I fall asleep? Is it April 1st already?

  5. Magpie says:

    The sad thing is, I would not be surprised. It’s hard now to separate humour from reality. Nothing would surprise me now.

  6. Paulo says:

    The announcement under the Tiber Creek sign isn’t right. It should say “Donuts and Coffee after Sunday Gathering”.

  7. pelerin says:

    Please Fr Z don’t frighten us like that too often. Reading that made me come over all funny (as we say in Britain). I think I need a stiff drink now to recover!

  8. Cincinnati Priest says:

    Yes, not donuts and coffee but rather cappuccini e cornetti

    proper inculturation, after all :-)

  9. Unwilling says:

    cum ergo videritis abominationem desolationis …in loco sancto… tunc… erit et adventus Filii hominis… qui sanat contritos corde et alligat contritiones illorum.

    “Tiber”, autem, geographice valde, necnon religioni antiquissimorum, vel italorum vel etruscorum, deorum fluviorum vocatus est. Si ab huius basilicae nomine, omnia DNI altissimi memoriae vestigia vis, et ab oculis removere et ab mente abstringere, considera fortasse nomen istius loci America renuntiati, “Alba Casa”.

  10. Kerry says:

    Few, and soon fewer, yes, but maybe like True balsamic vinegar, only one drop needed.

  11. JSII says:

    LOL! And then I LOL’ed again.

  12. Eric says:

    Yes, four nearby parishes recently were merged into one “All Saints” parish. I suppose the name could have been worse. Four beautiful little churches that were painstakingly kept up by the parishioners (descendents of the people that built them) merged to form one “community.” No date has been set to build a new church.
    One of the other changes that happened in the deanery restructuring was that a parish in a nearby town that let their church building and school fall down around their ears already has a new school building built and work has begun on the new church. Coincidentally, the chairperson of the deanery restructuring committee is a parishioner of the latter.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    Fr. Z, daily people die in mortal sin, and some know they are so. Even the young die sometimes, “before their time”. Thank you for this post again. Your blog gets better and better.

  14. aquinas138 says:

    I’m OK with calling Mass “liturgy” as long as, like our Eastern brethren, we specify that it is “Divine Liturgy.”

  15. Franko says:

    What Magash said is really something that is dead on, in my experience.

    Many Evangelical churches are just about the only places in the US you can go to hear the hard truth of human sin and the need for Christ in salvation (something Christians of all denominations should be able to agree on). There is also a well understood acknowledgment of the devil and demons within that religious culture. On both of these points your average modern Catholic Church comes up woefully short, and that’s no doubt one of the major factors in why Evangelical churches are often overflowing.

    Unfortunately, if you want a mundane sermon that seems to lack any theological weight, your best bet is to head down to St. Christiana the Astonishing Catholic Church and listen to Father Politically Correct talk about being non-judgmental and charitable.

    Bear in mind I’m focusing on your average *modern* Catholic Church. I’ve found you get much better preaching from the likes of the FSSP.

  16. CrimsonCatholic says:

    To Franko and Magash,

    Yes, you will hear teachings like once saved always saved, statues of saints or anything else is idolatry, Catholic’s worship Mary and therefore will burn, etc. I guess it is good that are talking about sin though, right?

  17. JSII says:

    Very well put Crimson Catholic.

  18. Defender of Truth says:

    Unwilling: I genuinely envy your mastery of the Latin language; however, perhaps a translation would be order for those of us less erudite in Latin can be enlightened.

  19. Unwilling says:

    Dear Defender, My most grievous bad! The Roman topic and empathy made me careless.

    when therefore you see the disgusting thing set up in the Holy, then also will come the Son of man who heals broken hearts and binds up their wounds
    [Woven Bible quotes to assuage the pain I felt in Fr. Z’s ironic cartoon.]

    “Tiber”, however, while indeed geographical, is so called in the river-god religion of the most ancient Italians or Etruscans. If you want to take away from the name of this famous church every trace of a memory of the Lord Most High, both removing it from sight and wringing it from the mind, you might consider using the name of that place distained in America — “White House”. [To enter into the spirit of fun as others offered humorous edits about foods etc. The Latin is (hurried but) very Latin/Roman. There is a kind of pun in my suggesting the name of the mythical Trojan/Roman site, Alba Longa.]

  20. moconnor says:

    That long line is indicative of having only one service on Sunday.

  21. kurtmasur says:

    Sadly, I honestly thought that headline was true, given how unpredictable Pope Francis can be. I really wouldn’t have been surprised. On the other hand, as I was reading the article, it became clear that it was a joke. The feeling I got from realizing that, however, was like awakening from a bad dream only to realize that it was all just a bad dream :-)

  22. SaintJude6 says:

    Yes, once you said it wasn’t from Eye of the Tiber, I had a moment of cold panic. Because right now it seems plausible. I do wish these “Rebuilders” would understand that, once upon a time, we had a Divine Liturgy that could take your breath away and make you truly feel that you were in the presence of Christ. Forty years attending the Novus Ordo Mass, and I never once felt that.

Comments are closed.